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17 July 2020

Designer + Developer + iPad Pro = Awesomeness

iPad Pro

Designers and developers say hello to the new world of the iPad Pro. This is one amazing portable piece of equipment, and paired with the Magic keyboard and Pencil you will never look back.

The latest iPad Pro has changed from just being a tablet to being a computer, as a software upgrade gave the iPad Pro a cursor and that changed everything. It can do pretty much all the things you can do on a laptop computer. It will never replace a desktop computer with the large screens and processing power but for everyday use and portability it’s pretty amazing. 

It’s great for both designers and developers thanks to the huge range of apps that are now available. With the largest iPad Pro, it’s the same size as most laptop computers but with an extremely high quality touch screen it makes for an interesting world of possibilities.

Designing on the iPad has been pretty good for a couple of years with the use of the Apple Pencil, it’s like using pen and paper. Now with the cursor this makes it even easier for us to experiment and create beautiful designs on the iPad Pro. Here are our top designer apps that will help you put the Pro in your iPad Pro:

Affinity Designer

Our favourite design app, it has everything you need to design on the iPad. It’s like photoshop and illustrator (desktop version) in one, but even better. You can create stunning illustrations, logos, icons, UX layouts and website graphics. This app has won an Apple design award.

Affinity Photo

An incredibly fast and powerful photo editing app. You can retouch, correct, add filters, brushes and textures to your photos. Again, this app has won Apple iPad app of the year.

Procreate

With Procreate, the world is your studio. This app gives you the power to create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations. This has also won Apple App of the Year.

iFont maker

We love this font designer app. You can create your own handmade typefaces and they are ready to install on your computers or export as a web font to embed into your website.

 

As an aside, we are sorely disappointed with the Adobe suite on the iPad, as all apps are pretty limited to what you can do, not at all like their sister desktop apps. Why Adobe would shun a creative device that is so powerful we’re not sure, but it has fostered a world of new and compelling creative apps that stand to be the next generation of tools for design professionals.

iPad pro

Developing on the iPad really does depend on your development setup generally. We use AWS and GIT for all development work so it’s an easy transition to the iPad as everything is stored remotely. The Magic Keyboard and cursor upgrade has made it much easier to code and move around markup documents on the iPad Pro. Here are our top developer apps:

Working copy

Our favourite development app, used for our GIT repositories. You can push, pull, comment and even make code changes straight in the app, it’s great for the development workflow.

Textastic

In conjunction with working copy, to edit all files from the GIT repository, with the advantage of tabs like on any desktop coding program, so you can work on multiple files at the same time.

AWS console

Great app if you use AWS, you can login to your console; add, edit, update and reboot servers straight from the app. Very handy to have when you’re on the go.

Inspect Browser

A web browser that provides developer tools to inspect a website. You can inspect HTML, CSS, it has a javascript console and even device previews.

 

The only thing missing from the iPad from a development perspective is being able to run your code locally, e.g. run a local server. We’re hoping someone creates an app to do this, or if you know of one, let us know!

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