At first, I thought, “oh, it’s another iPad stylus. How nice.” But once I got the full overview of the features of Adobe’s new Ink and Slide hardware, I knew that this was a total game changer. Leave it to Adobe to take the idea of a stylus and completely turn it into the next generation of design essentials.

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Adobe Ink is a cloud pen and Slide is a digital ruler for iPad that can be used with two of their new apps: Adobe Line, a straight line drawing app, and Adobe Sketch, an art app. Not to mention, you can use Ink like a regular stylus to navigate and even use with other drawing and design apps. This is an ideal foursome for doodles, designing on the go, on-site editing, and so much more.

I was lucky enough to get a demo set to try out for myself. Although I’m not a designer, I was able to easily understand how to use these tools and apps, but more importantly was able to see their ability to change the way people create. As an artist, I was immediately drawn to using Ink with Adobe Sketch, making fun, colorful artwork that I saved to the cloud (see below).

Adobe Ink and Slide May Forever Change How You Design in technology main  Category

Adobe Ink and Slide May Forever Change How You Design in technology main  Category

I was very impressed with the Adobe Ink and Slide packaging: very Apple-esque. For $199 you get both of them and the special Ink charging pen case and cord.

Adobe Ink and Slide May Forever Change How You Design in technology main  Category

I loved the curved, modern ergonomic design of Ink. It felt very comfortable in my hand and easy to use. Slide was super cool, too – I loved using it to create all kinds of geometric shapes layers on one another. I’m no draftsman, so it was much more of playing around for me than anything else, but I could easily see how useful this would be to a designer.

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Each Ink has an LED indicator so you know when it’s fully charged. You can even set a special Ink color for your LED light by default so if you’re working with other people who also have an Ink, you know which one’s yours!

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NEW APPS

With the two hardware devices come two new apps. Adobe Line is a digital approach to drawing and drafting, eliminating the need for a toolbox worth of analog drafting rulers, T-squares, and such. You can use Adobe Slide or just use two fingers and use simple gestures to navigate your drawing. It also has a series of shape templates including a full set of Herman Miller shapes!

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Adobe Sketch is a drawing app that connects directly to Creative Cloud and Behance so you can back up and share your drawings easily. You can even browse Behance directly from the app. The app includes essential drawing tools including graphite pencil, ink pen, two blending markers, (brush tip, chisel tip), and an eraser. Draw with your finger or Adobe Ink.

Adobe Ink and Slide May Forever Change How You Design in technology main  Category

Abstract drawing I made while testing out Adobe Ink with the Adobe Sketch app

With both apps, you have the ability to save your drawings to Adobe Creative Cloud or post them to Behance. You can even pull in your Kuler color themes, and bring your drawings to the desktop.

Ink and Slide will be available for purchase from Adobe shortly. Download Adobe Sketch or Line from the app store for free.