Adobe is largely known for creating software solutions aimed at creative professionals, but the maker of Photoshop and Lightroom is sliding into the hardware zone. Adobe has unveiled Ink and Slide for the iPad, a stylus and digital ruler, respectively. The accessories are available as a pair starting today for $199.
Adobe claims that the new three-sided hydro-formed aluminum stylus is not only fine-tipped and pressure-sensitive, but can also access your material stored in Creative Cloud, such as color presets, favorite drawings and photos. Even more intriguing, Ink is designed to support drag-and-drop of media between devices, said Adobe reps during a briefing. The software giant partnered with Adonit, which already makes its own stylus for the iPad.
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This pairing is remarkably similar to products from Wacom, which has pens that boast up to 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity so you can more finely control the breadth of your strokes. Since Adobe hasn't made clear the levels of pressure sensitivity Ink offers (except to say it uses Adonit's Pixelpoint technology), we'll have to wait until our full review of the stylus to see how it stacks up.
Slide is a companion digital ruler to Ink that lets you draw straight lines, precise shapes and perfect circles on your tablet. Ink and Slide work with iPads running iOS 7.
Adobe has also launched a handful of new apps. Sketch and Line are social-drawing and precision design apps optimized to work with Ink and Slide (but can work with regular styli or just touch as well). Photoshop Mix is an intriguing version of Photoshop for iPad. It carries out all sorts of demanding tasks, such as Content Aware Fill, Upright and Shake Reduction. Instead of relying on the tablet's graphics, Mix beams the picture to the cloud, and sends the edited image back to your iPad.
Last but not least, Adobe has launched an iPhone version of its Lightroom app that was previously available only on iPad, as well as a slew of updates to 14 of its Creative Cloud programs, such as Photoshop CC (now branded CC 2014), Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Premiere.