Earlier today, Adobe made a flurry of product announcements and updates, starting with the official unveiling of two long-rumored accessories: the aluminum Ink stylus for iPads running iOS 7.0 or later and the Slide.
Billed as an Ink companion and “a category-defining digital ruler”, the Slide wirelessly connects to an iPad and has been designed for precision sketching of straight lines, perfect circles and balanced shapes.
In other Adobe news, the firm has launched Lightroom for iPhone, introduced brand new iPad apps – Mix, Sketch and Line – added major new features across the whole Creative Cloud desktop suite of apps and reshuffled the Creative Cloud tiers by adding a new Photography Plan.
Don’t worry, I’ve distilled the announcements to a couple easily digestible highlights so hit the jump to learn more…
Ink and Slide
The three-sided, aluminum-clad accessory is pressure sensitive and connects to Creative Cloud for quick access to drawings, photos, Adobe Kuler color themes and other assets. Built on the Adonit Pixelpoint technology, it’s lightweight and balanced for a comfortable grip.
The Slide, as Adobe put it, “takes a modern twist on traditional tools used before computer graphics and desktop publishing.” It allows for precision sketching – straight lines, perfect circles, and balanced shapes – on your iPad. Both accessories were demoed last year.
Adobe Sketch and Line for iPad
Designed to go with the Ink and Slide accessories, the new Sketch and Line apps for the iPad are meant to be fun to use, as per Adobe. The free-form drawing software integrates with Behance for social sharing.
Sketch, a free download, provides tools like pencil, ink pen, blending markers and eraser. As for Line, it comes with more advanced rulers, shape templates and other tools for precision drawing. Adobe Line is available free of charge in the App Store.
Both apps are iPad only and require iOS 7.0 or later.
Photoshop Mix for iPad
Another new iPad app by Adobe, Photoshop Mix is basically a companion to Photoshop on the desktop. It provides common tools to make quick masks on your Apple tablet that you can import later into Photoshop on desktop.
Featuring technologies like Content Aware Fill and Camera Shake Reduction and integrating native support for layered PSD files, Photoshop Mix is available in the App Store free of charge.
Here it is in action.
Lightroom for iPhone
Following its April 2014 release of Lightroom for iPad (available free of charge), Adobe has now brought Lightroom to the iPhone and iPod touch. Akin to the iPad edition, the iPhone version syncs with Lightroom 5 on your desktop and allows you to edit everything from smartphone photos to huge raw images from DSLRs.
Social sharing is supported and you can import your Camera roll images into the Lightroom catalog as well. Of course, a Creative Cloud subscription is required to use the app past Adobe’s 30-day free trial.
Creative Cloud news
Last but not least, Adobe has updated the entire Creative Cloud desktop suite (14 apps) while bringing out expanded Creative Cloud profiles to improve connectivity between mobile devices and apps. Additionally, a new Adobe Creative SDK is now in private beta testing and will release later in 2014.
The SDK provides the same set of tools the company has tapped to build touch-enabled mobile apps and implement support for Ink/Slide hardware and Creative Cloud services. And if you passed on Creative Cloud over Adobe’s overpriced tiers, the team has a new $9.99 per month Photography Plan in store.
It caters to your basic needs by giving you access to Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5 and mobile iPhone and iPad apps. Adobe said it had 2.3 million paid Creative Cloud subscriptions last quarter, a 464,000 annual increase and good for an annualized Creative Cloud recurring revenue of $1.2 billion.
The new Photoshop Creative Cloud 2014 is especially interesting.
Enhancements include Blur Gallery motion effects, Focus masks, Content-Aware color adaptation and fill improvements, a lot faster Mercury Graphics Engine with up to 15 times faster image upsampling, smart objects linking, smarter Smart Guides, direct access to select Typekit fonts with more available through Font Search and what not.