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The Best Apps for the Apple Pencil

The Best Apps for the Apple Pencil

Gone are the days of needing to use a third-party stylus with your iPad, where depending on the model or app, your experience could widely vary. Check out all these apps designed to take full advantage of your cool accessory.

Get Your Ideas on Paper

Whether you're jotting down an idea, making a quick and dirty sketch, or finalizing a masterpiece, these apps will parter with your Apple Pencil to give you all the power and flexibility you need to get your concepts into the real world. They work alongside Apple's stylus to re-create that pen-and-paper feel to unlock your creativity with a minimum of hassle.

Paper by WeTransfer

Your note-taker, sketchbook, and diagramming tool.

Paper by WeTransfer

Swipe to stylize

For those who want to take simple notes, draw sketches, or annotate photos.

This one burst onto the scene and immediately became the darling of artists and non-artists alike. It is just so easy to pick up and start using, with or without a stylus. Its free price tag makes it an absolute must-download, though of course, in-app purchases unlock even more features. It's simply beautiful on the iPad's retina display and a pleasure to use.

Why we love it

Paper is simple to use and comes packed with a ton of useful tools that make note-taking, photo annotation, and drawing easy.

Tayasui Sketches

Tayasui Sketches

Tayasui.com

Doodle on what feels like real paper

For those looking to create the most realistic drawings on their mobile device.

Sketches is the most realistic, versatile and user-friendly sketching app designed for a mobile device. This exhaustive artist's toolbox helps users create dazzling sketches, cheerful paintings and smashing illustrations on the go. It has a ton of features and has stylus support.

Why we love it

Tayasui Sketches offers awesome tools for sketches, paintings, and more.

Procreate

Procreate is a must-have

Procreate

Professional results

For any professional artist.

This is a deceptively simple app with a devoted following. The focus is on brushes (there are eight) rather than tons of different art tools. The interface is uncluttered and the app doesn't have the "bloat" associated with some of the more feature-heavy apps. Even with just a few tools in its repertoire, this app is a fantastic means for artists to create amazing works of art. It's also an easy-to-use app for doodlers.

Why we love it

Procreate is simple enough for anyone to use, but the best results will be made by those who know what they're doing. The app has plenty of powerful tools to help you create your next masterpiece.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Sketch with the power of Adobe

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

For Photoshop power users who want to take their skills to go

Adobe Photoshop Sketch includes powerful tools you love from the desktop app, including pencils, pens, markers, erasers, acrylic, ink brush, soft pastels, and watercolor paint brushes. And your Apple Pencil will get you drawing and painting in no time. You can also use Photoshop's trademark layers feature to add depth and complexity that would be way harder using real, physical paper.

Why we love it

We love Photoshop's wealth of features, and having them available wherever we are is a huge sell. Our skills aren't quite good enough to do them all justice, but it's nice to know they're there if we ever get better at arting.

Linea Sketch

Sketch and Write With Ease

Linea Sketch

It is Simple

For those who want to write and sketch on iPad in an uncomplicated way.

Linea comes with a wide range of pre-defined colors or you can customize colors with a single tap. Auto-generated tints and shades are also included. Simplified layers are easy to merge or rearrange. A Touch Eraser allows you to wipe the screen clean with ease.

Why we love it

There's a lot of sketchpad apps on the App Store and Linea doesn't offer anything new in terms of the features it provides. However, if you're new to digital sketching, Linea is a great product to consider.

Get Things Moving

If you can draw one thing, why not make a bunch and then arrange them into a sequence to create a short, moving picture? Probably because that's called animation, and it's a totally different skill set. But if you're an aspiring or seasoned cartoon-maker, this app will get you started telling your stories. And with your Apple Pencil, it'll be even easier to make your art animated.

Animatic by Inkboard

Quickly animate with your Apple Pencil

Animatic by Inkboard

For sketchers and drawers who think their art is too static

Inkboard's Animatic will get you making flipbook-style short animations in no time. And when you're done, you can export them as videos or GIFs to show off your work to the world.

Why we love it

We're old enough to have blown an entire stack of Post-Its making stick figures dance and/or fight. Or fight and then dance. Or the other way around. We kept it simple. But it's nice to see that technology has reached a point where our artistic aspirations have a fancy new home.

Create Your Happy Little World

Not only is your Apple Pencil a, well, pencil, but with the right app, it can also simulate charcoals, crayons, or any paintbrush you can imagine. It's almost like having an art-supply store on hand all the time minus the crowds of students and odd, scrapbooking ladies.

HuePaint

HuePaint

Norbyte

HuePaint

For those who want a painting app with great features and Apple Pencil support.

HuePaint lets you create beautiful digital works of art using the colorful painting tools Tie-Dye Brush, Hue Brush, Shaded Brush, and Standard Brush. You will also find a powerful smudge tool that lets you blend and smoothen colors together, as well as an ordinary eraser. With Apple Pencil Support you can change characteristics depending on how you use the Pencil (pressure, tilt).

Why we love it

HuePaint helps you create amazing paintings with a terrific tool set.

ArtRage

ArtRage

Ambient Design Ltd.

ArtRage

For those who want a painting app that supports iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

ArtRage offers the most advanced simulation of real paint on your iPad, taking full advantage of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil! Get creative on a digital canvas with smearing, blending oils, delicate watercolor, and much more! ArtRage allows you to create your own masterpiece without the mess and expense.

Why we love it

ArtRage is a great, full-featured painting that that supports Apple Pencil.

Put Some Color in Your Life

Your iPad is already a game machine, a portable office, and a tiny movie theater. But did you know that it can also be therapy? Coloring books are cool and acceptable for all ages now, and people use them to treat mental ailments like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. This app lets you use your Apple Pencil to take some time out and relax while still being slightly productive.

So Much to Do
Pigment - Adult Coloring Book

Pigment

Pixite Inc.

Life is boring without some Pigment

From mandalas to holidays to abstract and more, this digital coloring book has it all. Sit back, pick a coloring tool, choose your color palette, and start coloring.

Make Your Photos Shine

Everyone has a few hundred -- or thousand -- pictures on their iPhone, and some of them need a little touching up before you share them with your friends (or sell them, if you're a pro). These apps will help you use your fancy Apple Pencil to unlock full control over editing, retouching, and modifying your shots to make them as gorgeous as possible.

Pixelmator

When you need an all-in-one Photoshop experience

Pixelmator

Pixelmator-demo

For anyone who needs powerful photo editing, as well as working with digital graphics

The app has now been optimized for screens of the newest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. And the Pixelmator now also supports the double-tap gesture on the second-generation Apple Pencil that gives users quick access to actions like the eraser. When possible, the app will also respect a global setting for the gesture as well. Version 2.4.4 also fixes a trio of bugs including an issue where the noise, hue, and miniaturize effects were not working into the Photos extension. Designed for the iPhone and all iPad models, Pixelmator can be downloaded now on the App Store for free. Pixelmator is also planning a new app exclusively for iPad. Pixelmator Photo was shown off at the iPad Pro media event in October and should arrive sometime this year. The app is currently in beta testing.

Why we love it

We love Pixelmator because of the power that it provides. It's super easy and provides us with all of the tools that we would ever need to perfect our photos.

Canva - Graphic Design Creator

Edit photos, create designs, and spruce up your images with ease.

Canva - Graphic Design Creator

For those who want a tool for photos, designs, images, and more.

Canva offers a wide range of options for any creative project. From simple photo editing to extensive image design, this slick and intuitive tool lets you create and edit on the go. Save, download, share, and publish your creations easily. And with Siri support, searching is simple.

Why we love it

Canva is a great tool that makes it easy for anyone to create cool images and edit amazing photos.

It's Business Time

The Apple Pencil isn't just for making your own things; it's also great for collaborating on group projects. These apps will help you give notes, make presentations, and otherwise just get work done.