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iScape review

iScape brings your landscape design ideas to life using AR – but you may find its limited functionality frustrating.

iScape Review
(Image: © iScape)

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to visualize what your dream garden design will look like, iScape provides a fun and immersive way to do so using augmented reality (AR). The basic version is free, but you'll need to subscribe for more functionality. But even the Pro version can't compete with more feature-rich desktop landscape design software.

For

  • Free basic download
  • Tiered subscription options
  • Intuitive interface
  • Immersive AR experience

Against

  • Apple devices only
  • Can't export designs
  • Limited functionality

We've researched the latest landscape design software, sifting through thousands of specs, features and user reviews to find the best landscape design software for your needs. Here's everything you need to know about the iScape app.

iScape is an app that uses the built-in camera of your iPhone or iPad to capture data about your current garden environment, and then uses augmented reality to overlay your landscape design plans on top in real-time.

Whereas some landscape design tools – such as our overall top pick Realtime Landscaping Pro – include an immersive 'walkthrough' function, iScape enables you to simply walk around your garden carrying your device, exploring your design proposal from different vantage points.

iScape review: Price

The basic version of iScape is free to download for homeowners, making it a great addition to more feature-rich landscape design software without the need to choose between different options. 

For more functionality – including the ability to work with more than 10 layers – and access to a wider range of plants, you need to subscribe. iScape Plus is $9.99 for a single month, or $14.99 for three months.

There is also the option to upgrade to a Pro version for additional functionality. Primarily targeting landscape design professionals, iScape Pro incorporates promotional tools such as a custom company profile, and the ability to generate proposals and material lists from within the app. 

Perhaps its most valuable feature is access to iScape's 'Pro Designer' network. Here, you can source leads from free-app-using homeowners who are requesting professional assistance with their projects. 

iScape Pro will set you back $19.99 per month or $99.99 annually. Or if you only need it for a short period of time, it's $5.99 for a single week.

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iScape Review

(Image credit: iScape)
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iScape Review

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iScape Review

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iScape review: Design features

iScape has a clean, easy-to-use interface. It provides two main options: a more straightforward approach that overlays design elements onto a static image, and the immersive, interactive AR option that renders your landscape design ideas in real-time as you walk around.

You'll find a fully searchable library of trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants and garden accessories within the app, complete with info and planting tips to help you make the right decisions. Pro users can also upload photographs of their own custom additions to the library.

Once you've chosen and placed an element, you can then mirror, copy and clone it elsewhere in your design to save time. The free version only provides 10 layers for you to work with, however, which is highly restrictive for more complex landscape designs with multiple planting locations – but then it is free, after all.

iScape: At a glance

Price: Free (basic), tiered subs up to $99.99/year (pro)
Views: Overlaid flat image or AR walkthrough
Customizable objects: No
House exterior model: No (photo only)
House interior model: No
Cost estimates: Pro only
Tutorial videos: No
Sample designs: No (flat images only)

Should you buy iScape?

We don't recommend jumping straight into a full-blown subscription. Given that the basic app can be downloaded for free, it's worth having a play with iScape first. 

If you're looking for a fully-equipped CAD tool to plan things in detail, you will need to look elsewhere. While the Pro version has some neat extra features, and may help you generate leads from homeowners using the basic app, if you're spending $100 we believe it would be better spent on a much more powerful package like Realtime Landscaping Pro – our pick for best overall landscape design software.

However, if you're just keen to find a simple, intuitive way to visualize your landscape design plans before you commit to buying plants or hiring a contractor, then iScape is a fun tool for quickly putting those ideas to the test – provided you own an Apple device, of course.