15 of the Best Apps for Apple Pencil Users

Best Apps for Apple Pencil

In addition to the standard features of every iPad, Apple offers an optional stylus called the Apple Pencil ($99).

The precision and power of this device have made it popular among artists and students. 

If you use this nifty tool, it’s important to have the right apps on your device that are compatible with the Apple Pencil.

With so many choices, here are the best apps for Apple Pencil.

1. Sketch club

A drawing app, Sketch Club, allows you to create works of art with your Apple Pencil easily. Sketch Club features other apps that lack great features, like shading, transparency, and gradients.

If you need more textures to draw with, many packs are available as in-app purchases. If you want something more free and low-key, 

This is one of the best apps for Apple Pencil because it only costs $3.99. It also allows you to import photos to sketch over! You can also live stream and chat for feedback while drawing.

2. Nebo

Nebo provides a drawing and text-editing app with a wide range of customizable brush styles and effects.

Nebo’s drawing tools are powerful enough to mimic photorealistic illustrations while still being easy to use. This makes it an excellent choice for artists as well as casual doodlers. 

Also, if you need to annotate your illustrations or add notes to your work, Nebo will let you.  You can type or handwrite right on top of the canvas.

When you have finished editing or drawing on one page in Nebo, a button at the bottom lets you save the file directly into Pages.

However, if there is any drawback with Nebo, it is that some users find its menus and layout confusing at first. Especially those used to more traditional illustration programs.

3. Pixelmator

Pixelmator may not be a well-known app compared to some of the others on this list of best apps for Apple Pencil. It deserves recognition.

It has over 25 years of expertise behind them. This is a company that knows how to make great software that can do just about anything. 

Pixelmator’s mobile offerings are as powerful as they come. It comes with no restrictions and an amazing user interface. The touch input is precise and effective.

Also, you have multiple tools available at your fingertips at all times, thanks to full multitouch support. Adjustments are made to everything, whether it’s filters, shadows, or perspectives.

Using the selection tool, you can accurately single out parts of images that need work. Can manipulate them accordingly without having to use multiple brushes or taps.

You can also create graphics from scratch by tracing any shape. This means if you don’t know where to start, there’s help for that too. 

Additionally, it doesn’t matter what device you use because this is a universal app, so long as it has iOS 10 installed.

Pixelmator costs $4.99, but if the trial version suits your needs, there won’t be any additional charges.

4. Sublime Text

This is among the best apps for Apple Pencil designed to bring the true paper experience to an iPad.  It does a fantastic job. There are five different pens, textures, and brush types that you can use to replicate any type of writing. 

You can also create blank pages with customizable backgrounds. This app is so great because it includes features like annotation and note-taking capabilities. The app’s unique visualizations allow you to bring search results and highlights to life. 

For example, when you’re reading about science on Wikipedia, you can tap on a word and see an interactive visualization that lets you explore the word’s definition.

The best part about the liquid text is its integration with other mobile apps, including Google Chrome.

With sublime text installed on your device, you’ll be able to take screenshots from any webpage or YouTube video. You add them directly into your study set. 

It’s really easy to get lost in information overload when using the internet as your only study resource. Having liquid text available will help students stay focused on their studies without distraction.


5. Procreate

Procreate is a popular painting app that lets you customize every aspect of your drawing or painting from start to finish. You can either work with a blank canvas or create something based on one of its base drawings as a starting point. 

If you’re looking for an eraser, Procreate has options too. Choose between undoing steps and erasing entire parts at once.

6. Linea Sketch   

Linea Sketch is an app that has been designed with iPad Pro in mind. This drawing app can be set to mirror your hand’s pressure when you’re using the pencil. It is compatible with the pressure-sensitive pencil. 

Linea Sketch can combine sketches into one drawing or be set to erase on contact.  The grid tool gives you backgrounds for note-taking, drawing, and so much more. 

Also, there are over 60 different pencils, colors, and brushes to choose from. Linea Sketch has been designed with iPad Pro in mind and works seamlessly with it. So, you can always get stunning results using Linea Sketch on your iPad Pro. 

If you want to take your drawing and sketching skills to another level, you need a quality app. An app compatible with Apple Pencil will help you create stunning sketches. 

Lastly, if you’re looking for the best apps for Apple Pencil that are easy to use but powerful enough to create stunning sketches, then Linea Sketch is perfect.

Perfect for those looking for a new way to bring their sketches alive, add some fun effects, or just make something stand out.

7. AstroPad Standard  

AstroPad Standard is an excellent illustration app for Apple Pencil users. It offers a fast and accurate drawing experience that brings artists’ true vision to life.

To access premium features, like color palettes, shape gradients, and shadows, you can subscribe to AstroPad Premium.

The subscription is only $29 per month, and it even offers discounts if you purchase a 3-month or 6-month subscription plan. 

Also, consider using Astropad Free to achieve a similar drawing experience with fewer features. If you use both an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, we recommend Sketchable.  

When using the app, it bursts up to 60 FPS as soon as your stylus touches the screen. This makes sketching feel natural and fluid. 

In addition to this fluidity, Sketchable also has many customization options. Options include settings for stroke widths, shapes, colors, backgrounds, and eraser thicknesses. 

With these customizations in place, it’s easy to recreate traditional media on a digital canvas with minimal effort. Another feature we really liked was its ability to sync between multiple devices.

No matter where you work on your sketches – whether at home or on the go – they will be available. Available when you open the app again on any other device linked to your account.

8. Filmic Pro

This app is essential if you are a filmmaker, photographer, or videographer who loves using the new apple pencil on your iPad Pro. For a mere $2.99, you can get editing Filmic Pro software.

This app will give you all of the tools you need to create cinematic quality films that can be shot and edited entirely on your device. It works with just about any video camera app from iTunes.

Also, it has plug-ins that can shoot videos in 3D and import animations or graphics from Adobe Illustrator. Filmic Pro is a great option if you want an editor tailored to take advantage of your iPad’s features.

While using it, you can still keep an eye out for pro features. Features like chroma-keying and color correction curves.

9. Adobe Fresco

Adobe fresco is one of the best apps for Apple Pencil, with lightweight sketching and drawing apps. It allows you to turn your initial doodles into digital masterpieces. The best thing about this program is how easy it is to get started. 

Additionally, you won’t be dealing with any complex menus or panels when using this app. The interface is really simple. There are just two buttons at the top: one for erasing what you’ve drawn and one for saving your artwork. 

Also, you can undo a line with a quick shake of your phone. If you need more room to work on an image, you can add a new layer to make things less cramped. This sketching app also has some interesting features that allow you to paint or change up colors.

10. Notability

People have devised many creative ideas to use their stylus to increase productivity and enhance creativity. Many are free, but many also come at a cost. 

One thing is certain; these best apps for Apple Pencil will be perfect if you’re looking for new ways to use your stylus!  Notability is the best tool for taking lecture notes or jotting down an idea or two when inspiration strikes. 

The app has plenty of options to suit whatever style of note-taking suits you want.  This varies from hand-written writing or typing on a virtual keyboard to sketching out an idea with one line or multiple lines. 

I also enjoy the formatting options – from paragraph format to bullet points. This allows me to customize my work as needed depending on what type of assignment I’m working on (i.e., essays vs. essays).

The interface itself is clean and easy to navigate.  Navigating through different features and options never feels overwhelming, even for first-time users like myself.

11. Wunderlist  

One tool that apple pencil users will find incredibly useful is Wunderlist. This app lets you connect your apple pencil to your iPhone or iPad. This provides easy access to note-taking apps, sketches, and other creative software like Paper. 

All this content can be accessed when you’re out in public or using different devices. Once your smartphone is connected to the pencil via Bluetooth, a new bar will appear. It shows at the top of your screen where different options are displayed. 

In addition, it is possible to change the number of colors on your sketchpad and mark an area with a specific color. You can use colors that suit your needs, add drawings and even write without picking up a pen!

12. MindNode  

One app that is a must-have is the mind mapping app, MindNode. It’s extremely easy to use. This app allows you to create different layers in your map so that you can organize all your thoughts in a single project. 

Certainly, the user interface is intuitive and offers plenty of tutorials on how to use it. For these reasons, this app is a great choice if you want something visual. Also, if you want to be able to work with varying types of information at once.

13. Sketchbook Pro 

Sketchbook Pro is one of those solid best apps for Apple Pencil for anyone who does a lot of illustration or writing with their iPad.

It’s not perfect, but it’s powerful and offers many tools to choose from. Though, the interface can be a little hard to get used to at first.

There are still some bugs, but overall, Sketchbook Pro is a great app that all digital artists should consider with an iPad.

Also, users can use the pen/pencil tool in Sketchbook Pro as if they were drawing on paper. There are plenty of other choices to work with, such as colors (including droppers), size, shape, and text tools.

The Color Mixer Tool works especially well. This is because users have complete control over their work, and everything they do appears immediately on the screen.

14. GoodNotes  

Designing was never easier with these free best apps for Apple Pencil! The app has been around since 2012 and is compatible with all major devices. You can draw, write or sketch by hand or import and edit any image from your photo library. 

Also, you have a wide range of options regarding pen thickness, transparency, and color saturation. The best part?

This app offers iCloud syncing, so you’ll never lose any progress while switching between multiple devices. And there’s no limit to how many pages you want to add. 

This is an ideal app for professional artists who are working on an exhibition catalog or research papers for school, as well as children who enjoy doodling in their spare time. 

15. Paper by FiftyThree

If you’re in the market for the best apps for Apple Pencil to draw with or take notes, then Paper by FiftyThree is a no-brainer.

This powerful app can be used like traditional art materials. It captures quick sketches and intricate drawings, with layers, realistic textures, and many pens that allow for shading. 

ThoughPaper by FiftyThree may not have every single feature you would expect from desktop software like Photoshop or Illustrator. It excels at its core functionality: pen-based drawing.

Whether on an iPad Pro with one of these pencils attached to it or just a regular iPad without one attached at all, this is a great tool.


Apple Pencil and iPad Pro (both first and second generation) has been out for over a year. We’ve seen many new apps designed specifically with pencils.

This article has compiled the best apps for Apple Pencil. It is to help so you can get started with your own list of favorites. Doesn’t matter whether you’re still new to the device or an old pro who loves its capabilities.

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