iPad Pro apps for creative people, Shapr3D, Concepts, Procreate

Creating something from nothing is never easy. Take me, for example: I wanted to write this article, I had a clear and actionable goal, but still, I was struggling to type the first few letters and this is only a short piece on how technology (7 apps to be more precise) can help you create art.

I’m a huge fan of the iPad Pro, as it suits my lifestyle. In today’s era of mobility I don’t like to sit in front of a desk all day, but I want to do good work and finish my tasks on time. The iPad Pro, with it’s enhanced computing power and the Apple Pencil give me just enough to live without a desktop solution. Even if it’s just for a short period of time when I travel or meet clients.

In this article, I want to show you 7 apps, that help me throughout the day. I’ll start with the ideation phase, and will end with the creation phase. Some of these are well-known apps, some are not.

My aim is to show you what things you can do on the iPad Pro that you never imagined you could and how you should build your workflow around this device.

The ideation phase

These apps are for the times, when you’re just staring at the blank canvas, and nothing comes to your mind. They are a well-organized resources of creative talent, which will help you overcome a tough mental block if you have one.

Red Dot Design App (Free)

A library of the latest and most trending designs. Several hundred products and communication designs were made searchable and bookmarkable.

GrabCAD (Free)

Probably the biggest community of CAD professionals, where they share and view the latest models. Usually you can download the files and implement their solutions to yours.

Sketching away

Now that you have a slight idea about what you want to do, it’s time to get to work. These two apps have different strengths, but both are able to help you in this sensitive phase. Concept gives you the smartest sketching tool available, and Paper gives you a vast amount of features, so no notes will be lost.

Concepts (Free to download, In-app purchases)

A cool app, with a carefully selected tool set to take care of all your sketching needs and more. They call it smart sketching, and it borrows elements of different industries, e.g. CAD, to make the sketching more productive, and immediately actionable, with easy annotations, adjustments and multiple ways of sketching.

Paper by 53 (Free)

It is first and foremost a notetaking app, but it compiles several other features into a free phase tool. You can make notes (by typing or handwritten), create good-enough drawings, and do some very basic, but rather useful photo editing (resizing, spotlight – just what you need for quick notes)

The creation phase

The last phase (at least by the taxonomy of this article) is sitting down and creating the work you dreamt about. These solutions give you an almost comparable alternative to their desktop competitors. Drawing in 3D, painting and image editing.

Procreate (5.99$)

Procreate is the most complete painting/drawing app for the iPad Pro. It’s simple and straightforward, and it gives you a robust solution to create your illustrations on the go, with a natural hand-drawn experience, thanks to their cool Apple Pencil integration.

Pixelmator (4.99$)

Probably the best Photoshop alternative for the iPad. It is a multi-layer, full blown image editing software. Adobe doesn’t concentrate much on mobile solutions, so if you need one, this will be it. It does run on all iPads, but some memory consuming tasks justify the sole usage of the iPad Pro.

Shapr3D (Free to download, In-app purchases)

Shapr3D is a 3D modeling app made solely for the iPad Pro. It makes 3D modeling and CAD usage fairly easy, while it remains precise. A unique case for an app that was made for everyone, CAD newbies and CAD veterans can use it as well to easily create and manipulate 3D objects.


These apps will make your iPad Pro a professional workspace, and will not only be a good enough substitute for your desktop environment, but with a cool, new input device, and better computing power, it will give you a totally new experience. The app ecosphere is catching up to the hardware, and now there are cool new, sometimes even exclusive software running on it. The iPad Pro won’t just be different, but it will add to your workflow.