4 Of The Best Essential Design Apps You Need To Download For Your Smartphone

Graphic Design

These are the 4 essential design apps I have installed on my smartphone that will help you to deliver high-quality and consistent designs on the go.

Making sure that your brand looks good on the go has never been easier thanks to the power and variety of design apps available for iOS and Android devices. Let's dive in and take a look at some of the best design apps available in 2020.

Essential Design App #1: Adobe Lightroom

First up is Adobe's Lightroom app. This one's a no-brainer for anyone who wants to take their smartphone photos to the next level by giving them a polished, professional finish.

The free version of the Lightroom app is available on both iOS and Android and makes photo retouching a breeze with powerful tools like selective colour mixing.

Not all of the features are available for free though – you'll have to purchase a subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud or Lightroom to unlock the full functionality, including some of the geometry features that help straighten out photos with a crooked horizon.

a person taking a photo of food before they use one of the essential design apps to edit it

Essential Design App #2: Plann

Now that you've got the perfect photo, you'll probably want to share it on social media. Plann is a handy app that helps you to plan and visualise an Instagram post grid by allowing you to layout photos before they're posted publicly on Instagram.

This app is great if you've decided to do a triptych of photos in a single row or want to have content that spans multiple rows. By getting to see how your feed will look before a photo is uploaded, you should limit the number of posts that you will need to remove at a later date to preserve your picture-perfect timeline.

This app can be downloaded on iOS and Android.

Essential Design App #3: Adobe Photoshop Express

For those looking for an app with more functionality than what Lightroom offers, Adobe Photoshop Express could be the app to turn to.

Photoshop Express has additional features compared with Adobe's photo retouching app, including a text editor, photo collage and the ability to remove haze from photos.

While not quite as powerful as Adobe's iPad Photoshop app – which runs a stripped-down version of the desktop software – having access to the Photoshop Express app on my smartphone has gotten me out of a design jam in the past.

Download Photoshop Express for iOS or Android.

Two instances of the same woman holding a neon light which was made using an essential design app

Essential Design App #4: Canva

Canva is a free app and website that offers a great selection of design templates to choose from as a starting point in creating graphics for social media, presentations and more.

Canva isn't quite as powerful as Photoshop, for instance, but it does offer some useful features including animated visuals and an option to export graphics as a video – which is something that works great for Instagram Story content – adding motion and intrigue to what would otherwise be a static graphic.

You can check out Canva on iOS or Android.

Those are four of the essential design apps I keep loaded on my phone to help make sure that I'm able to deliver high-quality branded content, even when I'm on the go.

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