Procreate vs. Procreate Pocket: What You Need to Know


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If you’re looking for a high quality digital art program, you’re probably thinking about Procreate. There’s no doubt that it’s a top choice for artists of all levels. But, when considering Procreate vs. Procreate Pocket, which one is best? What should you choose?

Procreate is a digital art program designed for iPads. Procreate Pocket is the same program, but it is designed to be used on iPhones. While there are differences between Procreate and Procreate Pocket, they are extremely similar aside from the devices they’re compatible with.

When thinking about Procreate vs. Procreate Pocket, the #1 question you want to ask yourself is this:

Do I want to be drawing on my iPad or on my iPhone? Is my iPad or iPhone compatible with Procreate?

If you want to be drawing on your iPad and your iPad is compatible with Procreate, you’ll want to choose Procreate.

If you want to be drawing on your iPhone and your iPhone is compatible with Procreate Pocket, you’ll want to choose Procreate Pocket.

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Or, like me, you’ll want to choose both! 

Even with these key questions answered, it’s important to know how Procreate and Procreate Pocket are unique. If you don’t, you might end up disappointed if the program you pick isn’t working how you thought it would.

Let’s dive into Procreate and Procreate Pocket so you can make the best choice for you and your art life.

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procreate vs procreate pocket

What is Procreate?

Procreate is a digital drawing and illustration program designed for iPads. Created in 2011 by Savage Interactive, Procreate has quickly become a popular program used by beginning artists and experts alike who enjoy creating art on their iPads.

Like I said, Procreate only works on iPads. It was designed exclusively with the iPadOS system in mind and doesn’t work with any other tablets or systems. If you already have an iPad, or plan to buy an iPad to use Procreate, here are the iPads that Procreate is compatible with:

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  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

iPad? Check. 

In addition to an iPad though, you’ll also need a stylus in order to use Procreate to it’s full abilities. While you can draw with your finger on Procreate, many people prefer to draw with styluses.

There are only two types of styluses that are confirmed to be compatible with Procreate. You can use other styluses with Procreate, but you might get wonky results.

For the best experience using Procreate, you’ll want to have either an Apple Pencil or a Logitech Crayon (the Logitech Crayon is a cheaper option if you’re on a budget).

Once you have your iPad and stylus ready, it’s time to download Procreate! Luckily, this will be the cheapest part of your experience.

Procreate is a one-time payment of $9.99. No subscription fees, no additional upcharges, no hidden payments. $9.99 and you’ll get full access to everything Procreate has to offer.

And, what exactly does Procreate have to offer? Almost everything you can imagine. Procreate has become so incredibly popular for good reason. It’s an amazing program for beginners, but also is used regularly by professional artists.

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If you want to create it, Procreate can do it. 

That said, there is one thing that Procreate can’t do when comparing it with other digital art platforms – vector art.

Procreate is a raster based program and does not have the ability to create vector art like Illustrator can. When using Procreate, it’s really important to pick the appropriate canvas size from the beginning because scaling your work too small or large will make your Procreate work look pixelated.   

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If vector graphics matter to you, you’ll want to look at the Adobe programs, like Illustrator. Other than that though, there’s very little that Procreate can’t do.

What is Procreate Pocket?

Procreate Pocket is a digital drawing and illustration program designed for iPhones. Created in 2014 by Savage Interactive, Procreate Pocket was created to complement Procreate’s iPad program. Procreate Pocket is very similar to Procreate, though it has features specifically designed for iPhones.

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Like I said, Procreate Pocket only works on iPhones. It was designed exclusively with the iOS system in mind and doesn’t work with any other phones or systems. If you already have an iPhone, or plan to buy an iPhone to use Procreate Pocket, here are the iPhones that Procreate Pocket is compatible with:

  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE 1st Generation
  • iPhone SE 2nd Generation
  • iPod Touch (7th generation)

No matter what type of iPhone you have though, it needs to have iOS 13.2 or newer.

iPhone? Check. 

In addition to an iPhone though, you’ll probably want a stylus to use with Procreate Pocket. While you can draw with your finger on Procreate Pocket, many people prefer to draw with styluses.

Unlike the iPad version of Procreate, you cannot use an Apple Pencil. iPhones are not currently compatible with iPhones, so you’ll need to choose other types of styluses. Luckily, you can choose almost any cheap stylus on Amazon to use with your iPhone and Procreate Pocket.

Once you have your iPhone and stylus ready, it’s time to download Procreate Pocket! Luckily, like the iPad version of Procreate, this will be the cheapest part of your experience.

Procreate Pocket is a one-time payment of $4.99. No subscription fees, no additional upcharges, no hidden payments. $4.99 and you’ll get full access to everything Procreate Pocket has to offer.

And, what exactly does Procreate Pocket have to offer? Similar to the iPad version of Procreate, Procreate Pocket offers almost everything you can imagine. Just in a smaller package!

Drawing on an iPhone can take some getting used to, but that’s an iPhone issue, not a Procreate Pocket issue. 

The really great thing about Procreate Pocket is that it’s EXTREMELY similar to the iPad version of Procreate. The main differences you’ll notice are related to how iPhones function vs. iPads.

Procreate Pocket settings

Savage Interactive didn’t just shove the iPad version of Procreate into an iPhone compatible software when creating Procreate Pocket. 

Instead, they built Procreate Pocket from the bottom up, giving it the same amazing capabilities as the iPad version of Procreate, but making sure that it was uniquely suited for iPhones.

For example, you’ll notice that the settings are tucked away so that your screen size is optimized.

When you use Procreate Pocket, it will feel like it’s specifically designed for your iPhone, which is really nice. It works really seamlessly and nicely with the iOS software.

Going back to the original question we talked about at the beginning, your choice between Procreate and Procreate Pocket really depends on whether you plan to use your iPad or your iPhone for drawing.

Both programs are specifically designed for either the iPad or iPhone, so either one is a great choice depending on the device you plan to use.

Diana Fitts

Diana has been an artist for over 25 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana's latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.

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