Between this site and my illustration blog theCarryAll, I often find myself creating posts on my iPhone during the down moments of a day: during a long car trip; on a lunch break; in waiting rooms or check-out lines. Because of that, I’ve developed a workflow that makes use of a range of iOS apps; some of them are workhorses that do many things well, while others are narrowly focused apps that excel in one or two areas. Here are a few of them.
My everyday, go-to editing app. Absolutely amazing in both how much it does (color correction, crops, sharpening, center-focus, tilt-shift, filters, etc) and in how well it does it. Nearly every image on both my sites has passed through Snapseed at some point.
More complicated than Snapseed, I use these not for everyday edits, but for when I need something like Layer and Masks support (Photoforge2) or a Clone Stamp (Photogene2). I also use Photoforge2 for its Curves support—great for tweaking color images with fine control. Probably more complicated than most users want.
The only app you’ll need for text-on-photos. Add as much as you’d like, import your own fonts (a must for anyone with any interest in typography—no app will have it all), style your text, adjust kerning and line spacing, opacity, and more.
Screenshot: A bit of a specialty app, but one I use often when reviewing apps on my site. Both of these use your own screenshots and place them in an image frame for a device of your choosing.
Create photo sets of multiple images, using over 50 different adjustable layouts. Change border color and width, corner radius, etc. Great for side-by-side photo comparisons as well as more artistic collections. Often used in conjunction with Screenshot (see above) to produce the device images on jackjohnbrown.com
Create black-and-white line drawings from your photos (color can be painted back in later if desired). Great controls for adjusting line width, black/white/grey ratios, etc. Much more refined than most “cartoon-ify” apps.
Censor Pro: A pixelation app, Censor Pro was designed primarily as a tool for obscuring private information in photos, but I use it mostly to create abstracted versions of famous paintings. (A special thanks to Censor Pro developer Kevin Lawson for inspiring this post; a recent update to his app added a feature that arose from our correspondence, and the new functionality made me realize how much I rely on mobile apps for my everyday creative duties.)
Superimpose: Similar to Photoforge2’s Layers/Masks options but easier to use in many situations. Most often I use it to isolate an image, delete the surrounding background, and place the remaining image on a new background. Many of the album covers at theCarryAll were done primarily with Superimpose before being further edited with the apps above.
And last but not least, Tumblita makes it easy to post it all up to Tumblr, where I host my sites. Support for multiple accounts and some extra features still missing from the official app make Tumblita a great app for anyone who needs a serious on-the-go solution to managing multiple Tumblrs.
Since its inception, Messages+ (the SMS replacement app from developer team Intelliborn) has been bundled into the larger IntelliScreenX app—purchase a license for the latter and you were able to use Messages+ as part of the ISX experience. But should you decide you only wanted to use the SMS plug-in, you were out of luck; Intelliborn forced users to buy a separate license if they wanted a standalone Messages+ app.
As of today—thanks largely to Cydia creator Jay Freeman—that has changed. Read the details after the jump.
The /r/iOSthemes section of reddit has quickly become a breeding ground for some of the newest tweaks and themes in the iOS world, giving new designers a platform to get their work in front an eager crowd. The results have been pretty spectacular.
This week, user Dekesto announced a work in progress BiteSMS theme that proved extremely popular—a then-unnamed, off-white, minimalistic theme. A few days later—now going by the name Imperial—it was done and released to Cydia on Dekesto’s own repo. To grab it for yourself, add the following repo to your Cydia sources—and be sure to keep an eye on /r/iOSthemes for future releases: http://cydia.myrepospace.com/dekesto/
One note: The keyboard shown above is not part of the theme. Instead, it comes from the FlatIcons ColorKeyboard theme. To use it you’ll need Color Keyboard, FlatIcons, and FlatIcons ColorKeyboard.
Now available in Cydia, LS Frost is an iPhone 5 friendly port of an old favorite. My version resizes the original theme, but also adds a new twist: the secondary notification stack has been relocated to the top of the display so it doesn’t overlap the central display.
It’s out now in the ModMyi repo. For installation tips, have a look at the FAQ here.
Lock screen themes have long been a popular customization for people using jailbroken iPhones, offering a simple way to change up the look of your device as well as add functionality through lock screen weather widgets and enhanced notification schemes. But for users who don’t write code—which is most people—this has always meant using a theme constructed by somebody else. Not any more.
Clock Builder is an App Store app with a secret. Designed as a way to build a customized in-app clock, the app allows users to customize their clock, calendar, and weather icons, choosing from a variety of fonts and graphic styles as they move each element around the screen. Once the layout is done, the app functions as a simple way to view time and weather—but only within the app. Unless you’re using a jailbroken device. That’s where things get really interesting.