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Adobe outs Ink and Slide iPad accessories, new iOS apps

updated 11:30 am EDT, Wed June 18, 2014

SDK will enable third-party apps based on Adobe tech

Previously teased in concept form, Adobe has formally announced its first two hardware accessories, the Ink pen and Slide ruler. The former is a pressure-sensitive aluminum stylus designed around iOS 7, while the latter is a companion designed to help with more precise drawing, including straight lines and perfect circles. To provide initial software support, Adobe has released two iPad apps, Sketch and Line.

Sketch is a freeform drawing app with pencil and ink modes, brush and chisel tips, and an eraser. Social functions allow people to do live commentary on each other's work. Line handles more exact drawing and drafting; if a person doesn't have the Slide, a software ruler is available.

Adobe has also released several other iOS apps. The most prominent is Photoshop Mix, which supports features previously reserved for the desktop like compositing, masking, content-aware fill, and camera shake reduction. Edits are non-destructive, and users can both open and save PSD files, allowing work to be carried over from OS X or Windows.

A new Creative Cloud app allows service subscribers to manage files and assets. Lastly, the iOS version of Lightroom has been upgraded with an iPhone interface, and Adobe Voice has been upgraded to work with Lightroom catalogs.

For developers Adobe has announced the Creative SDK, code that will let third-party developers build mobile apps based on the company's technology. It will for example let apps access Creative Cloud files, extract elements from PSD files, or use the software ruler found in Line. The SDK is currently iOS-only and in a private beta; a wider release is due in "coming months."

The Ink and Slide are being sold as a bundle for $200. Sketch, Line, and Photoshop Mix are available as free downloads from the App Store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: 11-26-08

    Zero chance that I will ever buy a product from Adobe. They will want rent on it after I buy it.

  1. drbenru

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-20-07

    I was looking forward to see how well this products work when released ever since they intro them in development. The video is so, so bad. They try to make it friendly but completely lack focus. Cute music, sort of interesting premise, we realize these are creative professionals, but then, nothing. No clear idea what the product is or does, no great reveal of the great results achieved, nothing. I only learned you can copy paste between devices with two pens! If you're doing your intro videos in house, hire an advertising firm to help you. If you have an ad firm and they did this, fire them. Seriously, the best chance to clearly expose what your product is and does is the intro video, and this one just plain sucks.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Adobe should have a second video showcasing the technical side of it: it's functionality and features. Maybe that's coming. Right now it's just a warm up (targeting specifically for designers).

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