On-the-Go Sketch Apps
Sketch apps can be extremely helpful when you’re trying to get down ideas, working on bigger illustrations yourself, or even working between Adobe programs.
Most of these apps are available for both Android and Apple products, but there is one honorable mention that is only available for Apple, so make sure you consider that when you’re deciding what app will work for you!
Adobe Companion Apps:
Adobe has a series of companion apps specifically meant to work with their Adobe Creative Cloud! These apps are easy to use, but have only basic functionality, so keep that in mind, but a great feature of these apps working with the cloud is that you can easily send files from your phone directly into the programs if you have them open on your computer. There are 12 different companion apps, ranging from Photoshop and Illustrator to Lightroom and Spark. If you are paying for an Adobe membership, these apps are definitely worth your while!
Available on both platforms, Bamboo Paper has very similar functionality to the Adobe companion apps for Photoshop. It’s a simple note taking/sketch app that’s really easy to use. It doesn’t have as many options as the other apps, but it’s a good choice if you’re just looking for something basic without spending money on an Adobe membership. You only start off with two brushes with three different stroke options—and if you want more, get ready to pay. Most brushes start of at $0.99, but there are packages that you can purchase as well. This app has an easy to use undo button, simple layout, and is really easy to use on the go.
This simple sketch app is also very similar to the Adobe companion app for Photoshop, but features many more brushes than Bamboo Paper. You can also make use of layers with this app, and work with various virtual tools that will let you import images, work with straight text, and more. However, there isn’t a simple undo button, and you will have to make use of the eraser, which is a bit more technically difficult. There are options for in-app purchases for more brushes, and to unlock a desktop app of the same program that will let you access your work (and Pro Tools) on more than just your one device. Keep this app in mind if you’re looking for something that’s not as expensive as Adobe, but has a bit more functionality than Bamboo.
This next app is only available on Apple products, but deserves a shoutout:
This app lets you bring in images and trace over them very easily. Similar to an actual sketchbook, it’s a great way to sketch out ideas and do icon work. It’s also compatible with the Apple Pen, which makes sketching super easy and clean. With three different pen tips, an eraser, unlimited colors, and different strokes that can rely on pressure from the pen, you’ve got great usability for an app that works with notes, sketches, diagrams, and more.
Through user testing, it has been found that these types of apps work better with specifically made pens that work on touch screens, rather than with your fingers. It’s always best to test out what works best for you and your device, but this is something to consider!
Check out these apps, and find what works best for you and your work!