Foldify lets you craft folded paper art... right from your iPad

If you own a printer, Foldify will make it fun again. If you don't own a printer, Foldify will make you seriously consider rushing out to get one. The reason for that is Foldify's ability to project itself from the iPad, where the app runs, to the real world, where the app's results live. The idea is remarkable simply -- draw one pre-defined templates, then print them out, fold them up, and enjoy real, touchable, arrangeable models of what you made. The execution is even more remarkable, because the developers managed to keep the app as simple as the idea, and that's no easy feat.

Launch Foldify and you'll see some examples of what can be done with it: Superfolderman, yellow car, tree, forlorn mushroom, bleeding box, house, red bus. Tap the + button and you get the blank versions of all those forms: box on a stand, cube, tall box, mailbox, pyramid, pyramid on a stand, car, D&D die, bus, and house. Tap the shape you want, and you're on your way to art.

The work view is where Foldify is really clever. You see a spin-able 3D render of the model on the left, and the open paper form on the right. As you work on the paper form, the 3D model updates in real time. It takes a moment to figure out which plane on the paper form corresponds to which plane on the model, but once you do figure it out, it provides excellent spatial placement for what you're drawing.

Tools are bread-and-butter. Thin pencil, thick paintbrush, stamps (eyes, noses, mouths, mustaches, hands, arms, eyeglasses, car parts, house parts, fruit, leaves, and patterns -- and more you can buy via in-app-purchase), eraser, color picker, under, redo, and restart (from blank). You apply the tools with one finger, move and rotate the canvas with two fingers. It's no more or less intuitive than any other, similar art app on iOS, though there are some collisions at times when the same two fingers are required to rotate stamps.

Once you're happy with your creation, you can exit the work view, which saves it, you can print it and get to folding, or you can share it to the Camera Roll, Twitter, Facebook, over email, or with the Foldify universe.

If you share it with the Foldify community, you'll be able to see it -- and like it -- in the online gallery, alongside everyone else's shared creations.

As mentioned previously, you can get additional extras via in-app purchase. Currently there's a Christmas Time pack with 26 elements available for "free" (as in you get it if you share the app via Facebook or Twitter, a coupling of which I'm not overly fond). There's also accessories, clothes, horror, and stickers. Each pack is $0.99. I bought them all, and I hope -- and believe there will be -- more over time. (Not everyone is artistic, so letting people use the app, coloring-book and Mr. Potato Head style, regardless of artistic talent, is really smart and greatly increases accessibility.)

Overall, Foldify is a brilliant idea turned into a brilliant app, and the developers seem intent on improving it at a rapid pace. Whether you simply want to make your own, hand-crafted set of Avengers, Justice Leaguers, Star Trek bridge crews, or Star Wars characters to set on a shelf, or you want to enjoy an incredibly fun activity with your children, Foldify is the way to do it.

Grab it now on the App Store and save 50% during their launch-time sale.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.