webOS apps for designers | webOS Nation

webOS apps for designers 33

by Sharon L Copeland Mon, 09 Apr 2012 4:04 pm EDT

webOS apps for designers

Form, function, color, and style are the hallmarks of great design. If great designers like Jamie Drake or Candice Olsen lacked one of these components they would not have created the show-stopping designs we’ve come to admire. And with that, so many are people glued to their TVs addicted to HGTV, Fine Living and the DIY Network trying to figure out how to bring that inspiration to life in their own homes. And let’s face it, we didn’t win the lottery, nor do we have the Kardashian’s bankroll to acquire a designer of that caliber. So how does the average person find the tools to make their dreams come true within the budgets they have? With our trust TouchPad by our side, we set out to see what apps are out there to inspire your inner designer and bring your ideas to life.

Just Draw

Free, by Volatile Nuances (TouchPad)

Just Draw

Just Draw is a simple, intuitive, and effective way to bring your sketches to life. As a simplified sketch program, you can apply color, make notes, or even create custom postcards from scratch. Start out with a new drawing by tapping the paper icon. Then select a color from the color wheel start drawing out your plans. The slider bar allows you to adjust the thickness of your line to represent anything from a thin virtual ballpoint pen to a beefy thick marker. Floor plans, elevations, or just free sketching are all yours to make with Just Draw.


Free, by The Coding Bees (webOS smartphones and TouchPad)


Now you need a color string as they say in the design world and with ColorHarmony it makes picking out a color palate amazingly easy. Using the Adobe kuler system, ColorHarmony automatically picks out cool and warm tones that work in perfect harmony. And they have great names like MapDash, RSVP complementary and my favorite, pure 2. It takes all the drudgery out for chromophobes and allows you to breathe a sigh of relief that you have found your true colors.

DIY Calculator

$0.99, by CleverMatrix (TouchPad)

DIY Calculator

You have your plans and you have your colors - now it’s time to figure out how much of what materials you’ll need. Paint, tile, wallpaper, and flooring can add up quick, so it’s good to know how much you need before heading to the home improvement store. That’s where DIY Calculator comes into play - calculating areas and volumes isn’t really advanced level calculus, but with everything else floating around in your head relating to the design, there’s no room for error - so let DIY Calculator do the work for you. Simply plug in your measurements and get the numbers you need. It’s more than just “you need this much paint” - DIY Calculator can break down how many cans of paint you’ll need based on the coverage per can, and can also make allowances for anomalies like doors and windows. It’s a must-have app for peace-of-mind for your weekend home improvement projects.

Notes HD

$1.99, by Inglorious Apps

Notes HD

Now that you have all of your tools, now you need a place to save your ideas all in one place; an app where it’s accessible on your TouchPad to show off your wonderful design choices. With Notes HD you can easily save your measurements, screen shots, photos, and sketches - all with additional notes, all in one place. Made by our good friends at Inglorious Apps, Notes HD even lets you share your notes via email, upload them to the cloud, or send them out via Twitter. We reviewed Notes HD last month here and found it to be a fantastic general-purpose memo app that takes things more than a few steps beyond what the built-in Memos app can do.


Can someone explain to me why there isn't a good drawing app for the touchpad?? Seriuosly. Just draw is the closest thing we have that could do anything, but you can't zoom..

Architects love to use Ipads because you can import a pdf into a viewer & then zoom in and dimension a floor plan right on it..

You could do that w/ the touchpad if someone made it possible to import & zoom on one of these crappy drawing apps.

Seriously.. Annoyed as hell, when my fiance wanted just 1 application and I couldn't even provide it lol

Are you still in school or an intern? First rule of thumb is to sketch out your design and you have to have a bubble diagram and a design matrix before you even before drafting ANYTHING. This is perfect to figure our what you are going to do before perfecting your ideas. :) hope that helps. And yes I am a real designer by trade.

Sweet Sharon,

I'm specifically speaking about site surveying for an architect. Many times, we have to draft up a building from old plans. Sometimes we take them & put them into pdfs & have to turn them into autocad drawings.. The problem is, you can't just rely on the drawings, you have to go out back in the field and make sure they are the right dimensions ( they never are ) but they are usually close.. Obviously there is usually some changes out in the field.

My fiances work is a drafting firm where they are out in the field quite a bit more then others.. Imagine having to draft up an entire highschool, where you have most of the original floor plans, but now it needs to be turned into an Autocad drawing so the architect can use it and put the new expansion on.

What type of design do you do?

For cases where you are NOT doing a consultation or brainstorming, you are tweaking drawings in the field I would bring your laptop. Tablets are not going to have the same level of processing power as your desktop or laptop. You will be able to show your drawings in PDF and you could do that on a touchpad. But to do changes on tablet using autocad, revit or 20/20 and have all the layers show up (i have done this) its not going to happen. I picked these apps for the person, non designer to get their ideas off the ground.

meow meow

Sharon.. I don't know what your talking about.. I think you are thinking way to far ahead.

No one brings laptops out into the field to draw, it's just stupid.. People instead bring a Ruler, a piece of paper & a pen.. or a pencil (whichever you prefer)

I'm specifically talking about seeing a wall on a pdf & drawing in the number 8'-0" next to the wall to show how long it is.. This is a highly coveted thing for every architect having to survey in the world.. It's why many architects are now using ipads instead of pieces of paper.

I have not yet found an application on a touchpad that allows me to zoom into the pdf & draw numbers or lines wherever I want and use it like it's a drawing station.. There is no app for it..

My comment was about how sad I am w/ the just draw app because it's so close to what I want it to be.. It lets you bring in pictures & draw over top of them.. But it doesn't let you bring up pdfs & zoom into them & draw numbers and dimension your building..

When you say: Laptop and Revit & Autocad - you are specifically talking about achieving the end game.. Drawing up the building prints.. I am not, and I wouldn't recommend that for a touchpad or an Ipad.. because, you are right.. it uses way to much power.

Consultation was just a point I was throwing out there, but I have worked in 3 different architectural firms where in the first 3 months I was out on the field using old prints to go off of & writing up the correct dimensions for them.. This is a practice used in every architectural firm in the entire world & it is used regularly.

I realize you picked some great apps for designers, but there is a clear over all lack of designer applications for the touchpad & webos.. My comment was in no way batting you to the ground, i was just voicing my sadness w/ the lack of design apps that can help out a designer.. Like myself.

Personally I think the DIY calculator is awesome...how many times do have to get the calculations right for wallpaper and tile? Great for non pros and interns! These are fun apps and perfect for webOS :)

A series of articles focusing on niche applications of webOS hardware is not going to shed a positive light on the platform because this is exactly where webOS will always be lacking as the available software is anemic compared to other platforms.

The only way the TouchPad was out gunned is in the area of support as a platform. It had the goods but with Google and Apple $$$ it was hard. webOS was ahead of its time and it still to this day recognized as the best OS. (even Steve Jobs said it was great) Google and Apple are still trying to figure out multitasking and notifications. with more developers (YOU) building the apps, this is the best tablet to do so because you can port them ANYWHERE. Believe me I want more design apps to come to webOS :) this is just the start of a rebirth


It's not like anybody is actively buying webOS hardware right now. These kind of articles - and practically everything else on this site - are geared towards helping current webOS users get the most out of their devices. Does the app selection of in the webOS App Catalog fall short of what's available in the iOS App Store or the Google Play Market? Of course it does, but that doesn't mean we can't take a a blog post or two to point out some that specific user groups might find useful.

Good article. I like this type of article, it alerts me to apps that I would not think to look for. Thanks.

I am really liking this type of article.
If you want more apps, check the forums, its possible if webOS doesn't have the app, that ubuntu will have it, there is a thread on easy auto config for ubuntu, google it.

Right, or install CM9.

But let me say this first. webOS has the right apps for ME and fits MY needs perfectly. In any case, I hope everyone has their boats ready, because when open webOS hits, there's gonna be a flood of apps! woooooooooooo

All u gotta do is hold some contests that give out money to the top developers, hold some app sales, and do a better job with advertising, training point of sale employees, maturing the Sdk, "go viral " with homemade advertisements for webos, get big time British comedians to appear in advertisements. So easy. Potential!

Yep. They should totally do that. Maybe call it the "Hot Apps Contest". That will open the flood gates for sure...this time.

that's catchy! i'im gonna start an online petition

Please keep the articles coming... I stop by almost everyday, and it is good to see something new...




I wasn't aware of DIY Calculator.. Looks like a very handy app!

The point of this wasn't to talk about whats happened in the past, that's done. But to discuss the great apps we have built by great developers. We know we are not Apple we know we are not Google. The point of this was to help people who HAVE webOS tablets who might have not noticed great apps that we have found and to get great developers noticed.

We have great apps and people are still building and updating our apps. We are a loyal crew. Stick to the app we are speaking about, try it out and let us know what you think. Other that I am not interested in rehashing the past, but I am look forward to the Open Mobile and Open webOS future.


Sharon, Please keep these app reviews coming. They are very valuable and very much appreciated.

Is there something like Just Draw for non-Touchpad devices? (I have a Pre3)

I for one would gladly pay $30 to $100 for the ability to import PDF and jpeg files, zoom in on them and notate as needed using my fingertip. This would be a huge time savings as pointed out in the above comments. . And time is money.. If I had an employee who wanted to buy this software, I would gladly reimburse him for it.

Anyone else willing to fork over some cash to the developers should let themselves be known. Perhaps the developers are listening.

Here's a thought, get with a developer and make an app you would want on the touchpad :) if you have Preware on your machine check out some tweaks there too :)

Here's a hint: use a touch-screen based laptop, convertible or tablet with a proper OS like Win 7 or Linux (but for sure not that Ubuntu crap, but something quality, Debian based like aptosid). There's enough freeware (f.e. Okular) or even better PdfXchange(-viewer) for Win (commercial or free with annotations too!) flying around, built by really talented developers, that enables you to do just so.

The common commercial mobile space for tablets isn't up well for those tasks, for iOS maybe its not as a crappy situation as it's for webOS but it's still finger-friendly dumbed down easy-peasy.

I'll have to check out the DIY app. Thanks for posting that. You are certainly doing more app promotion than HP right now.

I agree with the original poster -- it's sad that we don't have a decent drawing/coloring app. I guess that could be a challenge to myself to develop one, eh? :)

I would love an app that has some 3D distributions rooms (livingroom, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, office and an open "blank" space, to start) with the capability to select each wall and paint each with colors that one would like to combine in an specific room. Textures wouldn't hurt as well.

There are always some persons that denote how poor (even with tons of more apps) other platforms are, right taharka? That's why they spend more time reading webOS Nation's articles than their OS of preference.


So, the DIY Calculator is good enough to make it into a review article on-line, but in the app store there is only ONE review. I'm going to buy it nonetheless, because webosnation says I should, but I find it strange nonetheless.

Alas, I just wasted a dollar. Maybe I'm a dummie, but I could not get it to work for me. Kept getting not a number (NaN) results at first, then switched things to feet instead of meters. Tried saying an 8'x14' room with 8' ceiling and 2 medium windows. It told me I would need one tenth of a gallon of paint. Ridiculous. I accidentally put in 8 inch ceiling and it gave me a negative number back. Not sure how that would even be possible.