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Adobe Ink digital pen and Slide digital ruler revealed

Adobe Ink stylus and Adobe Slide digital ruler

Project Mighty and Project Napoleon become reality, just in time for the 2014 update to Adobe's Creative Cloud software suite

Adobe has officially revealed Ink and Slide, a stylus and digital ruler duo that will let iPad owners create and edit hand-drawn images on the move using the company’s new suite of iOS apps launched to coincide with the 2014 update to Creative Cloud.

Based on the original Project Mighty and Project Napoleon concepts revealed last year at Adobe’s MAX Creativity Conference, Adobe will be bringing both accessories to market in order to let graphic designers, digital artists and visual professionals create or edit their work on the move using the company’s Sketch and Photoshop Mix iOS apps.

The Ink stylus has a built-in battery and connects to an iPad via Bluetooth. The carry case has a micro USB port built into one end to act as a charging station when you aren’t using it. Made from aluminium, with a triangular shape to stop it from rolling away when you put it down on a desk, the touch-sensitive tip is firm like a standard pencil, unlike other styluses which tend to use soft, mushy tips that can’t match the real thing in terms of tactile feedback. 

The Slide ruler, meanwhile, isn’t battery powered so doesn’t need to be charged. It can naturally be used to draw straight lines, but can also draw curves, geometric patterns and stamp pre-defined outlines onto an image.

The Ink can also connect to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which means you can access drawings, photos and Kuler themes on the move. You can even copy and paste artwork between devices. All you need to do is use the Pen Tip menu and go to the Cloud Clipboard. You don’t need a Creative Cloud account to use Ink and Slide, but you will need to be a Creative Cloud member if you want to use the Adobe Line and Adobe Sketch apps that support Ink and Slide. 

We went hands on with both products while they were still known as Project Mighty and Project Napoleon at a briefing ahead of launch last October, and although both devices felt well-made and worked perfectly well, we weren’t sure how many artists were looking to work on a tablet rather than on a laptop or desktop computer. With Microsoft’s Surface Pro proving popular with graphics professionals for its capacitive stylus and ability to run the full versions of Adobe applications, it remains to be seen whether Adobe can encourage people to switch to iOS for working on-the-go.

Adobe Ink stylus and Adobe Slide digital ruler

Adobe plans to release a creative SDK for third party developers to add Ink and Slide support to their apps, but wasn’t able to tell us when it would be released to the public.

The Ink and Slide combo are now on sale, but only in the US – the company has yet to reveal plans for an international release. It costs around $200 and is available through Adobe’s Ink and Slide partner, Adonit.

To find out more about the Adobe Ink and Slide as well as the thinking behind each device, read our full Project Mighty and Napoleon hands on and interview with Adobe’s Michael Gough.

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