Apps I use as a graphic designer
As a graphic designer, I use a lot of apps for work. Here are all the tools I use in the hope that it can help you.
A few months ago I entirely ditched Adobe products because of the price ($49.99/month), the subscription model, the fact that you have to use their Creative Cloud in order to use their softwares and to sync anything, the way Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign are bloated, the fact that often you can't use the softwares if you don't have an Internet connection because Adobe must be able to check your license… and so on and so on. Before doing that, I had heard about Affinity Designer and it seems like a great and cheaper replacement for both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. It is. I use it everyday for work and I absolutely do not regret this change!
Since I switched to Affinity Designer as my main graphic design tool (coupled with Sketch), I also started using Affinity Photo from Serif to replace Adobe Photoshop. It's a great software to edit and retouch the photos I use in my creations and web designs. It's also a great app for RAW development if you have the use for it. Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo cost $49.99 each so it's a pretty good deal compared to the price of the subscription's model of the Adobe Creative Cloud.
Since I no longer use Adobe software, I've also stopped using Adobe InDesign. I'm currently using QuarkXPress and I'm waiting for Affinity Publisher to come out. I know almost nobody uses QuarkXPress nowadays but, after using it for some times, I find the 2017 version pretty good. QuarkXPress was the industry standard before InDesign took the lead, but I find that the developers have done a good job to catch up and you might want to try it to see for yourself.
Swift Publisher is a nice little page layout software that does a really great job for the price. It's not comparable to Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress but it's a good solution when you only need to make a quick flyer or business card. The software costs is pretty cheap ($19.99) so you might want to give it a try if you're looking for a page layout software but can't afford the two industry's behemoths.
Photopea is an online photo editor, made with HTML5. With it, you can open, edit and save PSD and XCF - Adobe Illustrator and GIMP files and convert them between multiple formats (PSD, XCF, JPG, PNG and WebP). I use this tool a lot when I'm on my Linux laptop or when I just want to do a quick edit and don't want to launch Affinity Designer for that.
I use Flinto (or sometimes Principle) for quick prototyping apps and websites. It lets you create anything from simple tap-through prototypes, to comprehensive prototypes with impressive interactions. There’s no programming or timelines. It’s the prototyping tool designers have been waiting for.
I recently discovered Corel Vector. It's a free vector graphics tool that can run as a desktop application or in your web browser. The app has a nice and clean UI and is full of features. The software is cross-platform (macOS, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, web browser) and Android and iOS mobile apps are coming soon. Gravit Designer is pretty recent so it's not as stable and complete as Adobe Illustrator, Sketch and Affinity Designer, but it's completely free and the app is evolving fast so you might want to take a look at it and maybe give it a try.
ImageOptim helps me reduce the size of the images I use in my creations and web designs. It's excellent for publishing images on the web or making websites and mobile apps smaller. ImageOptim removes EXIF metadata, such as GPS position and camera's serial number, so that you can publish images without exposing private information (but there's an option to keep the metadata if you need it). Caesium Image Compressor is also a really great alternative that you can download, use online or with the command line.
We all know WeTransfer. But it's limited to 2 Go and it's not always the most stable service when you have to send important files quickly to a client. A few years ago, I stumbled upon Smash which is a similar service to WeTransfer but with unlimited file size. The service is really reliable and fast. Since I discovered Smash about two years ago, I haven't used WeTransfer once.
So, these are some of the tools I use as a graphic designer. If you found this list interesting, feel free to share it on social media and to make your own list about the software that you use. You can also suggest some apps I might have missed on my inbox on AlternativeTo or on my Twitter account.