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I've been trying to wireframe my designs for apps, but keep getting frustrated with the limited ability and poor usability of the software I've used (Balsamiq, Pencil, Prototyper).

Do you have any suggestions for free software that is up to date with buttons/elements for Android and iOS?

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    If you are after something that closely resembles Adobe software, just use Adobe software. Create some elements in Photoshop or Illustrator and mock it up in InDesign. – John Apr 3 '14 at 15:04
  • It sounds like you're not wanting to do wireframing, but visual design mock-ups. Related, but a different beast, IMHO. Regardless, this question can't be answered as there is no way to determine 'best'. – DA01 Apr 3 '14 at 15:17
  • You can download kits for Balsamiq that are specially designed for Android and iOS. Have you tried those? Adding to what others have mentioned, are you talking wireframes or mockups? Maybe if you can explain why exactly you didn't like about the programs mentioned we can look into alternatives (I don't know of any others, I find Balsamiq extremely useful) – Yisela Apr 3 '14 at 19:38
  • "Free" is often not "best". Have you looked into Axure? It's a solid wireframing and lo-fi prototyping tool. If you need to do mockups, I'd go with Illustrator, Fireworks, or (if you must stay free) Inkscape. – plainclothes Apr 4 '14 at 16:20
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There are extensions you can use for Balsamiq that will help you design wireframes for Android and iOS.

For example:

MockupsToGo is a user-contributed collection of ready-to-use UI components and design patterns built using Balsamiq Mockups. New patterns are added all the time - we hope you'll want to contribute as well!

In particular, here are stencils for Android (12 of them), and for iOS (27 in total).

Pencil also has custom stencils and templates you can download. Check them out here.

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I'm working at Pidoco.

With our prototyping tools you can develop prototypes for both iOS and Android and simulate them directly on the iPad using the free Pidoco App from the AppStore and from Google Play.

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You can also use POP (Prototyping on Paper), https://popapp.in/ POP is specially focused on develop mobile app wireframes, it is very simple to use. After finishing your paper sketches, you can upload them via mobile and edit them on your desktop with a bigger screen. Every change you make can be showed on different devices simultaneously so you can discuss with your team by commenting on the mock-up anytime.

We used to do paper based prototyping in our sprints earlier, where I would just try to act like a mobile and will change the paper on a touch/interaction of the user testing the sketch usability. With the advent of this the paper based usability testing has been taken to a whole new level.

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