Adobe demos new apps for iPad

Photoshop for iPad is almost here. Adobe has released some information about what they have been working on, and it looks complex enough to get some serious graphic work done. Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch demonstrated a colour palette that is used on the iPad for mixing colours, etc., that works with a standalone computer running Photoshop. There is a video that shows how this would work and you can see it on Jack Nack’s blog.

At MAX 2010, one focus was mobile platforms. Adobe discussed two main areas that they are developing for this exciting platform. First, a direct editing application for tablets, which would be operated with a multitouch user interface, and secondly, a companion application. This companion app would let a mobile device interact with Photoshop running on an ordinary computer.

When I first read about this, my initial reaction was thinking this could be interesting and could really make the iPad even more useful / functional. Then I saw the video. Watching someone use their finger to ‘paint’ is just not going to cut it for any graphic designer. How can a thick unwieldy line drawn by our hands match in any way, shape, or form the amazing capabilities that are offered to us by a Wacom tablet, for example? These devices are pressure sensitive, and have different pen styles where you can swap the pen head to mimic actual thicknesses of say a marker pen to a fountain pen. From what I saw in the demo, this really won’t be used by professionals.

I do like that they are trying to innovate and make moves in the right direction, and maybe this will be something that might happen soon, but if you read the comments in that video post, the general reaction by designers is mostly that this is a novelty.

As one commenter noted, “With a 30″ wide gamut calibrated display, why in the world would I want to use an uncalibrated narrow-gamut tablet for color mixing?” Another does mention that maybe they could use this style of app to map out some work if you are away from your machine, but they currently have given us Adobe Ideas and Photoshop express, which are free apps that allow you to use basic tools for editing / designing.

Do you think these styles of companion apps will start to take off in a big way? Would you use this, or would you prefer to have a dedicated tablet?  Are they innovating the way these devices can be used or is it all just a novelty? We’re curious to hear your opinions.

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Photo Credit: Adobe Systems

Chatty Canadian in the UK. Dancing queen in my head. Digital Communications Lecturer. Mac computer fan. Mac makeup fan. iOS developer. Popcorn eater. Was producer & host of quirky app review show Apps & Hats.