Every child loves coloring, and many grown-ups do too. Crayons are great. Watercolors are a blast. Even Etch-a-Sketch is a reliable, good time. But today, touch screens and apps make color time easier, brighter, more colorful, and for those of us who have to do the cleaning up, it is much, much less messy.
No doubt, your little ones will find a way to make a mess even with these. Still, there are lots of coloring apps to choose from, and your miniature Michelangelos are going to love them for sure – you might too.
Here are our top picks for the 10 best coloring apps for you and your little finger painters to use and enjoy.
The Best Coloring Apps for Adults and Kids
These apps are great, first and foremost, because there is no need to spend time and money on pencils, ink, paint, markers, or what have you. Second, clean up is as easy as a tap, a swipe, and maybe a harsh word at Siri. Over time, you’ll find these are a heck of a lot less expensive than using analog coloring materials.
Best of all, if you’re stuck on the bus or waiting at the dentist’s office, you have got something new and different to do. After all, you don’t really need the embarrassment of being caught playing Candy Crush in public again, do you?
Coloring Apps for Grown-Ups
If you need something to do, enjoy playing with colors, and miss this cathartic childhood activity, rejoice. Also, if you have real image-oriented production needs, some of these might help.
Color Therapy has the best ratings and reviews of any coloring app that we have looked at so far. There is a wide range of image types to play with, and the drawings are really, really nice! You can color in images of lovely women, cityscapes, word art, holiday images, and much more. You can choose to color freehand or opt for color by number. The palette of free colors you get to start with is pretty massive, and there is no shortage of mixing options. There are different payment schemes if you want to lose the ads and get a bunch of perks. The perks include additional brush types and over 8000 additional images. It costs $5.99 a week, $9.99 a month, or $59.99 a year.
Pigment might get you closer to actually painting than any other coloring app in existence. It is a very sophisticated coloring app that is probably too advanced for children under 10. It lets you use the simple mode in which you just tap a space to fill it with the selected color, which makes it enjoyable for children. But if you prefer, you can activate other modes that are, frankly, a little too complex to describe within the scope of a list section. But if you love image-making, you will not be disappointed. You get free access to premium for seven days. Then you can pay $5 a week or $59.99 a year. It sounds high, but if you have an artistic bent, Pigment is worth it.
This coloring app is a real gem, and it is not a bad pick for children either. If you have little ones, you could share it with them. It gives you approximately 20 free pages and many more if you go for a premium subscription. It will give you a few tips when you first open an image and a link to a gallery of images for inspiration. Before going on, it is worth mentioning that the free images are not low quality. The subscription ones are nicer and more plentiful, but you will get a lot of mileage out of the free ones. That kind of good faith is worth rewarding an app maker for, so consider it. Now, best of all, the subscription comes with some real perks, and even better than best of all, it only costs 57 cents a week or $29.64 a year. That will be like a gentle breeze blowing through your bank account.
The Coloring Book for Adults is, eponymously, for adults. However, this is only because the images are complex and lacking in cartoony things that would be meant to appeal to children. Do not quote us on that; you might find something that is truly adult-oriented, but we don’t really think so. With it, you get to choose from 30 categories of image types, and each category is loaded with tons of images to choose from. Honestly, you will probably break your tablet before you get through all of them. There are simple and complex settings, so if there really are no adult images in it, you could share it with children. That being said, the complex settings are seriously interesting, letting you apply lots and lots of style and technique. Now, for the clincher. It is totally free.
This app might be good for people aged 10 to 76, depending on their interests and talent. The images you get to color are, stylistically speaking, something between neon art posters from the 80s and typical 1970s van art. They might make good tattoos. They are technically complex, with lots of small spaces to fill in rather than big blocky sections. It is limited, but it is also free with a small ad presence. There are a little more than 25 pages for you to peruse, which will keep you occupied for a few hours. It is a good app to use to get started if you are dying to e-paint and don’t have any extra dosh at the moment. But coloring aficionados will probably want to move on to something more substantial after a couple of days.
Coloring Apps for Children
These apps are great for helping your children through under-stimulating events like grocery shopping and waiting at the dentist’s office. They are even better for those little budding Van Goghs who love to manipulate color.
6. Happy Color
This color by number game is good for either children or adults. It is relaxing and asks the user to fill out simple sketch images by plopping color into various spaces. The good news is it stays inside the lines for you. There are more than 15,000 images to color any way you like, and they fall into 15 different categories to make it easier to find one you like or haven’t done before. What’s more, you have more options than only automatically filling in spaces with the color of your choice. There are also soft and mixed colors, making it appeal to adults and children alike. The subscription costs only $7.99 a month if you don’t like being disrupted by ads.
Coloring is available on Google Play and on the App Store, and it used to be free but no longer is if you want to color without ads. You can unlock new free images by watching ads, which you can always mute and do something else during. It is meant to be used fast and easy, making it more than usually child-oriented. But it is also good if you are looking for something to fill in a few moments of the day. It is not something for artsy grown-ups. It is something to fiddle with. The images have distinctive thick black lines, which some people like and some do not. The advantage is that they make it easy to play fast and loose without crossing over the lines.
This is the most solidly child-friendly app on our list, and if you are willing to hand a tablet computer over to a toddler, this is the app for you and him or her. It is also very highly rated with a solid five stars. It is super simple, but very small children will be more than happy with it until they are not. Some users complain that the free images are too few, but no toddlers have yet logged their disappointment in the Google Play review section at this time.
9. Super Color
This is one of the most satisfying color by number apps that we have found, but it has the one major flaw of lots and lots of ads. Still, you can get rid of the ads with a subscription and use the free mode to try it out. You get access to a lot of features in the free mode, so you get a really good demo, plus The Adpocalypse. You can also apply shading effects that don’t make it any more challenging but give you more creative freedom. It is a great app for children since it is simple and option rich. Subscriptions are $9.99 a month, $23.99 for three months, and $69.99 a year.
This is arguably one of the top three free coloring book apps for children available for Android. Little colorers love it as it is replete with stickers, glitter, and other satisfying effects. It also gives you at least 200 pages to color up and interactive animations that will help keep kids entertained. It is designed to be easy to navigate for little coloring enthusiasts, which is great for E-babysitting. There are also a small number of pop-up ads which appear in the middle of the play, which is disruptive. But it is free.
How to Get These Coloring Apps
The coloring apps on this list are available on Google Play or the App Store. Here are the links so you can try them all out:
Color Therapy – iOS
Chroma – iOS
Coloring Book for Adults – iOS
Coloring Book – iOS
Toonia Colorbook – iOS