Top 25 iPhone Apps for Designers and Web Developers

Oh the iPhone… The magical device that makes our lives a little easier and a little more fun. What makes the iPhone so great is the applications available for it. In the words of a friend via Twitter, “Dude, there’s an app for that”. Quite literally, the iPhone app store has an application for just about everything.

After recently getting setup on the iPhone, the first thing I did was start searching for the best applications for my day to day work as a designer and web developer.

  • WhatTheFont


    I’m not so great at recognizing fonts and I’ve used WhatTheFont?! from enough that I should be a paying customer.

    Thankfully these guys released an iPhone app that lets you take a picture of any text (on screen or in print) and use their online system to identify the font. w00t! No more wondering what those magazine fonts are until I get home. ;-)

    Price: Free

    View in iTunes

  • HTML Colors

    HTML Colors

    If you’re at your computer, you’ll most likely be choosing color schemes there rather than on your phone. However, I find myself thinking about color schemes while I’m away from the computer and this app makes it easy to experiment and see little bit of a sample of how the colors will work together.

    It’s a pretty simple app but it’s also cheaper than some other options.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • Color Expert

    Color Expert

    Color Expert is a more in depth application for creating great color schemes for print or web. It has quite a few great features that let you share colors, get colors from images, etc.

    It is one of the more expensive apps for creating color schemes but it’s probably one of the best color apps available with the most features.

    Price: $9.99

    View in iTunes

  • cliqcliq Colors

    cliqcliq Colors

    cliqcliq is an app between HTML Colors and Color Expert. It also lets you extract colors from photos/images, lets you save and share color schemes, etc. It has great features and is well priced.

    Price: $2.99

    View in iTunes

  • Things


    I was never that good at using “To Do” lists on the computer. I always found myself using a pen and a pad of paper. Now that I have an iPhone I find myself using it more than paper to manage tasks, etc. If you already use “Things” on your Mac, this would be a great addition.

    Price: $9.99

    View in iTunes

  • Todo


    This is another great task management app and works with iCal on your Mac. You can also use it with an online task manager like Toodledo. I haven’t used Todo but from what I’ve been reading, this is one of the best task management apps available right now.

    Price: $9.99

    View in iTunes

  • Freshbooks


    With the iPhone I find myself doing more work while I’m away from the computer and I need a way to track my time and bill my clients. I already use Freshbooks so this app was a must, especially since it’s free.

    Incase you’re not aware of this, Freshbooks actually has a free version as well and is easily one of the best invoice and time tracking solutions available.

    Price: Free

    View in iTunes


    Everyone has to keep track of their money, especially freelancers. Before I became a freelancer I was particularly bad at keeping track of my spending and income. Mint helped me change that and I was very happy to see they have an app already.

    Now that I have in my pocket, I’ll be able to track my budget even better for free.

    Price: Free

    View in iTunes

  • FTP On The Go

    FTP On The Go

    You wouldn’t exactly think you would need an FTP app on your phone but this one comes in handy more frequently that I would’ve expected. It can do more than just transfer files making it a pretty powerful FTP application in your pocket.

    You can edit text files, view changes in the built in browser, email files, view a wide array of files, CHMOD, etc.

    Price: $6.99

    View in iTunes

  • CSS Cheat Sheet

    CSS Cheat Sheet

    Concentric Sky created several of the next few apps for referencing web technologies. At $1 it’s a great deal to have a quick CSS reference guide that’s also searchable. If you’re new to CSS I can see this being a very helpful application.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • HTML Cheat Sheet

    HTML Cheat Sheet

    I didn’t think I would need an application like this while I was away from the computer but when you get a client support email and you just can’t remember some particular HTML, this app can be a life saver. Google is always there but it’s great having a searchable reference for this stuff with an uncluttered layout.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • JavaScript Cheat Sheet

    JavaScript Cheat Sheet

    Another language reference app by the same makers as the previous two apps. If you work with a lot of JavaScript this will likely be very handy.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • jQuery Cheat Sheet

    jQuery Cheat Sheet

    I seem to have a hard time remembering certain things in jQuery and this app actually lets you write and test your jQuery within the app. You could use this app as a learning and experimentation tool, not just a reference.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • PHP Cheat Sheet

    PHP Cheat Sheet

    Another great reference from Concentric Sky, although the ratings are lacking a little because it doesn’t appear to cover as much as it should. If you’re new to PHP or you want some sort of PHP reference, this would be a great app to get.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • PHP Ref

    PHP Ref

    PHP Ref provides offline reference for all standard 5149 PHP functions. Between this app and the previous PHP app, you should have your PHP bases covered. ;-)

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • RegEx Cheat Sheet

    RegEx Cheat Sheet

    If you need RegEx reference in your pocket, this may be an app for you to pick up. Comes from the same makers as CSS, HTML, JavaScript and jQuery Cheat Sheet apps.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • MySQL Cheaet Sheet

    MySQL Cheat Sheet

    If you work with MySQL a lot this may be a handy reference for you. There are also apps for viewing and working with online databases from your iPhone so this could come in very handy if you might be working with a database from your iPhone.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • Source Viewer

    Source Viewer

    One of the first apps I looked for when I got my iPhone was something for editing/viewing HTML and CSS. I didn’t find anything promising for editing but Source Viewer was the best option I found for viewing source code.

    The app highlights markup, can extract links, view images and more.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

  • Web Source Viewer

    Web Source Viewer

    This is a much simpler app that just lets you view the source code of a website. It’s simple but it’s free.

    Price: Free

    View in iTunes

  • TouchTerm SSH

    TouchTerm SSH

    If you host client websites or even just several of your own websites, TouchTerm can be a life saver. This app provides a complete SSH terminal in your pocket. There is also a Pro version for power users and both are priced very well for the extensive features they provide.

    Price: $0.99

    View in iTunes

    (TouchTerm Pro SSH) Price: $4.99

    View in iTunes


    AnalyticsApp gives you quick access to your Google Analytics data. This is probably the best app on the market for viewing Google Analytics on your iPhone.

    Price: $5.99

    View in iTunes

  • Are My Sites Up

    Are My Sites Up

    This is the companion application for the website monitoring service “Are My Sites Up?” created by Chris Coyer. There are two versions of this app. This is the companion to the paid “Are My Sites Up?” services and there is a Lite version for the free version of the service. Both apps are free but the paid service version includes push notifications.

    This is a valuable tool for keeping an eye on your website(s).

    Price: Free View in iTunes

    (Lite) Price: Free View in iTunes

  • iStat - Free memory, Sys Monitoring

    iStat – Free memory, Sys Monitoring

    Applications like Safari use a lot of memory and don’t always free it up when you leave the app. Some people experience app crashes and other issues because of this and a remedy is applications that can free up your iPhone’s RAM when other applications no longer need it.

    iStat does a whole lot more than that though. It gives you information on your iPhone resources and the ability to log into remote systems to view their resources as well (like the iMac at the office). You can also do pings and traceroutes in the app.

    Price: $1.99

    View in iTunes

  • PayPal


    Paypal is my secondary bank and the primary method for me to get paid. You can send money with the app as well as see your current balance and recent history. If only my primary bank offered an app like this. :-(

    Price: Free

    View in iTunes

  • BeejiveIM


    BeejiveIM is the best push notification chat app I was able to find that supported all the major chat services (AIM, gTalk, MSN, etc). I only wish it included Skype but the Skype app is free anyway so big deal. You can send/receive files, chat with several people simultaneously, keep chat history, use emoticons and more.

    $10 is a little pricy for a chat app I think but considering all the features it provides and that it provides push notification, it was worth it.

    Price: $9.99

    View in iTunes

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the amazing apps available for the iPhone and if you know of a few really good ones for designers and developers, please share them in the comments below! :-)

I practically live on the computer but the iPhone makes it just about possible to spend every moment you’re awake, on the computer. Don’t forget to take some time every now and then to escape from technology and enjoy things like the sun, your friends and you know, life! ;-)


  • Lee Gustin says:

    Very nice list. I will definitely look into some of these. I use TimeWorks for keeping track of my time for freelancing. It is a very useful app (there’s even a lite version)

  • Jason says:

    Great round-up, just wish Mint wasn’t US only…

  • Mark Dijkstra says:

    Nice posts, but i dont own a iphone :P

  • Daniel says:

    Twitterific is good for a Twitter client. I use the free version quite comfortably. Also have just started using Keeper for all my passwords – seems to be ok but haven’t really done much with it yet. If you need reference ebooks I think Stanza is a great app as it has thousands of books across numerous categories of which O’Reilly is one of them.

  • Gerald says:

    Awesome post! Thanks!!

  • And24 says:

    Apps work for the iPod Touch as well^^^ I have a few of these on mine. Never knew about FTP on The Go tho.

  • james says:

    Yeah, too bad iPhone is for rich kids. I’m no rich kid. :(

  • Some good among here. But isn’t it hard to “work” through the iPhone (colors, ftp, analytics etc.) (don’t think I could)?
    The EGO app provides a quick overview of your site, you can add your Google Analytics, PageRank, Mint, Twitter, Feedburner account. It doesn’t give you ALL information and detailed stats, but a quick overview. Very handy on the go :)

  • Great post.
    Note: The title should be “iphone apps” like in URL.

  • Andy Gongea says:

    Yes,” IPhone” should exist not only in the URL but also in the post title. It is misleading.

    Some of the apps are quite nice.

  • Aayush says:

    Yea put iPhone in the title….please update the post….I was expecting Windows Apps….

  • Wes Bos says:

    If only the Iphone had a keyboard… Only in a perfect world.

  • Joe Piekarz says: has an iPhone app (as well as Android) developed by third parties that allows upload to a users TimeXchange account. is time reporting and approval in the “cloud” where project teams are formed via an invitation process. If what you really need is time reporting and approval collaboration, then you should check TimeXchange.

  • chad says:

    yes there are few gems in there that I wasn’t aware of…but why the title?

  • Micah says:

    Hi Jarel,

    You should also check Fanurio:

    Fanurio helps with the less appealing aspects of freelancing like keeping track of time and invoicing. It’s a useful application, with a user-friendly interface.

  • Jarel says:

    Oops, simple mistake. I’ve asked Jeffrey to fix it as soon as he has time. :-)

  • Jermaine says:

    I didn’t know the iphone could do all of that

  • Guillaume says:

    Nice list, will bookmark this. Useful when traveling and keep the geek in me !

  • Jarel says:

    Thanks for the comments and app suggestions everyone!

    @James – I wouldn’t say the iPhone is just for rich kids at all. I’m on a pretty limited budget and I can still afford it. Although the initial investment can be pretty steep but what you get from it is well worth it I’d say.

  • Steve says:

    I dont agree with the cheat sheets I had some of them and I found them to hard to search and find what you are looking for It was much easier to just google the cheat sheets

    also as far as the ftp app there is a FREE web app for this

    Still good post

  • Gerald says:

    @Steve – I use these cheat sheets all the time. They’re lightening fast to search for me. Have you seen the new updates? They even added a sandbox where you can try out the code.

    @Jarel – Have to agree. My budget is super tight, but the iPhone actually gives me pleasure – which is hard to put a price tag on. Besides, I can practice job skills on the go. ;)

  • John says:

    TouchTerm is a nice iphone app to have in a pinch. The ability to restart apache from anywhere in the world is just awesome.