Cricut Design Space iPad vs Computer: What Device to Use?

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As you probably already know Cricut Design Space is compatible with both the iPad and the computer (even with Android); but you may be wondering which device will give you better results, a computer or an iPad?

In this article, we are going to cover

With that said, let’s jump right in!

Cricut Design Space: iPad vs. Computer 

You can use both the iPad and Computer versions of Cricut to design and create your projects. For example, both offer the option to contour, cut & write in one step, flatten to print, attach, print then cut, slice & weld, image upload, font styles, and much more.

However, some Cricut Design Space features are only available on an iOS device (iPad, iPhone), some on a computer, and some on an Android app. We’ll cover all the differences below.

It comes down to which features you can’t live without to make your designs.

What Are the Different Cricut Design Space Features Available on iPad vs Computer 

In the table below, we outline the different features available on a computer or laptop (Windows/macOS) & iPad or iPhone iOS version of Cricut’s application.

FeatureWindows/MaciOS App
Bluetooth compatible
Cut & write in one step
Flatten to print
Writing style fonts
Machine setup
Print then cut
Slice and weld
System fonts
Photo Canvas
3D layer visualization
Smart Guides
Pattern fills
Image upload
Link Physical Cartridges
Curve Text
Knife Blade cutting
Community (profiles, project sharing)
Project Collections

As you can tell, some features are specific to each device. Let’s take a look at the most important ones. 

Unique Cricut Design Space Features Available Only on a Computer/Laptop 

The computer (Windows/macOS) version offers pattern fills, pre-made templates, curve text, knife blade cutting, project collection, and more. In case you are not familiar with these, let’s cover them below:

Pattern Fills: For Print, you can apply pattern fills to any of your text or picture layers. Hundreds of patterns are available in the Cricut Design Space pattern collection, or you can create your own. 

How to upload new patterns and use Pattern fill in Cricut Design Space | Source: NeliDesign

Templates can help you size and visualize your project when working in Design Space.

Using Templates in Cricut Design Space | Source: AngieHolden

Curve Text: On your Windows/Mac, you can curve your text by using the curve tool in the design panel. It makes the text stand out. This feature is useful when designing shirts, for example. Tip: you can save your curved text as an image and use it on an iPad.

Knife Blade cutting: If you are working on a project with dense materials up to 3/32″ thick, you can use a Knife Blade with ease and safety. This is not available on the iPad.

10 Things to Know About the Knife Blade | Source: Cricut

Project collection: helps you stay organized. It is very similar to having folders on your PC where you organize your files & data. But instead of folders, you have collections in Cricut where you can easily manage your projects.

Organize Projects in Design Space with Project Collections | Source: Cricut

Offset: With the offset feature you can create a proportionally larger or smaller layer of your design, whether text, images, or a combination. 

Unique Cricut Design Space Features Available Only on iPad, iPhone (iOS)

On the other hand, the iOS app version has features like 3D layer visualization, photo canvas, smart guides, and Snapmat, which aren’t available on the Mac/Windows version. Let’s cover some of these, in case you are not that familiar with them:

SnapMat: You can capture a photo of your material on the cutting mat, allowing you to visualize the image and text positioning. Thus, you can see the layout as a virtual mat preview. You can adjust your shape over the snap mat shot.

Here is a great video explaining this:

How to Use SnapMat | Beginner Design Space Tutorial | Source: Cricut

The Smart Guides feature helps you position things in relation to other objects on the canvas. This feature is also available on Android but not on a computer. 

The 3D layer visualization helps render the designs in the most realistic and streamlined way by projecting a 3-dimensional perspective. This helps in quickly recreating product designs. 

What Device Should You Use for Cricut Design Space? 

Some people use only iPads. They design their project in Procreate and then transfer it into Design Space. Others use a computer only. There are also professionals who use both. 

Ultimately, it comes down to two important decision factors. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What software, app and device do you use most often when creating your designs? If you don’t use anything specific yet, computers are generally easier to work with.
  2. Are there any specific features that are important to you and only available on a computer or the iOS (iPad) version of Cricut Design Space? Look at the feature comparison table above. If you will use any features specific to a type of device, that will give you the answer.

Are iPads easy to use with Cricut? 

It is easy to use Cricut with an iPad. However, you may hit some of the iOS and iPad’s limitations in terms of what’s available in the iOS version of Cricut Design Space. A few of the Cricut Maker-specific tools won’t work with an iPad. 

Some things to be aware of: in some cases, the iPad won’t correctly do the Cricut machine calibration. And finding and installing new fonts is a lot easier on a computer.

Here is an excellent video on how to use Cricut Design Space on an iPad.

How to use DESIGN SPACE on the IPAD | Source: AuntieTay

Top 3 Devices for Cricut Design Space 

If you want to buy a top-notch device for Cricut, here are a few options that we recommend.

Apple iPad ProSAMSUNG Tab S6 LiteHP Pavilion x360
Cricut Design Space iPad vs Computer: What Device to Use?Cricut Design Space iPad vs Computer: What Device to Use?Cricut Design Space iPad vs Computer: What Device to Use?
Best iPadBest Android TabletBest 2-in-1 Laptop
Screen Size: 11-inchScreen Size: 10.4-inchScreen Size: 14-inch
Storage: 128GBStorage: 128GBStorage: 512GB
Battery Life: Up to 10 hoursBattery Life: Up to 13 hoursBattery Life: Up to 9 hours
Check on AmazonCheck on Amazon Check on Amazon

For more options, check out the 10 Best Laptops for Cricut.

FAQs about Cricut Design Space

In this section, we answer the most frequently asked questions on Cricut Design Space.

Can you use an Apple pencil with Cricut Design Space?

An Apple pencil can not directly be used in Cricut Design Space; but, you can use the Apple pencil in Procreate, for example, to make designs. Then, transfer the designs/patterns from Procreate to the Cricut Design Space app.

Do I need a computer for Cricut?

You don’t need a computer for Cricut. Cricut Design Space is available on iOS, Android, Mac, or a PC. However, the computer version of the application is preferred by most crafters. Some are happy with the mobile apps though.

It is important to note that some features are missing in the iOS app version, and others are not available on the computer version of the software. For example, it is more convenient to download a font on a PC than on an iPad.

Can I use my Cricut with my phone?

A phone version of Cricut is available for iOS & Android users. This makes it easier to edit and design projects at the ease of a tap and thanks to smart guides. However, the phone version has some limitations because some features are only available on the laptop/computer version. 

Conclusion: Touch vs. Click 

Both an iPad & a computer will work with a Cricut machine and Cricut Design Space. And both the app versions have some features missing compared to the other.

To decide whether to get an iPad or a computer, you want to consider which software or app – and thus the device – you use the most for creating your designs. If you don’t use anything specific yet, computers are generally easier to use.

And are there any specific features that are important to you and only available on a computer or the iOS (iPad) version of Cricut Design Space? If so, that will give you the answer.

We hope this detailed guide helped you to make a decision. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and we will respond as soon as we can.

Related readings: How to Use Cricut Expression with a Computer


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