If any aspect of your job involves design, get ready to install a few new iPhone applications. In this bumper roundup we will be taking an in-depth look at fifty apps for web designers. They fall into categories including FTP and Storage, Colors and Design, Fonts and Typography, Coding, Site Analytics, and various others.
While most of the apps are free, a few will require that you fork over a couple of dollars. Even if you’re not into web design, there are some really useful apps mentioned below that may be of interest to you. Here we go!
Looking for a few free apps to help with your web design business? Check out our roundup of 100 free iPhone apps for some great productivity enhancers and handy utilities.
I’m sure many of you (this includes myself) have been out running errands when all of a sudden you remember a client’s site needed to have changes done to it (or a client calls you in dire need of immediate changes to code on his site).
FTP On the Go is a great app that allows you to FTP with your iPhone or iPod touch. View files on the server and make changes to code all from your device. A built-in browser allows you to see your changes before committing to them. For the price, this app could save you a lot of time and money, leaving your clients very impressed!
Dropbox has been around for some time – not only on the iPhone, but as a web app. This free utility is great for collaboration and sharing of files. With the ability to share a link to a file (whether it be HTML, a photo, etc) with a client via email and have it hosted by a third party, Dropbox makes file sharing easy. 2GB of free storage is offered and all you need to sign up is an email address. Paid accounts can enjoy up to 100GB of storage.
ServersMan allows you to use your iPhone or iPod touch like it’s a thumb drive. Store files just as you would on a flash drive, but wirelessly via Wi-Fi or 3G. This app uses your computer’s browser to access your device. Another cool feature is that the app can upload files to a subdirectory on ServerMan’s site and push them live and on the net immediately. ServersMan recognizes the following file types: Office and Word Docs, iWork, PDFs, HTML, CSS, JS, XML and media such as pictures, music and videos.
Similar to Dropbox (not just in name), this app is a great online file sharing tool that makes collaboration just that much easier. It lets you view Word docs, PDFs, PowerPoints and images all while on the go. Box.net allows you to share a specific file or a group of files through a link. The most valuable feature: comments. Box.net shows other people comment on files – this make sharing and collaboration flow very well!
- Here, File File – Makes all your Mac’s applications available to you from anywhere. It won’t connect to server, but works great for grabbing a client file from your home computer.
- PasteBot – For keeping a clipboard in-sync between your Mac and iPhone. It’s gorgeously designed to boot.
- ezShare Pro – Not the prettiest of interfaces, but this app connects to a huge range of different types of server and network.
- Cumulus – A friendly pocket companion to your Amazon S3 storage, letting you browse buckets, add/edit/remove files, and alter access levels.
Colors and Design
It would be a mistake not to include this one! I’m sure every web designer has come in contact with Photoshop on the PC or Mac so why not have it on your iPhone too? Now, don’t get too excited as there’s only basic features in this app such as crop, rotate and color settings, but Adobe seems to be rolling out updates with more features as time goes on. If sharing is important to you then consider creating an account at Photoshop.com with 2GB of free storage and sharing.
For the price, this small, lightweight app can pay for itself in no time. In one swipe of the finger, ColorSutra gives you a set of harmonious colors based on just one single color. It also gives you the ability to save colors and color sets and display hex, RGB and CMYK values. You can even pick colors from a photos and images in your iPod or iPhone’s camera roll.
Similar to the above (but better in my opinion) is Peppermint – another lightweight color app designed to help you pick the right set of colors. The app consists of a color wheel, hex, RGB, HSV and CMYK values, bookmarks and a photo color picker.
Price: On Sale Now for $0.99!
The most powerful and useful color app mentioned here, cliqcliq Colors has a great GUI that inspires good design simply through its interface. Emailing color palettes to yourself or friends make sharing easy. The app claims to be similar to Adobe’s Kuler (I am a huge fan of this site!) but a great alternative to a desktop application in its ability to run on the on the iPhone. If designing with the right colors is important to you, consider cliqcliq.
- Brushes – A gorgeous drawing application that was recently used to illustrate the cover of the New Yorker. Acclaim indeed!
- Sketchbook Mobile – Another drawing application that we recently reviewed, packed with different brushes, styles, and a natural interface.
- Color Shuffle – Like shuffling music, only you’re shuffling colours. Great when you’re completely stuck for inspiration.
- Whiteboard Lite – A collaborative drawing app for working alongside someone else over your network. Gimmicky, but a fun design tool.
Fonts and Typography
With over 650 font families to sort through and look at, FontShuffle is sure to help you find that perfect font to fill that heading tag or blockqoute text. The app uses font’s similarities to help you pick one you like the most. Shaking your iPod touch or iPhone mixes up your fonts and adds new ones to the group. The list of fonts is constantly updated which means you can stay on the cutting edge with your designs.
If you haven’t already used the web based version of this app then do yourself a favor and check it out. The iPhone version is similar and uses images from a specific online file or photo from your iPhone to track down and detect “What the Font” that font is. If you find a font you love while browsing the web on your iPhone, simply take a screenshot by holding the hold and home keys at the same time then use that image file to upload a shot of the text to What the Font.
For those of you who hate typography and need some help with it, or those of who just like the art, The Typography Manual is a great resource to help you with your fonts. Even if you think you know fonts well, the manual has many useful bits of information and may have something to teach you. The app goes over the history of type and special characters as well.
FinDaFont, Dafont’s (DaFont.com) iPhone app lets you search their whole database of hundreds of thousands of fonts. With this app you can preview what your font will look like in multiple type faces and is the only app that allows users to display fonts that are not installed on the device. Bookmarking lets you mark fonts for future use and fonts may also be emailed as zipped files via the app.
- TouchFonts – Listing every font available on the iPhone – very useful for those looking to reproduce text accurately on the screen.
- The Font Game – Something any self-respecting designer should be using to kill time. A fun typography quiz!
- TypeDrawing – A bizarre application that draws using typography as you touch your iPhone screen. A thoroughly novel concept!
Programming & Development
As a web designer and developer I constantly find myself hitting CMD + U to view a page’s source. I can’t tell you how many times web source has come in handy when needing to do so from my iPhone. All you need to do is point the app in the direction of the URL and it will spit out the source code – simple as that. No color coding like while inside Coda or Dreamweaver, but code nonetheless.
Almost the same as “Web Source Viewer,” but this app allows for a bit more in depth inspection of the DOM. Another great feature is the color-coding that keeps your eyes from getting lost.
With the recent release of jQuery 1.4, designers and developers are bound to have questions about the new features and documentation. This app is perfect for quickly accessing this information and having it right at your fingertips. Its an extremely simple app and is very lightweight, but it really gets the job done and is nicely organized.
Even while I hand-code all of my HTML and CSS I still find myself sometimes in the need for a little hint as to the exact term or syntax of code (“Is it ‘background:url:(…” or “background:url(…?), so I find this app useful.
Same as above, but for HTML. Sometimes we all need that little hint to let us know our code is on point!
- SQL Touch – A database viewing application, for analysing your MySQL database on-the-go.
- Database Viewer Plus Lite – A mouthful of a name, but another handy app for interacting with your database.
- SourceMaster – A web browser that displays source code rather than the visual page. Basic, but it might be just what you need.
Statistics & Analytics
A tad pricey, but oh boy, this is the app in my arsenal that sees the most use. Linking to Google Analytics, Analytics App keeps you up to date on all the stats you know and love. The interface is clean and simple and allows for a quick view of today’s and yesterday’s stats. This app makes accessing Google Analytics from your iPhone or iPod touch so much faster and seamless than doing so in Safari.
Like Google Analytics, but lightweight (and less intrusive mind you) is Mint Stats. Mint, the “smaller” analytics platform is great for developers and designers who don’t need or want all that Google has to offer. Mint Stats’ table view makes viewing your data simple and fun.
For those of you who want a free analytics app but want more than what Mint offers, consider Analytics Agent. Sure the ads may get a bit annoying, but you get what you pay for and most of the valuable information is still all there for you to view. The interface can be a bit clunky at times, but all in all, a great app for the cost.
Price: Free / $4.99
BAM offers free and paid versions of their app that links to the Google Analytics API. I have read many reviews on the free version of the app crashing frequently but it's worth giving a try to see if it works for you. With this app you may filter through content, dates etc.
- Analytics Pro – Another solid application for digging into your Analytics data, with a friendly interface.
- Birdbrain Twitter Statistics – Another tracking tool, this time for Twitter. It shows all manner of information relating to friends, followers, and mentions.
- Stat Fever – A simple way to monitor the performance of multiple FeedBurner feeds over time.
Web Tools is a great, all in one, web kit offering services such as whois lookup, domain name availability searches and server information. You are also able to view the IP address location of a specific server via Google Maps. Another great feature is being able to mark domain names as favorites and emailing them.
The ultimate, all-in-one bundle of mostly everything web designers love. Ego compiles a collection of web stats including support for Ember, Feedburner, Google Analytics, Mint, Squarespace, Twitter and Vimeo. Think of Ego as your one stop shop for all your web statistics.
Not a necessity, but a great way to stay up to date with the latest web trends and technology. This RSS reader is able to sync with Google Reader, NetNewsWire for Mac and FeedDamon on PC – so once you’ve read an article on your iPhone, it will be marked read on your computer as well. Note that this free version does have ads, and the paid version does not.
A whopping ten bucks, but oh how sweet this “mind mapping” tool is. iBlueSky has come out with a really cool app that allows you to create awesome maps and brainstorming models that are full of color and can be exported as many different file types. Imagine having only your iPhone or iPod touch on hand but being able to create a detailed wireframes with no problem.
Share Your Favourites!
Does a particular application we’ve featured make your life easier? Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you prefer any other software not listed, be sure to let our other readers know about it!