There’s heaps of dodgy tag generators and virtual graffiti games available in the iTunes app store, there’s even that cute spray can app which makes can rattling noises as you shake your phone. They are all pretty clever and fun to play with but they won’t really help you with your IRL writing. So below I’ve put together what, in my opinion, are the top 5 useful apps for writers.
All City Street Art and Graffiti | $0.99
What it is: This App uses your GPS location to pinpoint graffiti walls, galleries and stores nearby. It allows users to upload images and tag the location so other users can visit the location to see the work.
How it helps: Been traveling somewhere for the first time and know there’s a great wall somewhere but can’t find it? Love a certain artist and want to stay up to date with their new work? You can also submit your own artwork which is a great way to promote yourself as you can also include links to your website from the listing.
Downsides: You’re probably only going to find legal and commissioned walls. It relies on users to generate content so there may be no listings for some locations. The temporary nature of graffiti means there is a chance that you might get to the wall and what you’re looking for is no longer there, although the site does encourage archiving of walls that no longer exist.
5-0 Radio | Lite version: Free, Full version: $0.99
What it is: This is the modern version of a police radio scanner. The handy app allows you to listen to live communication between emergency services and other industries that use radio communications.
How it helps: Ever been hitting a red hot spot, heard sirens and wondered if they were coming for you? Ever seen flashing lights approaching, dirtied your underwear then realised it’s just an ambulance or fire truck? Yep, we’ve all been there… If you were listening to 5-0 radio you could have potentially known if that ghetto bird hovering overhead had you in its sights and kept you knickers clean.
Downsides: Some cities services aren’t available. You could be too busy listening to the transmissions to realise there’s bacon rolling up on you.
Get 5-0 Radio
Graffiti Wars | Lite version: Free Full, Version: $0.99
What it is: This is a graffiti game (yeah I know I’m meant to be posting real life useful stuff but I just had to include this one). The app uses the phones GPS so you can virtually get up and earn points for your bombs at your current location, so you are actually getting up (virtually), at locations (in real life), kinda confusing but I guess it means you have to leave your couch to go all city. You create your graffiti within the app using the variety of nozzles and tools and earn points by posting them at spots on real world maps. You are competing against others in your area and yes you can cap people (this earns extra points), hence the name. I actually know a heap of writers who are addicted to this game (I think they also post ‘real life’ graf images as well) so it seems getting up can be just as fun without all the usual risks.
How it helps: Well it’s not gonna improve your can control. But it’s fun, addictive and guaranteed to overcome boredom and the creator says you can “gain fame and respect”, virtually, I suppose.
Downsides: Some tools need to be purchased for continuing gameplay so you will have ongoing costs. You’re not really getting up, internet fame… need I say more.
Get Graffiti Wars
Adobe Photoshop Express | $Free
What it is: Although not strictly a graf app, this simplified version of industry standard photo editing software Photoshop, allows you to complete some basic image enhancement such as contrast and exposure and add simple effects such as vignette blur and borders on your phone.
How it helps: Perfect for brightening colours and adjusting the exposure of an image taken in low light. Can publish straight to your social networking pages from the app which means you can quickly post a great looking image straight from your phone, so no need to download onto a computer to make image adjustments.
Downsides: Some additional features need to be purchased at a cost.
Ironlak Graffiti Lab v1.0 | $TBC
What it is: Still in prototype stage as a design project and not an official Ironlak product, this app is still worth mentioning as it streamlines the colour picking process of planning a piece. It also brings Ironlaks product range and newsfeed to your pocket. The app is broken up into 3 sections: products, news and the interactive graffiti lab.
How it helps: Most writers figure out their colours for a piece during the sketching stage, some colour it in, other just write in what colours goes where like a paint by number. This app could essentially modernize this process allowing you to figure out exact colours before going to the store to buy the paint. This would avoid those tough decisions like do I want Matador or Soviet?
Downsides: Still in development stage, may not ever actually be available. Colours may not be accurate on screen.