Are Adult Coloring Apps As Good As Coloring Books


Adult coloring apps first appeared on the market after the huge success that coloring books for adults saw. Coloring apps for adults are a strange phenomenon considering that one of the main benefits of adult coloring is getting you away from the stress of the digital age.

However, they do offer some real benefits like the ability to take your coloring truly anywhere. Lugging around coloring books to work, vacations, and so on can be a hassle that can cause unnecessary stress, but with coloring apps you just download the app to your phone and you’re good to go. This made us wonder, are coloring apps something that could completely replace coloring books or are they useless? I investigated some of the most popular coloring apps for adults to deicide.

Adult Coloring Book Premium


This adult coloring app is pretty simple, select a design, tap on a color with your finger, and then tap on a particular shape of that design to fill it in. With this coloring app you don’t actually color in shapes like you would with a normal coloring book, it’s much more about deciding what color goes in which shape and how those interact to create a fully colored in design.

I liked that you could zoom in on the design which makes it much easier to tap on some of the smaller shapes to color them in. Until I figured that out I was constantly coloring the wrong shape. With the free version you get 49 designs and 72 colors. If you decide to buy the app for $9.99 you will receive 24 more coloring designs and 96 additional colors to work with. Although the price isn’t that much over a regular adult coloring book, the free version of this app was enough for me and I didn’t really see a reason to buy the full version.

Color Therapy Adult Coloring App


This coloring app is similar in style to the previous one in that you don’t actually color in shapes, you simply select a color and tap on a shape to fill it in. This app however does have a few interesting features that made it more fun to use.

One of my favorite features was that built into the app is a music playlist which allows you to play relaxing music while you color. The music is nothing special, the songs range from pieces like “Relaxing Piano” and “Cheerful Jazz”. To be honest after a while I turned this feature off and listened to Spotify instead.

One of the best features of this app however is the ability to change the colors of the design outlines. This was a very fun feature to play around with and I can see it being useful with some designs. Another cool addition to this app is that unlike most coloring apps that provide you with only mandalas and flowers to color, in this one you can actually choose designs that feature famous people. This was once again fun to play with but I soon returned to mandalas. The feature that makes this coloring app truly great is that all the coloring designs are free and all you pay for in the premium version of the app are the colors. For $7.99 you can purchase all the color options along with gradients and some special features that allow you to easily share your work on social media.

Pigment Adult Coloring App


This was my favorite adult coloring app because it simulated normal coloring books the most. Unlike the previous coloring apps where you just select the color and then tap on a shape to fill it in, with Pigment you actually have to drag your finger or a stylus on the screen just like you would a pencil or marker for normal coloring books.

More than that the colors will actually blend into the colors they should, red and yellow form orange etc.! This feature makes this coloring app useful not just as a stand alone color therapy tool, but as a tool to use when coloring in normal coloring books to judge what blending two colors might look like. Along with that you also get to choose different color mediums that simulate things like markers, pencils or even watercolor brushes. 

I did however find that it could be difficult to stay within the confines of the lines but it seems that the creators of this app had thought of that and have created a feature that when turned on allows you to color inside a shape but won’t record any of the color that you may accidentally put down outside of that shape...it’s like those assistance tubes that keep your bowling ball in the lane.

The biggest negative of this app however is the price. With the free version you get 78 designs, when you pay you get access to the entire 350+ gallery. The issue is that the app is purchased through a recurring payment of either $4.99 a month or a whopping $24.99 a year. I would suggest sticking with the free version since you can always color the free designs over and over again.

After playing around with these coloring apps I can understand why some people like them so much. They are easy to use, either free or for the most part low cost, and make it very easy to take coloring on the go. However it just didn’t get the job done for me. After using these apps I did not have the same feeling I do after I color in a book. The only app that produced a similar effect was Pigment but even with that one I just wasn’t relaxed while color. I will be sticking with normal coloring books for my day to day coloring but these apps are a good option if you would like to “color” on the subway on the way to work or take your coloring with you to your next vacation.

Happy Coloring everyone!

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