The 25 Best Color Apps for the iPhone

The ever-expanding universe of iPhone apps includes plenty of goodies for color fans.

Here we present the 25 best color apps for iPhone.

For color scavengers

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.07.04 AMColor Identifier ($4.99) uses the camera on your iPhone or iPod touch to speak the names of colors in real-time.


Color Viewfinder (FREE): The real time, free, easy to use and share palette generator. This magical app will turn your photos into awesome color palettes.


Palettes Lite (FREE) or Palettes Pro ($9.99) let you sample colors from the world, then whip them into color palettes that you can sort, save, share or export in HTML, RGB, CMYK, HSB and hex values among others. Lite allows you to save up to 3 palettes with 5 colors per palette, while Palette offers 25 colors per palette and an unlimited number of combos.

myPantone ($9.99) gives you portable access to a variety of Pantone color libraries, although user comments suggest you better lug your physical color decks in for a press check. A good complement app is myPantone X-ref ($1.99), which shows you the closest match of a shade from one Pantone library to another.

colorSutra ($1.99) samples a color from the world and suggests matching or complementary hues. In a similar vein, Irodori (FREE) analyzes a picture and highlights its most characteristic colors for export as a useable palette.

For housepainters, decorators and color-customizers

ben Color Capture (FREE) lets you take a iPhone snapshot of any bright shade that catches your eye, then match it instantly to one of the 3,300 shades in paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore’s hue system.

ColorSnap for iPhone (FREE) similarly matches color snapshots to Sherwin-Williams 1,500 available paint colors.

ColorChange ($2.99) is a great foil to the paint-store apps, letting you take a photo of your room and visualize it with your chosen color before you paint.

PaintSwatches ($1.99) lets you tackle bigger paint-jobs with aplomb. This app organizes your paint-palettes by room, making it easy to harmonize from room to room and shop for matching furniture.

NikeID (FREE) puts the same color-matching technology to design custom sneakers.

 For photographers

ColorSplash ($1.99) turns any photo black-and-white, while highlighting any object you select in color. Or try the free version, Dash of Color (recently renamed Splash of Color) or Touch of Color (FREE).

ColorCanvas Basic (FREE) lets you doctor B&W photos with colors that you choose, plus play with opacity and brush size.

For procrastinators

Eye vs. Eye ($0.99) pits your color-matching skills against a random opponent or against yourself in solo play. A target color flashes; then you’re given 3 sliders to exactly match the target shade. With 16.7 million target colors, you won’t burn through this game too quickly – and if you do, move on to James Franzen’s other iPhone games, Kern for type fans and Press Check for hardcore print aficionados.

Color Blind Test (FREE) is what it sounds like: a super-fast test to check if you’re colorblind. If you are (or designing with colorblind users in mind), then turn to HueVue Colorblind Tools (FREE) to simulate their experience or correct your color matches.

ColorTilt ($0.99) lets you finger-paint on your iPhone, selecting the color you want by tilting the phone slightly until your chosen hue appears. Its more pricey cousin ColorTouch ($4.99) works along similar lines, but allows you to import photos.

Which Color Are You? (FREE) pings you with a few simple questions and assesses your color-personality accordingly. Exactly the right speed for a dentist’s waiting room. If you’re waiting on a lengthy root canal, check out the app version of Dr. Max Lüscher’s Color Test ($1.99).

myColorWave (FREE) blinks a series of colored lights as you tap or shake your iPhone. Light your way in a dark movie theater, wave your silicon-powered torch at a rock concert, or just stare at the thing. A perfect drool-machine for odd moments.

(FREE) calls itself a “jigsaw puzzle of light” for good reason: your
challenge is to overlap jigsaw slices of color so that they blend to
create a pre-specified color. This one both hones your color skills and
fills you with a strange calm. Cool demo below:

See any of the best color apps that I missed? Make your own suggestions in the comments below, and we’ll keep updating!

Get more from Jude Stewart.

For More Resources on Color

Color Inspirations: See top color palettes from the popular website,
Meet the Founder of and the author of Color Inspirations

Pantone Essentials with Effects Package: Get Color Guides.
ColorLovers ColorSchemer Studio, A Professional Color-Matching Application
Design TV’s exclusive video with Jude Stewart: Color Trends and Inspiration

Color & Design, Design Inspiration, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Jude Stewart

Jude Stewart is a PRINT contributing editor. She has written on design and culture for Slate, Fast Company, The Believer, I.D., Metropolis, and Design Observer, among many others. She has authored two books, both published by Bloomsbury: ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color (2013) and Patternalia: An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage and Other Graphic Patterns (2015). Follow her tweets on color at

5 thoughts on “The 25 Best Color Apps for the iPhone