You never know when inspiration will strike. Usually, that tends to happen at the least opportune time. Instead of letting your ideas go to waste, use these apps to create a rough draft that you can flesh out later.
Decks? Knobs? Get with it, Gramps: these days electronic music makers tap buttons on a grid to fire up beats. At least, they do if they use Remixlive. It’s head-bobbing fun, with the added advantage that you don’t need any talent to create something fit for debut at AfrikaBurn – although you can dig into sequencing, song creation and a range of sample packs if you feel the urge.
Lob even the most nondescript photo into Glitch Lab and it will become the most dazzling visual treat. By fiddling with sliders and buttons, you can quickly layer on digital art effects such as streaking, data corruption, text and voxels. When you’re done, you can add even more effects, until nothing whatsoever is left of your original image and you feel like an artist beamed in from the future.
Rfree (IAP) / Android
From the future of art to the past: Retrospecs lets you craft delicate pixel art as seen on classic micros and consoles… only you don’t have to do any of the work, because the app will instantly convert any image on your behalf. Of course, you can tweak the settings, before claiming that you were once a star 8-bit artist but lost your
talent to Donald Trump in a game of strip poker.
Rfree or R77 / iOS
You’ve got a phone and use it for more than Netflix, Spotify and Facebook, so people think you’re a tech wiz – which is a problem when they assume you can knock up anything from an invite to an infographic in minutes. Handily, Canva makes that possible, by supplying you with loads of templates and a speedy interface to unleash your newfound (temporary) creative design smarts.
You’ve doubtless seen AI that can take a prompt and then churn out paragraphs that read like the mash-up you’d expect from tech that’s eaten the entire internet. DeepWriter can do that, but head to its other tab, which lets you write via AI-assisted autocomplete…with a screen full of options. It won’t help you craft a bestseller but can get you going when you’re stuck in a rut.
Rfree (IAP) / iOS
Keen to create loops rather than mess with other people’s? Figure draws on Reason’s rich heritage and squashes its classic synth apps into a streamlined package. You tap or hold the screen to fashion drum, bass and lead parts. Create something amazing, copy it to GarageBand and set it as a ringtone that no one else in the world will have – or indeed, if we’re being completely realistic, want.
Rfree / iOS