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The 6 Best iPad Pro Apps for Designers in 2020

Does Apple’s most powerful tablet live up to it’s name when it comes to digital design?

Jake Steelman
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October 28, 2019
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Tutorial

Introduction

Apple’s iPad Pro tablet is arguably the most powerful tablet on the market right now. Originally released in late 2015, the iPad Pro has evolved into a portable, powerhouse tablet that could arguably replace your laptop, and it’s only getting better with iPadOS. As a graphic designer or web designer, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to invest in an iPad Pro. We’ve gathered up some of the best apps for designers to help you make your decision.

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1. Procreate ($9.99)

It’s pretty hard to find a list of design apps for iPad Pro without seeing Procreate. Arguably the best natural media app for any kind of designer, illustrator, or artist, Procreate definitely lives up to its name. It includes support for Apple Pencil and other styluses, but we recommend using an Apple Pencil because of the fluidity and refinement of Apple Pencil 2nd Generation. You can choose from a wide variety of different brushes that look amazing, and you can create your own brushes if that suits you.

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Procreate for iPad Pro ($9.99)

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2. Adobe Fresco (Free)

Released just days before writing this blog post, Adobe Fresco is the successor app to Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw, combining the two into one seamless app built to compete with Procreate. I had a chance to play around with it, and while it lacks a few major features, Adobe has acknowledged this and is working hard to implement them.

Adobe Fresco allows you to draw in both vector and raster, unlike Procreate which is raster-only. With Fresco, you can export your files to Adobe Illustrator or SVG format, making it one of the best iPad Pro apps for graphic designers and logo designers.

adobe fresco for ipad pro
Adobe Fresco for iPad Pro (Free)

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3. Astropad ($29.99)

For graphic designers looking to extend the functionality of their desktop or laptop with an iPad Pro, you might want to check out Astropad. Built by ex-Apple Engineers, Astropad allows you to use your iPad as a graphics tablet for apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Affinity Designer. It promises almost zero latency and identical performance to the Wacom tablet.

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Astropad for iPad Pro ($29.99)

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4. Linea Sketch ($4.99)

Linea Sketch is a minimalist drawing and sketching app built primarily for users who want a clean, seamless experience and don’t necessarily need the robust, complex features of apps like Adobe Fresco and Procreate. With a variety of brushes, color palletes, and textures, it still offers a fun and easy drawing experience without the robustness of other apps.

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Linea Sketch for iPad Pro ($4.99)

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5. Pixelmator ($4.99)

Think of Pixelmator like a cross between Procreate and Adobe Photoshop. It still has support for Apple Pencil, but Pixelmator adds extra functionality like dodge, burn, filters, color adjustments, object isolation, and adjustment layers. We highly recommend Pixelmator for graphic designers.

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Pixelmator for iPad Pro ($4.99)

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6. Adobe Comp (Free)

UI and UX Designers, rejoice! Adobe Comp is arguably one of the best web design apps for iPad Pro, putting the “rapid” in “rapid prototype.” It allows you to draw wireframes seamlessly and elegantly with intuitive drawing gestures. For example, draw a square and cross it out, and you’ve magically created an image placeholder that you’re able to adjust and even replace with an actual image. These gestures are incredibly useful, and Adobe Comp speeds up the prototyping process greatly.

Adobe Comp for ipad pro
Adobe Comp for iPad Pro (Free)

Conclusion

iPad Pro is a powerful device that’s continually evolving every year with new hardware updates and software updates. More people adopt the iPad Pro as their primary device every day due to its portability, power, and convenience. With Apple Pencil, iPad Pro becomes a useful tool for designers and artists alike, allowing them to channel their creativity in a whole new way.

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