10 Best Freeform Alternatives for iPhone and iPad (2024)

Packed with a wide range of tools, Apple Freeform is what you should pick to draw pictures, sketch, and even jot down ideas with enhanced precision. Thanks to the neat iCloud syncing, the app also lets you collaborate with others on projects. While I’m really fond of this noted app, I wish it supported the older versions of iOS and iPadOS. Due to the lack of support for older operating systems, a large number of users can’t use the app, which is disappointing. But bother not, I have handpicked some of the best Freeform alternatives for iPhone and iPad so that there is no room for disappointment.

Best Freeform Alternatives for iPhone and iPad You Can Try

So, what sort of Freeform alternative are you looking for? Are you hunting for an app that can let you draw and sketch with better control? Are you in quest of a jack of all trades (and master of none)? Are you searching for a drawing app with a little bit of twist to amp up your adrenaline? Well, I have chosen the following apps keeping in mind all the aforementioned tastes. On this note, let’s jump right in!

1. Drawing Desk

Should you need one of the most feature-packed alternatives to the Apple Freefrom app without having to shell out any bucks, look no further than Drawing Desk. Boasting a great roster of more than 25 impressive sketching tools including neon, crayon, spray, and more, the app can let you sketch to your heart’s liking. Better still, it also supports custom canvas (iPad only) to ensure you have the desired freedom for drawing and sketching.

Additionally, the Drawing Desk comes with a massive library of shapes and textures so that you can design your art with precision. However, what has caught my attention the most in this app is the AR face paint which offers a pretty intriguing way to create masks and makeup looks. Ditto, for times when you want to ramp up the fun quotient, the AR face paint will have a role to play!

Drawing Desk Draw Paint Art

Platform compatibility: iOS, iPadOS, and macOS

Install: Free, $4.99/week

2. Procreate

For folks who need an ultimate alternative to the Apple Freeform app on all fronts, Procreate is the one that stands out. Boasting ultra-high definition canvases (up to 16K by 8K on modern iPad Pros), it has long been the go-to choice for creative pros. The app provides you with a rich collection of hundreds of professionally-designed brushes so that you can design, draw, and sketch art with better control.

If you want to take the customization even further, the app offers dedicated settings for each brush. Hence, you get the much-needed freedom to mix and match. Another feature that warrants close attention is the exceptionally intuitive user interface so that you can do your work with complete peace of mind. On top of all, you can get the most out of 25-layer blend modes for pro-grade compositing.

Procreate for iPad

Platform compatibility: iPadOS

Install: $12.99

3. Sketchbook

What gives Sketchbook a clear edge over rivals is an enviable library of pro-grade brush types including airbrushes, smear, and super handy pencil markers. Moreover, the app also offers the needed flexibility to customize the tools. The ability to create your own custom brushes, choose colors from reference images and extract color palettes from photos make it an ideal foil for creativity. As a result, you can create top-notch artwork.

Another feature worth mentioning is the clean interface that keeps distractions at bay so that you can draw with enhanced focus. Taking everything into account, Sketchbook deserves to be rated as one of the coolest alternatives to Apple Freeform.


Platform compatibility: iOS and iPadOS

Install: Free, $1.99 for the premium bundle

4. ibis Paint X

If you don’t want to settle with anything less than the very best painting app, go for ibis Paint X. The reason why I recommend you try it out is that I have extensively used this app and found it a cut above the rest in most aspects. Loaded with over 15000 brushes, more than 7600 materials, a large number of filters, blending, screen tones, fonts, and more, it’s got you fully covered.

Not to mention, it also offers detailed video tutorials to help you master your painting skill – just in case you wish to get through all the tricks of the trade!

ibis Paint X

Platform compatibility: iOS and iPadOS

Install: Free, $2.99/month

5. Drawing Pad

Drawing Pad is versatile and has got the tools to live up to your expectations in terms of drawing, sketching, and even writing. Whether you want to doodle to your liking, draw your heart out, sketch with precision, or color books to enhance your coloring prowess, it’s got you checked off.

Interestingly, the app comes with magic brushstroke effects to let you beautifully design your photos. What’s more, you can also use a variety of frames, stamps, and stickers to make your images look eye-catching. Considering all these goodies, I have no hesitation in putting it among the best Apple Freeform rivals for iOS and iPadOS.

Drawings Pad Digital Painting

Platform compatibility: iOS and iPadOS

Install: Free, $4.99/week

6. Concepts

Whether you want to take notes with precision, plan your ideas with the needed flexibility, or doodle your heart out, Concepts can live up to your expectation. The app has a large collection of paper types and grids to let you sketch and draw without any limitations whatsoever. With dozens of pens, pencils, and brushes at your beck and call, you will never run out of options. Especially when creating something out of the box.

One of the highlights of Concepts is the tool wheel/bar that you can fully customize using your favorite brushes and presets. This is precisely what you need to always stay in complete control. Additionally, the app also provides unlimited layers with adjustable opacity. Though Concepts is available for free, you will need to upgrade to the premium version to unlock its full potential.

Concepts for iPhone and iPad

Platform compatibility: iOS and iPadOS

Install: Free, $4.99/month

7. Draw It

If you need a clean and easy-to-use app for drawing, give serious consideration to Draw It. While it lacks a massive roster of tools, it ensures you don’t have to go through a steep learning curve for getting through the basics.

Probably, the best part about this app is that it lets you compete in an exciting drawing game where you have to beat your rivals by drawing faster. Notably, it also offers you a chance to rule the leaderboard by becoming the most decorated player. So, are you up for the challenge?

Draw it

Platform compatibility: iOS and iPadOS

Install: Free, $5.49/week

8. MindNode

MindNode excels in letting you map your mind with the desired peace of mind. Thus, if you are in quest of a better alternative to the Apple Freeform app in terms of mind mapping, this one can live up to your expectation. Using this brainstorming app, you can capture your thoughts at your own pace and give them the preferred shape.

Whether you wish to jot down your thoughts as images, tasks, notes, or words, MindNode has got you fully checked off. With the neat Focus Mode, visual tags, and foldable branches, it lets you keep everything organized. And if you ever want to give the mind map a more personalized look, there are several eye-catching themes and fun-loving stickers to spice up the whole affair.

MindNode Mind Map Outline

Platform compatibility: iOS, iPadOS, and macOS

Install: Free, $2.49/month

9. Craft

A pragmatic documents and notes creator, Craft has got everything covered to win you over. The app lets you create, design, and edit documents to your liking. Once you have created your documents, you can share them with anyone. It supports code snippets, inline markdown, attaching PDF files, rich link previews, backlinks, images, and videos.

One of my favorite features of this app is the ability to nest notes within notes which offers me the flexibility to create my own structure. Additionally, Craft also offers you the option to export your documents in several formats such as TextBundle, PDF, markdown, and more. Since it works even offline, you won’t have to worry about a poor internet connection or abrupt interruption due to a sluggish cellular network.

Craft Docs and Notes Editor

Platform compatibility: iOS, iPadOS, and macOS

Install: Free, $5.99/month

10. Freehand

As an infinite-canvas online whiteboard, Freehand never fails to impress. Should you need an online tool that can let you plan your ideas and collaborate with colleagues by keeping the incompatibility thing at bay, Freehand can be a smart pick.

Despite being a feature-packed platform, it does not lose sync with simplicity. Thus, you or your entire team won’t have to go through a rigorous learning curve. One of the highlights of InVision’s Freehand is the ability to let participants work together both in real-time or asynchronously depending on their convenience.


Platform compatibility: Online

Install: Free, $4.95/month

Best Freeform Substitutes for iOS and iPadOS Lined Up for You

There you have it! Hopefully, you have found an ideal app to let you draw, sketch, and jot down ideas. By the way, which one of these apps has found a safe spot on your device? It would be nice to know your top picks in the comments below.

Read more: Freeform Not Working on iPhone and iPad? Fix It!

Posted by
Rajesh Mishra

Co-founder/Editor-in-Chief: Rajesh Mishra (Your beloved “R.K” 360 Reader Voice) is a Shakespearean poet at heart who turned a tech nerd while having a secret rendezvous with iPhone 4. When that rendezvous turned obsession, he let go of his hard-core political journalism in favour of the lifelong love-affair with technology. In a career spanning one and a half decades, Mr. Mishra has crafted over 8K articles and around 2K YouTube videos. He is probably the only journalist alive with this unique achievement. When he is not at his desk, you may find him either engrossed in a Deathmatch or chasing Wordsworth!

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