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Apps for Stage and Performing Arts Designers

Top apps to help designers spark that creative impulse


Designer in studio studying data on digital tablet
Thomas Barwick/Iconica/Getty Images

When it comes to apps for Android and iPhone markets, designers require choices that satisfy exacting standards and meet technical demands, while also sparking the creative impulse. This is especially true in the performing arts, whose designers require mobility and functionality for ease of use even in the midst of the chaos of rehearsals, preparations and planning.

Luckily, there are some amazing apps out there now that are streamlined and smart, and which can offer designers everything from inspiration or information, to the technical tools to sketch, plan, dream, and more.

AutoCad WS
Developer: Autodesk Inc.
Developer's Website: http://www.autodesk.com/autocadws
Listing (iTunes): http://www.autodesk.com/autocadws
Android Listing (Google Play): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.autodesk.autocadws
Requirements (iPhone/iPad): Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later
Requirements (Android): Android 2.1 and up
Price: Free

Description: AutoCAD WS enables users to easily view, edit, and share AutoCAD drawings with anyone, anywhere using their mobile devices. Annotate and revise drawings in the office, in the field, or in a meeting. The app allows you to work on designs without an internet connection, and easily open DWG, DWF, and DXF files directly from email. Simplify design creation, review, and approval using powerful, built-in social design collaboration tools, and unleash the power of AutoCAD design beyond the desktop.

Developer: AutoQ3D Team
Developer’s Website: http://www.autoq3d.com
Developer Support: support[at]autoq3d.com
Listing (Google Play): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pkg.AutoQ3D&feature=also_installed#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwNCwicGtnLkF1dG9RM0QiXQ..
Requirements: Android 2.1 and up
Price: $30

Description: AutoQ3D CAD is a full CAD software tool designed to help users create 2D and 3D technical drawings, and can be used for sketching designs as well. Designed for us by everyone from architects, engineers, designers, and professionals to students, hobbyists and more.

Fotopedia Heritage
Developer: Fotonauts Inc.
Developer’s Website: http://www.fotopedia.com/ios/heritage
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fotopedia-heritage/id383327395?mt=8
Price: Free

Description: Fotopedia Heritage, an Apple Hall of Fame app, offers 30,000 awe-inspiring photos for inspiration and reference, serving as everything from an entertaining photobook to an inspiring travel guide and more.

Freeform - The Vector Drawing App
Developer: Stunt Software
Developer’s Website: http://stuntsoftware.com/freeform/
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/freeform-vector-drawing-app/id364875544?mt=8
Price: $9.99

Description: Freeform is a vector drawing tool for the iPad that enables the creation of quick sketches, mockups, or diagrams. Drawings can be exported via e-mail in JPG, PNG, or PDF formats, or saved to the user’s photo library.

Developer: TouchAware Limited
Developer’s Website: http://www.touchaware.com/apps/idesign
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/idesign/id342790226?mt=8
Price: $4.99

Description: iDesign offers Precision 2D vector drawing and design for the iPad and iPhone or iPod Touch. The app enablese the creation of professional-quality designs, illustrations and technical drawings on the move. iDesign has unique features and offset controls which allow users to draw accurately even in an app.

Developer: Indeeo, Inc.
Developer’s Website: http://www.indeeo.com/idraw/
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/idraw/id363317633?mt=8
Price: $8.99

Description: iDraw is a feature-packed vector drawing and illustration app available on the iPad, with support for Layers, Text, Images, Multi-color Gradients, Brushes, a powerful Bezier Pen Tool, fully customizable Canvas Styles, Clipping, PDF export, and much more.

Moodboard Pro
Developer: A Tiny Tribe llc.
Developer’s Website: http://www.atinytribe.com/apps/moodboard
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moodboard/id355893506?mt=8
Price: $9.99

Description: Moodboard is a terrific app for creating mood and inspiration boards on the iPad. The latest version features support for the new Retina Display, and enables users to collect, organize, and share the things that inspire them.

Developer: Pantone
Developer’s Website: http://www.pantone.com/
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mypantone/id329515634?mt=8
Requirements: Compatible with the iPhone™, iPod Touch® and iPad mobile digital devices. Requires iOS 4.2.1 or later.
Price: $9.99

Description: With Portable Color Memory, myPANTONE offers access to a library and reference of over 13,000 PANTONE Colors, including the PANTONE PLUS SERIES and Fashion + Home colors. Users can easily create color palettes for inspiration and share them with friends, clients and vendors. myPANTONE offers designers and color-conscious consumers a way to cross-reference libraries and take PANTONE colors with them wherever they go.

Developer: Evernote
Developer’s Website: http://evernote.com/penultimate
Developer Support Contact: http://evernote.com/contact/support
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/penultimate/id354098826?mt=8
Price: $.99

Description: The original, popular handwriting app for the iPad, Penultimate gives users the swift, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility. Using Penultimate, users can take notes, keep sketches, or share breakthrough ideas, in the office, on the go, or home on the sofa.

ShowTool Swatch
Developer: Daniel Murfin
Developer’s Website: http://www.dsmurfin.co.uk/showtoolswatch-home/
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/showtool-swatch/id519688652?mt=8
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
Price: $6.49

Description: ShowTool Swatch brings the gel swatch book to life in the mobile environment, and is an easy and beautiful way of viewing important information, enabling users to share ideas with friends or to send orders straight to a local dealer.

SketchBook Mobile (Android)
Developer: Autodesk Inc.
Developer’s Website: http://m.autodesk.com/sketchbook/
Listing (Google Play): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sketchbook&feature=more_from_developer
Requirements: Requires a multi-touch device running Android 2.1 or above. Recommended devices include: 1GHz processor, 512mb RAM
Price: $1.99

Description: Users get the chance to unleash their creativity with SketchBook Mobile for Android, which is a professional-grade paint and drawing application offering a full set of sketching tools and a streamlined and intuitive user interface.

SketchBook Pro for iPad
Developer: Autodesk Inc.
Developer’s Website: http://m.autodesk.com/sketchbook/
Listing (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sketchbook-pro-for-ipad/id364253478?mt=8
Price: $1.99

Description: As a useful app for digital artists, SketchBook Pro for the iPad packs a rich feature set into a surprisingly intuitive interface. SketchBook Pro for the iPad is a professional-grade paint and drawing application that uses the same paint engine as its desktop counterpart, SketchBook Pro, and which delivers a complete set of sketching and painting tools through an intuitive and nicely streamlined user interface designed specifically for the iPad experience.

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