The Apple Pencil is a life-changing device for artists, graphic designers, and anyone who loves to write or sketch. You can make the best use of this sophisticated stylus with several apps intended to create drawings, layered artwork, design, and handwritten notes. It replicates the experience of using paper but with the added benefits of easy editing, saving on the cloud, converting to different formats, etc. So, get your creativity flowing with these best Apple Pencil apps for iPad.
- Autodesk SketchBook
- Adobe Illustrator Draw
- Paper by WeTransfer
- Adobe Photoshop Sketch
- Adobe Fresco: Draw & Paint
- Astropad Standard
- Flow by Moleskine Studio
- Sketch Club
- Affinity Designer
- Inspire Pro
- PDF Expert
- Microsoft OneNote
1. Autodesk SketchBook
From quick sketches to intricate artwork, here’s an ideal app for all your creative needs. It’s packed with drawing tools and a minimalist user interface. Give free rein to your ideas and take advantage of helpful features like perspective guides, a snapping toggle, vanishing point lock, and horizon line visibility.
It supports Scan Sketch for newer iPad models and the double-tap feature of the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. Moreover, the fully-featured version of SketchBook is free to use without any annoying ads or purchases.
2. Adobe Illustrator Draw
This one’s an indispensable tool for vector artists. It boasts a plethora of customizable brushes to sketch, design, and style your art to perfection. Shape stencils speed up your process while resizable canvases let you get into extreme details.
You can even blend photos with your vector drawing layers to create unique artwork. Further, give others a glimpse into your process with the automatically generated time-lapse videos of your work.
Price: Free (CC Storage 20GB – $1.99)
3. Paper by WeTransfer
Here’s an immersive sketching app that features perfectly-tuned tools to sketch, collage, paint, draw, and explore your imagination in whatever way suits you. The intuitive gestures will aid your creative flow and help you focus, free from distractions.
And if you’re facing a block, there are tons of creative prompts, how-tos, tips, and tricks, etc. to inspire you. Furthermore, it’s incredibly easy to use, without the hassle of complex layers. Just add multiple images to a single page and cut, stick, and move them around to create masterpieces.
Price: Free (In-app Purchases start from $1.99)
4. Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Adobe is a leader in the creative software space, and Photoshop Sketch is a must-have for all the professional artists and creators out there. In addition to being a powerful photo editor, it offers 24 built-in brushes with customizable settings for size, color, opacity, and blending. Further, you can size up your canvas to an impressive 8k resolution.
You can even capture your digital drawing process in an automatically created time-lapse video. Enjoy all the power of the full-fledged desktop version of Photoshop on your iPad and create on-the-go.
Price: Free (CC Storage 20GB – $1.99)
Unleash your creativity with hundreds of brushes, innovative artistic tools, an advanced layer system, and a blazing graphics engine that keeps up with your flow. It’s one of the best Apple Pencil apps to take your art studio with you wherever you go.
Some of the notable features include super HD canvases of up to 16k by 4k on an iPad Pro, intuitive Apple Pencil interface, 250 levels of undo and redo, over a hundred customizable brush settings, and a lot more.
6. Adobe Fresco: Draw & Paint
This Adobe app has been exclusively built to be used with the Apple Pencil on your iPad. It merges the power of your favorite Photoshop brushes with the refined precision of vector brushes and innovative Live Brushes. This takes your artistic expression to the next level!
Further, it enhances the essential tools for artists such as selection and masking to make the creation process easier and faster. And when you upgrade to the Premium version, you also get access to Photoshop for iPad with automatic cloud syncing to work across devices.
Price: Free (Premium Features – $9.99)
7. Astropad Standard
This innovative Apple Pencil app lets you use your iPad to paint directly into Photoshop or other creative apps on your Mac, such as Illustrator, Corel Painter, Lightroom, etc. Just connect wirelessly or with USB for complete creative freedom.
It provides a natural drawing experience with your Apple Pencil and delivers impeccable image quality with zero compression. It’s also blazing fast to keep up with your hand movements and enhance the ease of use.
8. Flow by Moleskine Studio
If you’re a fan of the renowned Moleskin notebooks, you’ll love this app that recreates that real paper experience on your iPad. It’s ideal for creating drawings, elaborate artwork, and beautifully detailed notes all in one place.
You can choose from dozens of paper types, colors, and tools to satisfy your creative urges. Further, you can also create your custom set of easy access tools, much like a virtual pencil case.
Price: Free (Monthly Membership – $1.99)
9. Sketch Club
This one is like a virtual sketchbook packed with tools to sketch, draw, doodle, paint, and edit photos. You can work with hundreds of Layers with configurable blending, naming, and color tagging for full customization.
Further, you can find inspiration to keep creating through the community of users. Enjoy new daily drawing challenges and participate in competitions and collaborations to connect with other artists.
10. Affinity Designer
This graphic design app has been built with input from some of the world’s leading designers and packs all the power of a desktop app. Enjoy an immersive experience that will stoke your creative fire and help you get things done quickly and efficiently.
Whether you’re working on intricate illustrations, brand design, UI/UX, print projects, concept art, or something else, this app has all the tools you need. It harnesses the full power and precision of your Apple Pencil and offers blazing fast performance.
Whether you’re a mobile photographer, artist, or designer, this fully featured app can help you work some creative magic. It lets you experience with layers to create complex image compositions.
Moreover, it works seamlessly with Mac, too, so you can start creating on your iPad and then continue on your Mac if you need to. Its strength lies in how it effectively combines photo editing, painting, and graphic design into one interface.
12. Inspire Pro
Take advantage of incredibly smooth and realistic sketching, drawing, and painting experience to capture your ideas whenever inspiration strikes. This app boasts a proprietary painting engine that renders brush strokes with brilliant 64-bit color, laser-sharp sub-pixel precision, and super fast speed.
There are 150 brushes to choose from and 1000 levels of undo and redo. So, whether you are a professional artist or a beginner or somewhere in the middle, try Inspire Pro to up your illustration game.
Best Apple Pencil Apps for Taking Notes
Capture and organize all your ideas with various note-taking, journaling, and drawing tools in this leading note-taking app for Apple Pencil. It supports ink, highlighter, text, and audio.
You can create notebooks with an endless scroll and also import textbooks, documents, slides, and images to markup. It offers a precise and responsive handwriting experience for convenience anytime, anywhere.
14. PDF Expert
Leverage the power of your Apple Pencil to achieve all your PDF-related tasks with this PDF editor app. Annotate and highlight with an intuitive freehand experience while keeping the original content intact.
Customize every aspect of your documents, such as the single page view or infinite scroll. Further, it integrates with multiple cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.
Price: Free (PDF Expert PRO – $6.99)
15. Microsoft OneNote
Microsoft may be one of Apple’s arch competitors, but it also offers this fantastic Apple Pencil app for your note-taking needs. It lets you capture anything quickly and efficiently to stay organized and informed.
You can use a variety of pen colors and custom settings to create beautiful drawings and handwritten notes. Organize everything the way you like and add some security with a password or TouchID.
Which Apple Pencil apps fulfill your artistic needs? Share with us in the comments below. And consider getting a handy holder for your Apple Pencil so that you never lose sight of it when working.
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