Working Exclusively With The New iPad

As I am a complete tool, I have been waiting a whole month to get broadband transferred to my new flat. After hours and hours talking to India trying to explain that they could just contact the switchboard to turn it on, exhausted and frustrated, I gave up and bought an iPad.

‘What’s the point without Wifi?’ I hear you cry. Well, there’s always jail broken iPhone tethering to save the day. Anyway, here’s a list of the iPad apps I found essential as a designer:

1. iMockups
Wireframing is back in, and great for quickly mocking up layout designs for customers. The UI is great, would be better with more colour flexibility etc but definitely worth the £4.99.


2. Penultimate
Another great wire framing/quick sketch app but includes more colour functionality and pens. Has a graph paper option which is great for creating grid layouts and the best thing is that you can import photos from your camera library into it to design with and around. Great for making quick notes and for annotating any screenshots of inspiration. It would be better with zoom capability and handwriting recognition/smoothing like ‘paper’ but it’s definitely close to my heart (also fun when you take it to the pub).


3. Palette
A very simple but effective colour palette (could you guess by the name?) which lets you preview on both light (#fff) and dark (#000) backgrounds. Providing both hex and RGB values is cool but the select and copy function’s quite fiddly- but what do you expect from a free app?


4. Diet Coda
Don’t be put off by the £13.99 price tag, it’s a great app to make changes on the go. But don’t be too optimistic – it’s for editing/modifying and isn’t good at designing from scratch… I mean just imagine typing out 1000+ stylesheet lines on an iPad… There have been some upsetting reviews regarding poor FTP support but to be honest I haven’t needed it really, so I can’t comment. If you’re not totally sold, get gusto- it’s cheaper and although it doesn’t have as many features it’s pretty good at doing the basics.


5. Chrome
Chrome is a must have for the iPad its UI is great to use and fast loading. Using website editing with a CMS is much better than in safari, it doesn’t crash as often and is much prettier. However, there are some jquery elements which aren’t supported yet- hopefully this’ll be rectified very soon…


6. Typefaces
A useful app for viewing native iOS typefaces. It’s good if you don’t use webfonts but for me, not being able to add custom fonts (in particular beautiful ampersands) is extremely frustrating.


7. Zite
An amazing tailored magazine app which links with your twitter account to instantly provide you with information you are actually interested in. It’s customisable too which means you can block and incoming news from The Sun or The Daily Fail. Amazing app for inspiration (as I’m sure Dribbblr is- but I’m not drafted [can anyone hear a small violin?]) and for keeping on top of the latest typography, graphic design and web trends and news. And IT’S FREE!


So that concludes my review of using an iPad exclusively for the weekend, but please, it’s much easier just to get a better broadband provider (not TalkTalk)!


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