In the spirit of the holidays I give to you my list of "Top 15 iPad Apps for the Writer/Illustrator." (1 thru 6)
If you are lucky enough to receive an iPad for Christmas, or even if you already own one, this list of mostly unknown apps is for you.
Here they are:
15 Apps for iPad I cannot do without.
Let’s start with 1 thru 6, “The Workhorse Apps.”
1. iA Writer - I am using iA Writer this very minute to write this post.
When attached to an iPad keyboard as shown in this picture – iA Writer turns your iPad into a typewriter.
Most illustrator/artists find it hard to type at their computers because of all the drawing equipment in front of their monitors. With iA Writer, I can concentrate on my words, and see what I am typing directly in front of me. It's very bare-bones, but that's what I like about it. You can take it anywhere, and once you're done, you can e-mail the text to your computer or save it to Office or Page. I use this app more than any other app on my iPad. Why? Because it allows me to really, really focus on writing - and that makes it my No.1 favorite app on the list!
2. Sound Note – This app runs a close second. It is a sound recorder/note-taker.
Whenever I attend a lecture, I record audio which is synced to my notes as I am writing them down. Later, when I need to write an article, or reference something, I can listen back to the exact part of the speech I am interested in, without making a mistake.
I also use this app to record almost all of my "thinking aloud." Exact phrasing can be very important when you write picture books or when you are working on dialogue. If you are like me and don't always trust your memory to remember everything exactly, then SoundNote (or a similar app) is a great tool.
3. LookBook Portfolio - I am one of those people who literally carried around a huge 24" by 19" portfolio wherever I went - just in case. LookBook was the first portfolio app for iPad I found, and it is still my favorite.
You can create different portfolios for different types of illustrations and paintings, and I love the way it slides between pictures. Again, it's very basic, but the iPad display is stunning and you can really zoom in on a picture to show your clients details. My LookBook portfolio has already gotten me work and sold paintings. I use it as a template for my website. I love it.
4. Strip Designer - This is an app for creating comic strips, cartoons, and basic graphic novel pages. I know it sounds silly - but I use this app a lot. The templates are perfectly suited for creating bookmarks, postcards, thumbnails for website buttons, and photos which need to be shown in sequence (for insert into a blog or webpage.) I guess you could use it for cartoons too – but I never have. Strip Designer is a huge timesaver for those of us who need handy, ready-made layouts on-the-go.
5. SketchBook Pro - Of course, of course. SketchBook Pro. Need I say more. Personally, I use it only when I am doing a quick schematic or trying to explain something to someone. I still prefer paper and pencil for my real sketches. But, I did use it recently to explain to some friends how a DIY stylus works.
If you don't have your paper sketchbook, I'm sure it will work in a pinch. The responsiveness is good, and the pencil/pen values are excellent. Very powerful. It also has layers and allows you to save you work and export it back to your computer. Now, it goes without saying, that you should probably get an iPad stylus for your drawing apps. Sketchbook Pro works beautifully and I'm sure it has a great many more capabilities.
6. FlipBoard – FlipBoard turned out to be the biggest, best surprise of all. This app manages your news content in a magazine format. It is so hard to explain – that I am just going to show it to you.
You can subscribe to magazines that are already affiliated with FlipBoard or you can create content on your own by 1) going to add new section and 2) entering your twitter name or a twitter name that you want to follow.
My twitter name is “@SpaceAir101,” so I typed in “@SpaceAir101” and clicked on the name. This is what my page looked like.
Very cool. I am able to follow art news and children’s lit information. It updates automatically, and it’s all at my fingertips. Just wonderful!
Next week, I will list 7-12 – “Gadgets and Tricks.”
The reason I got the iPad in the first place was to see what picture books looked like in a digital reader format. And it has been an eye-opener. But, I had no idea that the iPad would become such an integral part of my everyday work. I hope this helps you if you are just getting started, or if you haven't had the time to really investigate some of these handy "off-the-beaten-track" apps.
*An added note. I also use Office² HD, Dropbox, Pages, Keynote, Corkulous, and many other really great apps that help keep things organized and running smoothly. Of course, apps are always a matter of preference. I recommended these because they work well for me.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope you get a lot of wonderful work done this year!
Carolyn Dee Flores