The introduction of the iPhone was a huge advancement in personal technology. Useful, functional and entertaining, it is hard not to forget that it can actually make calls, too. Over the years – and with the updates to the model that have given it better capabilities than ever before – the use of applications have overshadowed perhaps any other feature on the device.
For designers and typographers, it might feel feel like we have been left out. With all of those features you would think there would be something for us, right?
As it turns out, a quick search found that there are a number of iPhone font apps that have been created for font-specific purposes such as learning, comparing and designing.
Some of them are less than impressive, which tends to happen with apps. Apple is rather against third party applications, and so I kept anything that wasn’t approved off this list to avoid having to get into the ethics and process of jailbreaking.
Instead, here are the five best official iPhone font apps.
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This is a dream come true for any typographer. If you go around wondering what the typeface is on a poster, or what version of a font is being used for the latest album cover of your favorite band, this is for you. All you have to do is take a snapshot of the font and this application will quickly (and effectively) identify it for you.
Regularly updated, it connects to a huge database and lets you take the photo while still in the app, to eliminate any interruptions in use.
Why go looking for a database when you can carry it with you? This application acts as a wonderfully extensive font catalog of typefaces both new and old. It uses visual criteria for searches, but it has a browse option that allows you to look through without any previous knowledge of any font family.
Why spend $45 or more for a desk reference you can’t take along with you? This manual has a 60-page book crammed into one little application, as well as a number of useful tools for the average designer. There is a full anatomy glossary of hundreds of font types, an em calculator, a font size ruler and more. It is one of the most highly recommended tools I have found on the web.
Brush up on your identification skills or just waste some time on this cool little iPhone compatible game. It can be easily accessed through your phone’s web browser without any lagging. It shows the word ‘Fargo’ written in different types of font. You get to go through through one each try and guess from a list of four options which style it is. Each game has 30 tries and a point system.
While the 3 above will probably help and educate, this one is all about having fun. Would you like to test your typography knowledge? Now you can!
We all know that play is the best way to learn something: so learn new fonts, solve typography puzzles and play fonts whenever you have an idle hour: in the public transport, waiting in a queue or watching a tv. WarningL the game may get addictive!
5. Native Game: The Font Game
As far as other popular apps go, they are usually third party applications. If your phone has been put through a jailbreak they are worth a look, and completely free. But the iTunes store also has a number of other font related applications that you can check out.