The 8 Best Colors Apps of 2018

Generate colors that work best on your computer for graphic arts projects

A male painter using a color app on his smartphone.

 Arno Images / Cultura

When working on a project as an artist or designer, one of the many apps you may find yourself needing is a quality color app. There are a variety of good color apps for creatives on iOS and Android devices that can create color swatches and palettes, extract tones from photos, render color codes, and even visualize paint color changes in real-time.

Here are some of the best color apps worth investing your time in whether you're simply after a color code generator or need to create a palette to show a client.

Palette Cam iOS app

Alexander Mather

 

Palette Cam is a free app for iOS devices that lets anyone design a color palette using a photo or image stored on their device. Users can import a saved image or take a photo directly from within the app and colors are registered simply by tapping on different parts of the picture.

Once the color palette is to the user's liking, the palette and the image can be saved to the device or shared via social media and email.

What We Like

  • Completely free with no in-app purchases.
  • Very easy to use.

What We Don't Like

  • Requires iOS 9.2 and above so it won't work on older Apple devices.
  • The zoom feature helps but tapping on the correct color can still be hard on smaller devices like the iPod touch.
Color Grab app on Android.

 Loomatix Ltd

Color Grab is an incredible Android app for creatives that does almost everything color-related that you could ask for. This app can detect colors from photos and images, display their color values in up to 17 formats from RGB and HEX to Web-Safe and YIQ.

What really sets Color Match apart is its additional features that allow for the adjusting of white levels, mixing of colors to create new ones, and the matching screen for creating your own custom palette. The app, and all of its features, are also completely free with no ads used at all.

What We Like

  • Ability to export colors directly into Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Very easy to match colors and create themes.

What We Don't Like

  • No dark mode.
  • The buttons are a little bland.
Color Viewfinder app on iPhone.

Color Viewfinder

 

Color Viewfinder is an extremely convenient app for those who need to create color palettes quickly. This free iOS app automatically generates a color palette image based on a photo on your device and requires very little editing and changing.

Color results can be added or removed from the generated palette and the final selection of colors are displayed alongside the original photo and their HEX color codes.

What We Like

  • Very fast and easy to use.
  • App has a great design aesthetic.

What We Don't Like

  • The auto-detection of colors may frustrate those who want to manually select their palette.
  • Access to the HEX codes require a $1.99 upgrade.
ColorSnap Visualizer app on Android and iOS.

 Sherwin-Williams

ColorSnap Visualizer is a rather powerful tool for iOS and Android smart device users that can swap out the color of a wall in real-time using a phone or tablet's camera. The colors used to digitally paint the walls can be extracted from a photo of the room or taken from a color palette saved from a previous session. This allows for the matching of a new wall color with, for example, a lounge or a bookcase or anything else you take a photo of.

The ColorSnap Visualizer app is an official The Sherwin-Williams Company product which means that its main aim is to get you to buy its brand of paint after you've used the app. This, of course, isn't required and the app can simply be used for your own personal experimentation and inspiration.

What We Like

  • The real-time wall color swapping works very quickly.
  • The ability to customize palettes in a photo is designed really well.

What We Don't Like

  • ColorSnap is unavailable in some non-USA regions.
  • The app menus can be a little confusing at first.

Download ColorSnap Visualizer for iOS
Download ColorSnap Visualizer for Android

Color Converter app on Android.

 Sergei Ozerov

Color Converter is a free Android app that is essential to graphic designers who need to know the exact color values for projects. Users can use an in-app color picker to select tones and individual values can be converted with the push of a button.

This app presents the color values in RGB, CMYK, HEX, and HSV(HSL) which sets it apart from almost every other app out there which are usually limited to just RGB and HEX.

What We Like

  • Supports the four main color code systems used by artists and designers.
  • The ability to convert values is very useful.

What We Don't Like

  • Users need to use a different app for saving or sending codes.
  • The app's layout is rather bland for an art app.
myPantone app on Android.

X-rite

 

For artists and designers who need to plan their projects using Pantone's color libraries, you really can't do better than the official app, myPantone.

myPantone allows users to create new Pantone color palettes on the fly, store their existing ones, or share them with clients and colleagues via Adobe Creative Suite or QuarkXPress. Colors can also be copied from files stored locally on your device or from a fresh photo taken from within the app.

What We Like

  • A large number of Pantone color libraries available.
  • All content is unlocked after the initial purchase.

What We Don't Like

  • App does cost $7.45 which is pretty pricey.
  • You'll need another app for other color types.
Coolors color generation website and app.

 Coolors

Coolors is a color palette generation app that's available both on the web and as an iOS app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Unlike most other palette apps which rely on a photo to generate a color swatch, Coolors quickly renders a randomly generated collection of tones with the push of the Space Bar (on web) or a tap of the screen (iOS).

After the initial palette rendering, colors can be edited via their HSB, RGB, CMYK, Pantone, and Copic numerical values and collections can be saved to a free Coolors account or exported as PNG, PDF, SVG, and SCSS files or sent as an email. A unique web URL can also be generated for each color palette for others to view online.

What We Like

  • Great app for designers looking for inspiration.
  • Color palettes can be exported in PNG and PDF file formats.

What We Don't Like

  • Exporting as SVG and SCSS is only available on the web app.
  • Hard to justify the $1.99 price tag for the iOS app.

Download Coolors for iOS
Use Coolors on the web

Adobe Capture CC app on iOS and Android.

 Adobe

The free Adobe Capture CC iOS and Android apps, like many other apps, can create color palettes by importing an image or taking a photo with your devices camera. What sets it apart though is its numerous other features that make it an all-in-one destination for color and image creation and editing.

Adobe Capture CC can create digital brushes, render patterns from photos, and even edit images for use in 3D artwork. All creations sync to the Adobe Creative Cloud and can be used in other Adobe programs such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and InDesign.

What We Like

  • Does much more than create color palettes.
  • All assets can be saved to Adobe's Creative Cloud.

What We Don't Like

  • May not appeal to those not in the Adobe app ecosystem.
  • Features may overwhelm casual users who just want basic color swatch features.

Download Adobe Capture CC for iOS
Download Adobe Capture CC for Android