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Craft Apps for the iPhone

Reported by Rachel Johnson
I’ve been using an iPhone for several years, but never really got drawn in by the whole “App” culture. Previous to this review, I only had games and a handful of free social networking Apps on my phone, so I was excited to try out a few of the craft Apps that are available.
I tried out four Apps that are all related to scrapbooking or paper crafting in some way. The first two Apps are functional digital scrapbooking tools, and the second two are content-based Apps. Keep in mind while reading my reviews that there are inherent limitations to crafting and reading content on a small iPhone screen, which even the best Apps can’t offset.
Coolibah screen shots


Cost: Free, but you can upgrade the app for $5.99 and buy additional kits for $.99 each
Coolibah is a digital scrapbooking App that allows you to create scrapbook pages right on your iPhone or iPad, using your camera phone photos or other imported images. The free version of the App includes some free digital papers and design elements and is fun to play around with. The upgraded version has nearly limitless options when used with some of the premium kits. This is my favorite of the crafting Apps that I reviewed because of its versatility and the wide range of available design elements. (You can learn more about Coolibah on their website.)
A page I created using the Coolibah App

Pros:
  • Free version of the App is available so you can try it out before investing in the upgraded version.
  • They offer many free kits that include digital papers and embellishments, plus over 130 premium designer kits available for purchase.
  • You can save your pages and go back to work on them later.
  • With the upgraded App you can export high resolution pages to use on your computer or print.
Cons:
  • The App crashed on my phone a couple times – but my phone is old.
  • With the free version of the App all of the pages include the Coolibah watermark.

eScrap screen shots

Cost: $1.99
The eScrap App from 300dpi.com is another digital scrapbooking App similar to Coolibah. It allows you to create digital scrapbook pages directly on your iPhone using your photos and their selection of digital papers and embellishments.
A page I created using the eScrap App

Pros:
  • Offers cool filters (like black & white and sepia tone) that you can use to alter your photos.
  • Has “quick page” options that are pre-made pages that you can quickly add your photos to.
  • You can export your pages via email, or send them to Facebook or Twitter.
Cons:
  • You cannot save your pages to work on later. You must export them when you are done or you lose them.
  • Elements are difficult to resize and position.
  • The selection of design elements is limited to what comes with the original App. You can’t purchase additional design kits at this time.
  • The pages are not high resolution.
Screen shots from The Daily Digi App


Cost: Free
The Daily Digi iPhone App is an extension of the The Daily Digi website. It is basically an informational App that allows you to easily browse the website’s latest blog posts, tweets, and scrapbook page images on your iPhone. This App does not allow you to do any actual digital scrapbooking on your phone, but if you love the Daily Digi website or just want to browse crafty content on you phone it is an excellent resource! I definitely recommend it, especially since it is free!
Screen shots from the Clear & Simple Stamps App

Cost: $4.99
Clear & Simple Stamps is a website that sells variety of designer paper crafting stamps. Their corresponding iPhone App is extremely simple. It basically shows you a new stamped project each day for inspiration. The daily project also includes step-by-step project instructions and a list of the tools and stamps used. The App is nicely designed and easy to use, but you can only view one project each day and you cannot save them for later viewing. The only interactivity included in the App is the ability to buy any of the supplies used in the daily project directly from the phone. I am really unclear as to why this App costs $4.99 when there are tons of project images available for free on the Clear & Simple Stamps website and the only thing you can do with the App is buy their products. In my opinion, this App should be totally free and I would not recommend purchasing it – just visit the website instead.
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Overall, I had a lot of fun playing with these four craft Apps. They are a great way to pass some time while you are on the subway or waiting for an appointment. However, crafters who are used to doing digital scrapbooking on a large computer monitor may find the phone-sized crafting very frustrating. The Apps are definitely not a replacement for your computer-based digital scrapbooking, but they are a great on-the-go diversion.
Have you used any of these Apps? What did you think? What are you favorite craft-related mobile Apps?

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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8 Responses to Craft Apps for the iPhone

  1. SharonS July 13, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    I sure wish they’d come out with some scrapbooking apps for Droid. I have app jealousy :o)

  2. Coco July 13, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    What do you think of BAzzil’s 9.99 color matcher app? I think it’s cool but the price – yikes! If you like mixing colors, I downloaded the free Sherwin Williams app that allows you to take a photo and pull colors from the picture to create a color scheme. Obviously it’s for choosing paint colors for your home projects but you can easily save it and take it to the scrapbook store to buy your paper.

  3. susanc July 13, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    I agree with SharonS – I have a Droid & wish they would come out with more crafting apps for it. Does anyone know of any that it currently offers?

  4. Sharon July 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    I just got an iPhone 2 days ago and was spool glad to see u did an app critique. I was looking for a craft related app just last nite and couldn’t even find one. So this literally comes at a perfect time for me! I’m definitely going to try the first one. I’d love to be able to scrap a picture of my boys to use as a wallpaper or even scrap on the go to save and print or use for editing later on the computer. Thanks so much for this review.

  5. Anonymous July 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    I actually use TapnScrap on my iPhone for scrapbooking and am very pleased with it so far, it is much more user friendly than the other ones mentioned and allows multiple scrapbooks. Coolibah has a ton of elements but it takes forever to load their gallery and ends up being quite expensive.. eScrap only allows for one page, and my pictures appear blurry when i use them…

  6. Jennifer July 15, 2010 at 3:26 am #

    thanks for the great reviews! i never really thought of doing crafts on my iphone. i mainly use it for email and games. i think i might try Coolibah since it’s free. my favorite app is ToyCamera (it lets you alter pictures to make them look vintage using different filters). it’s $1.99.

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