8 Best Free 2d Animation Apps for iPad & iPhone in 2023

Best Free 2d Animation Apps for iPad & iPhone

The iPad has become a powerful canvas for artists and animators in digital creativity. With many apps available, even beginners can dive into the world of 2D animation. Here, we’ll explore the best free 2D animation apps for iPads, ranging from simple and user-friendly options to advanced tools professionals utilize.

8 Best Free 2D Animation Apps for iPad

Whether you’re sketching, storyboarding, or animating, these apps promise to be your steadfast allies in transforming your visions into captivating animations. So, buckle up as we dive into the vibrant world of animation apps, tailored exclusively for your iPad. Let your creativity run wild, and let’s discover the animation apps that will redefine your artistic journey.

8. Stick Nodes: Craf Stickfigure Animator for IOS

Stick Nodes
Import and Animate ImagesIncorporate images for dynamic animations
Frame-TweeningSmooth out animations automatically
Camera ControlsPan, zoom, and rotate scenes like in Flash
MovieclipsReuse and loop animation objects within projects
Shape VarietyCreate custom stickfigures with shapes and colors
TextfieldsEasily add text and speech to animations
Sound EffectsEnhance animations with various sound effects
FiltersApply effects like transparency, blur, and glow
Stickfigure JoiningSimulate interactions by joining stickfigures
Thriving CommunityConnect with a diverse community of animators
Extensive Stickfigure LibraryAccess 30,000+ downloadable stickfigures
Export to GIF and MP4 (Pro Version)Share animations online in GIF or MP4 format
Compatibility with Pivot Files (pre-3.0)Work with older Pivot stickfigure files
Save, Open, and Share Projects and ElementsConvenient project and asset management
Standard Animation Tools (Undo/Redo, Background Images)Essential animation features

Starting our journey is Stick Nodes, an animation app tailored for creating stick-figure animations. Primarily developed for games, this app offers automatic frame-tweening, allowing you to create animations effortlessly.

Beyond visual elements, Stick Nodes also enables the addition of sound effects. It’s an excellent choice for those dipping their toes into animation.

7. Sketchbook Motion: Adding Life to Your Drawings

Sketchbook Motion
Professional-Grade BrushesEnjoy a wide variety of brush types that mimic physical tools.
Customizable BrushesTailor brushes to your preferences for a personalized touch.
Precision Tools (Guides, Rulers, Stroke)Ensure accurate and detailed drawings with precision tools.
Versatile Layer SystemBuild, explore, and experiment with layers and blend modes.
Clean and Unobtrusive InterfaceFocus solely on your art with an elegant and distraction-free interface.
Premium Bundle (Unlockable)Elevate your experience with additional features and options.
Import/Export BrushesExpand your toolkit by importing and exporting custom brushes.
Enhanced Color OptionsAccess more color harmonies and custom gradients for creativity.
Color Selection from ImagesEasily pick colors from reference images to maintain consistency.
Effortless Palette CreationExtract color palettes from images and export/import them.
Layer Grouping and MaskingOrganize layers effectively and apply layer masks with ease.
Diverse Layer Blend ModesExperiment with various layer blending modes for unique effects.
PDF ExportExport your creations in PDF format for versatile sharing.
Ongoing UpdatesStay excited for upcoming features and enhancements.

Sketchbook Motion, an extension of the renowned SketchBook app, introduces animation capabilities to your iPad.

Designed to resemble popular drawing software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Sketchbook Motion simplifies the animation process.

It’s ideal for crafting beautiful animated scenes, illustrating concepts, and adding subtle movements to your creations.

6. Pilo Animation Kit: Unleash Your Creativity

Pilo Animation Kit
Tutorials for Stop-Motion and Keyframe AnimationsStep-by-step guides for creating captivating animations
Draw and SketchUtilize beautiful color palettes to bring your drawings and sketches to life
Shape Addition and Photo ImportEasily incorporate shapes, photos, and text elements into your animations
Character AnimationCreate dynamic characters by animating various body parts
Artistic ParticlesAdd unique artistic particles to add depth and flair to your animations
Tweening AnimationsCraft smooth animations with transitions in position, size, rotation, and transparency
Aesthetic BackgroundsAccess a collection of aesthetically pleasing backgrounds, with updates bringing new designs
Pre-Made Graphics and CharactersUtilize pre-made graphics and characters to speed up your animation creation process
Export to MP4 VideoShare your creations with the world by exporting them as MP4 videos
Gallery SharingShowcase your animations by submitting them to the Gallery and sharing them with

Animation Kit is a versatile creative app that empowers your artistic flair. Whether you’re working with sketches, images, or photos, this tool brings your ideas to life through animation. The app’s diverse tools enable seamless incorporation of drawings, images, and text, allowing your creativity to flow without limitations.

5. CalliPeg: The Newcomer with Professional Features

Frame Rate OptionsCreate shots with frame rates of 12, 24, 25, 30, or 60 frames per second.
Manageable TimelineEnjoy a user-friendly timeline within a simple, gesture-friendly interface.
Gesture ControlsFlip animations with three fingers, play/pause with four fingers, and more.
Floating PaletteAccess copy, paste, clear, and flip options easily via a floating palette using two fingers.
Layer ManipulationSelect, move, and transform drawings across layers, adding as many layers as needed.
Various Layer TypesDrawing, video, transformation, and audio layers for versatile content creation.
Brush Set and CustomizationComplete brush set with customizable settings, including smoothing, tip, and texture adjustments.
Color OptionsChoose colors via color wheel, sliders, or custom palettes, with color history for quick access.
Left-Handed InterfaceEnjoy a fully left-handed interface option accessible in the settings panel.
Import and ExportDrag and drop images from other apps directly into your animation; Export in formats like .mp4, .gif, and more.

CalliPeg, a newer addition to the animation app scene, boasts impressive features for hand-drawn animations.

Its user-friendly timeline and gesture-friendly interface make it easy to navigate, while the app’s frame rate customization supports various animation styles.

From frame rates like 12 and 24 to smoother 30 and 60 frames per second, CalliPeg caters to various animation needs.

4. Procreate: Where Art and Animation Converge

Ultra High Definition CanvasesCreate on canvases up to 16k by 8k resolution on compatible iPad Pros, offering unparalleled detail and precision.
Intuitive Interface for iPad and Apple PencilEnjoy a beautifully designed interface tailored for the iPad and Apple Pencil, ensuring a seamless and immersive creative experience.
QuickShape FeatureEasily create perfect shapes with the revolutionary QuickShape tool, streamlining your design process.
3D Painting with Lighting Studio and Animation ExportExplore 3D painting capabilities with Lighting Studio and export animations for dynamic visual storytelling.
Valkyrie Graphics EnginePowered by the blazing fast Valkyrie graphics engine, Procreate delivers responsive performance and a fluid painting experience.
Keyboard ShortcutsEnhance your workflow by connecting a keyboard to access shortcuts for efficient navigation and task execution.
Full-Featured Layering SystemExercise precise control over your art with a comprehensive layering system, allowing you to organize, edit, and combine layers seamlessly.
Color Customization and ProfilesChoose from a range of color options, import color profiles for matching, and assign Color Dynamics to brushes for dynamic effects.
Vector Text and Font IntegrationAdd vector text to your illustrations, import your favorite fonts, and resize your canvas to achieve perfect composition.
Visual Guides and StabilizationUtilize perspective, isometric, 2D, and symmetry visual guides for accurate drawing. Stabilization enhances strokes, ensuring flawless calligraphy and inking.
Animation and Page AssistCreate animations, storyboards, and more with frame-by-frame animation and Page Assist. Edit and share PDFs seamlessly within the app.
Dramatic Finishing EffectsElevate your art with powerful image adjustments, effects, and filters. Experiment with blur, perspective, and dynamic tools to add depth and movement to your work.
Time-lapse ReplayRelive your creative process with Procreate’s Time-lapse Replay feature, exportable in 4K for high-quality video production.
Export and Sharing OptionsShare your creations with ease by importing/exporting Adobe® Photoshop® files, utilizing various color palettes, and exporting in multiple formats including PSD, PNG, TIFF, and more.

Procreate is a household name in the art community, celebrated for its robust sketching, painting, and illustration capabilities.

However, many need to be made aware that Procreate also supports animation. With an extensive library of brushes and the ability to play and pause animations while working on the canvas, Procreate is a versatile option for both illustrators and animators.

3. Clip Studio: Professional-Grade Animation on iPhone

Clip Studio
Versatile CreativityDraw illustrations, create comics, and animate characters with ease in Clip Studio Paint.
Wide Range of ToolsAccess a complete studio of tools for artists of all skill levels, empowering creativity and growth.
Popular Among ArtistsUsed by over 30 million professional and hobby artists worldwide.
Free Trial & UsageTry the app with a free trial of up to 3 months or get 1 hour of free usage every day on your iPhone. Purchase plans available to extend usage.
Artistic Growth SupportBenefit from free courses, user tips, material downloads, and timelapse recording to enhance your skills.
Abundant BrushesChoose from 50,000+ free and premium brushes, customize textures, shapes, and more for diverse effects.
3D Models & AssistanceUtilize 3D models for challenging angles, real-time hand pose scanner, shading assist, and more.
Flexible LayersCreate up to 10,000 layers, utilize reference layers, masks, and various layer effects for depth.
Comic & Manga ToolsComic-specific features like speech bubbles, templates, collaboration, and a range of fonts.
Full Animation StudioMake GIFs and full-length animations, add sound, camera movements, and more.
Professional ToolsImport/export PSD files, utilize rulers, gradients, and precision tools for detailed work.
Different PlansChoose from FREE, PRO, and EX plans, catering to various needs, including multi-page and animation features.

Clip Studio has a reputation as a top-tier software for drawing, painting, and creating comics. Its animation features are equally impressive.

Utilizing vector layers, you can craft animations with precision. Clip Studio offers an intuitive interface, allowing users to easily arrange frames, apply camera effects, and create dynamic scenes.

2. Animation Desk: Frame-by-Frame Creativity

Animation Desk
Explore AnimationDelve into the world of animation, learning to create captivating cartoons and animations to share on YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram.
Video Tutorials & TipsAccess in-app video tutorials or visit the website for animation tips to enhance your skills.
AWARDSRecognized by EdTech Impact, Edshelf, EducationalAppStore.com, Apple’s iTunes Home Page, TechCrunch, Yahoo Tech, and more.
Frame-by-Frame AnimationUtilize Animation Desk’s digital flipbook-style interface, starting from the first frame or a keyframe. Use brushes or the selection tool for animation creation.
Animation with Videos & PhotosImport videos and photos, enhancing them with fantastic animation effects.
Editing ToolsDraw with various brushes or create custom brushes, add captions/subtitles, set up color palettes, and use tools like rulers and selection tools.
Frame & Layer ManagementEmploy onion skinning to trace motion, easily manage frames, duplicate or repeat frames, set FPS for speed control. Basic version offers 3 sketch layers, 1 background layer.

Animation Desk excels at frame-by-frame animation, making it a favorite among iPad users. Its intuitive interface is accessible to both beginners and experienced animators. The app supports up to nine layers, offers an array of brushes, and allows you to import images, videos, and Photoshop layers. With features like onion skinning, Animation Desk empowers artists to bring their ideas to life.

1. FlipaClip: The Flipbook Animator’s Dream

Animation ToolsCreate frame-by-frame animations easily with an intuitive timeline and tools.
Animation LayersFree: Use up to 3 layers. Pro: Add up to 10 layers (note: performance may vary).
Onion Skin ToolEnhance animation precision with onion skinning for smoother transitions.
Audio IntegrationIncorporate up to eight audio tracks, including voice recording and curated sound fx packages.
Image & Video InsertionAnimate imported images or draw on videos, add rotoscopes, and place images onto the canvas.
Movie CreationSave your animations as MP4, GIF, or PNG sequences with transparency.
Sharing OptionsShare animations on platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr.
Community EngagementJoin contests and challenges, win exciting prizes, and connect with other animators and creators.
Drawing ToolsUtilize practical tools like Brushes, Lasso, Fill, Eraser, Ruler shapes, and Text insertion.
Canvas CustomizationEnjoy custom canvas sizes of up to 1920×1920, with Apple Pencil support.
Animation ControlsAccess an animation timeline, overlay grids, frame viewer, and forward/backward animation controls.

Topping our list is FlipaClip, a fantastic app that brings flipbook-style animation to your fingertips. Offering a suite of tools for drawing, timeline management, onion skinning, and more, FlipaClip provides a well-rounded experience for animators.

Its vibrant color palette and audio-importing capabilities enhance the creative process. While the free version offers many features, upgrading to the paid version unlocks even more possibilities.


Creating 2D animations on your iPad has always been challenging, thanks to the free apps available. Whether you’re just starting or a seasoned professional, there’s an app to suit your needs.

From Stick Nodes for stick figure animations to FlipaClip for flipbook-style wonders, these apps empower artists of all levels to bring their imaginations to life. So, grab your Apple Pencil and dive into the world of 2D animation—your creative journey awaits!