Adobe announces upcoming version of Illustrator for the iPad

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Photo Credit: Wrangler

Artists who love creating on their iPads are in luck. At Adobe’s MAX Creativity Conference held early this month, the company confirmed rumors that an iPad-specific version of its popular Illustrator application was already in the works for a late 2020 release.

This news came on the heels of Adobe’s recent launch of Photoshop for the iPad. Earlier adopters gave the app mixed reviews, with many reviews knocking the app’s lack of features on release. In response, the company has already promised updates to bring the app more in line with the standard version.

What Is Known So Far

The exact feature list for the iPad Illustrator app is still a bit sketchy. The very early version demoed at the MAX Creativity Conference showed a complete re-imagining of the standard Illustrator to make working on a smaller screen more comfortable and intuitive.

Boston IT Services consultant, Phil Cardone offers a shortlist of features already implemented into the app:

  • Full utilization of the iPad’s touchscreen and the Apple Pencil. The second generation of the Apple Pencil changed iPad Pros into a full-fledged art tablet able to compete with the Wacom Cintiq. The one disadvantage holding iPad Pros back was the lack of a real industry-standard app. Adobe hopes Illustrator for iPad will be able to fill this role.
  • A cloud-based file saving system. Online file storage will simplify the sharing of files. Users will no longer need to import each file physically and manually sync files between different devices. But the question remains whether users will need to have an internet connection to save their iPad projects while on the go.
  • Top-notch typographical support. Illustrator will make good use of the font management system included in the iOS 13 update. Designers who work with text will find it much simpler to add custom fonts to their Illustrator designs.
  • Incorporation of the iPad camera. Adobe plans to give users the ability to take photos of hand-drawn sketches on paper, and the app will convert the images into vector shapes for easy manipulation through the app.

Adobe did not mention pricing for the iPad version of Illustrator during the conference. Still, it is likely to follow the same Creative Cloud subscription-based model used for its Photoshop app release. If that is the case, users can expect to pay $9.99 a month for just the Illustrator app. People can also opt to subscribe for full access to all software available through Adobe’s Creative Cloud. The current prices for Creative Cloud range from $19.99/month for students to $79.99/month per license for businesses.

If you want to get an early glimpse at the Illustrator app for the iPad, Adobe is conducting an invitation-only early private beta for a limited number of users. You can sign up for a chance of an invite and keep current with the roadmap through the Adobe website.



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