How to Use a Cricut Without A Computer


How to use a Cricut without a Computer

You own or are considering purchasing a Cricut Machine and aren’t thrilled about the idea of being tethered to your laptop to work on your projects. Cricut Design Space, the desktop application required to work with Cricut Explore & Cricut Machines is also available as an Android App & iOS Device.  We’ll discuss other devices that can be used with Cricut Explore and Maker machines, the pros and cons of using a Cricut with these devices, as well as how to find the most up to date information about Cricut Design Space requirements.

Cricut In Front of Monitor

Do You need a computer to use a Cricut?

A computer is not required to use a Cricut Explore Air , Cricut Maker, or Cricut Joy. Alternatively, Cricut machines can be used with ios and Android Devices .  The Cricut Design Space App is available in the Apple App Store for IOS devices.  Cricut Design Space is available in the Google Play Store for Android Devices. The Cricut Design Space App can be downloaded onto a tablet, and this allows you to use a Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker without a computer.  

While it is possible to use the Cricut without a computer there are some limitations to using the App on mobile devices. The Cricut Design Space App for Android App and the Cricut Design Space App for iOS work slightly differently. So we will discuss the limitation of these two Cricut Design Space Apps, as well as some features for Cricut that are only available on the desktop version of Cricut Design Space.

Cricut Projects You Can Make without a Computer

Using the Cricut Design Space ios or Android Apps you can create stickers, greeting cards, vinyl projects, and much more without a computer. There are limitations to design elements, such as pattern fills and curved text depending on the app you are using which are explained in more detail in the sections below.

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How to Find Free Designs for Cricut

An Internet Connection is not required to cut/write/or draw with the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker Machines. However, you will need an internet connection to initially set up your machines. Designs will be limited to images, fonts, and projects that you have saved for offline use.

Limitations of Using a Cricut with the Android App

The Cricut Design Space App for Android can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Downloading Cricut Design Space to a Tablet or Mobile device allows you to use a Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machine without a computer. This definitely provides some flexibility, and most of the features available on a computer are also available on the Android App.  However, it is important to note some features that are available in Cricut Design Space on a Computer but are not available in the Cricut Design Space Android App.

The three biggest limitations of the Android App are:

  1. You cannot use the Print then Cut feature of Cricut Design Space
  2. The Cricut Design Space Android App cannot be used with a Chromebook
  3. The Cricut Design Space Android App cannot be used offline

Print Then Cut is NOT Available on the Cricut Design Space Android App

The Print Then Cut feature adds a lot of versatility to your Cricut Machine. This is the most disappointing feature that is not currently available in the Cricut Design Space App for Android. If you are not familiar with the Print then cut Feature, below is a quick video from Cricut that describes the process.

This video from Jennifer Maker outlines how to use the Print then Cut feature to make one of a kind T-Shirts.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use this feature on the Cricut Design Space Android App. This feature is only available on the Cricut Design Space App for iOS and on the Cricut Design Space iOS.

Cricut Design Space CANNOT be used with a Chromebook

The Chromebook is a laptop that uses its own unique operating system Chrome OS. The google play store is available on most Chromebooks, but due to the restrictions of the Chrome OS, Cricut Design Space is not available on a Chromebook. 

The Cricut Design Space Cannot be used OFFLINE with the Android App.

When Cricut Design Space was first released, it was a web-based only application. You needed to have an internet connection to design and cut using a Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker series machine. I recently wrote a post about what is available with Cricut Design Space Offline. Visit that post to learn more.

When using a computer, you will need an internet connection to download the Cricut Design Space app and log in to your Cricut user account. However, on a computer, you are able to design and cut using Cricut Design Space Offline.

Cricut Design Space Feature Available on Android App?
Print Then Cut No
Templates No
Pattern Fills No
Curved Text No  
Knife Blade No
Offline No
Cut & Write Yes
Cricut Machine Setup Yes
Image Uploads Yes
Access to System Fonts Yes
Connect via Bluetooth Yes
Access to Purchased Fonts Yes  (with Internet Connection)

Limitation of Using Cricut with the iOS App

The Cricut Design Space iOS App is the next best thing to the desktop app for Windows/Mac. It lacks some functionality that is available on the Windows/Mac-based version of Cricut Design Space.  Templates, Pattern Fills, Curved Text and Cuts using the Knife Blade are not available in the Cricut Design Space iOS App.

Cricut Design Space Feature Available on iOS App?
Templates No
Pattern Fills No
Curved Text No  
Knife Blade No
Print Then Cut Yes
Offline Yes
Cut & Write Yes
Cricut Machine Setup Yes
Image Uploads Yes
Access to System Fonts Yes
Connect via Bluetooth Yes
Access to Purchased Fonts Yes  (with Internet Connection)

SnapMat is only available on the Cricut Design Space iOS App

 The Cricut Design Space iOS App has a feature called snap mat that is exclusive to the Cricut Design Space iOS App.  According to Cricut’s website: “SnapMat helps you visualize image and text placement by capturing a photo of your material on the cutting mat. You can see the layout as a virtual mat preview. Images and text can be repositioned over the photo for ideal placement.”

Snap Mat is not available for the Cricut Design Desktop based application or the Cricut Design Space Android App.  Below is a video that demonstrates how to use a snap mat.

Cricut Features only Available with a Computer

These are features that are only available for  Cricut Design Space when using a Computer. These features are not available on the Cricut Design Space Android App or the Cricut Design Space iOS.

Template

Templates help you to visualize how your final project will look on your intended medium. For example, if you are designing a T-Shirt, you can use a T-Shirt Template to help visualize how your design will look on the final T-Shirt.

Pattern Fills,

Pattern Fills allow you to add patterns to your Print then Cut projects.

Curved Tool

According to the Official Cricut website:

The Curve tool can be used to bend text into a circular shape.

“Use the Curve tool in Design Space to easily bend your text into a circular shape. The Curve tool can be found in the Text Edit bar at the top of the Canvas, between the Alignment and Advanced tools.”

Knife Blade Cutting

The Knife Blade is a feature that is only available to use with the Cricut Maker. You must make projects that use the Knife Blade while using Cricut Design Space on a computer.  

Bottom Line on Using Cricut without a Computer

It is possible to use Cricut on mobile devices and tablets but, if you want to make use of ALL of the features that Cricut has to offer, then you should use Cricut Design Space on a Computer.  Using the Cricut Design Space App for Apple iOS is the next best option, as it has many of the features of the Cricut Design Space Computer App. Using the Cricut Design Space App for Android is the least versatile option, you won’t be able to use the Print Then Cut Feature and you cannot use Cricut Design Space Offline.

Cricut is constantly making updates to Cricut Design Space. The most up to date information about using Cricut Design Space online can be found by visiting the Cricut Design Space Comparison on Circuit’s Official website.

Mimi D.

Mimi D is the creator of Dream Plan Smile. An NYC native, she is a wife and mom with a passion for crafting. She holds a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Project Management. In her current role as a working wife and mom, she is getting a crash course in budgeting, planning, & organization.

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