Adobe's Ink pen and Slide ruler is now available the UK, five months after they launched in the US - and Adonit has now clarified UK pricing and shipping. They're designed to be used with the iPad and four free creative iPad apps: Adobe Illustrator Line (originally just called Adobe Line), Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch (Adobe Sketch at launch), and Brush CC.
You can watch Adobe's VP of experience design Michael Gough discussing their design in video above (though the units he's demonstrating are prototypes).
Adobe Ink and Slide: UK price
The aluminium tools represent the first hardware devices from the software giant, created in partnership with Adonit, the first company to develop a thin tip stylus for the iPad. Here the UK, Ink and Slide are sold through Adonit – and the company has fixed their checkout to clarify yesterday's confusion about pricing and shipping. Adonit prices everything in US dollars, and the Ink and Slide set costs $174.99 (around £111) without VAT.
Yesterday we noted that Adonit's Christmas information says that it's shipping the Ink and Slide from the UK – so you can still order the Ink and Slide in time for Christmas if you do it this week. However, the wording used when you're buying makes it seem like the products are shipping from the US and you'll have to pay VAT on the way through (and deal with the inevitable delays this causes) – and we suspected that this was due to a mistake in the site's checkout.
Rafael Gomez, Adonit's marketing manager has confirmed that this was due to an error on their part, which has since been rectified – and the Ink and Slide do indeed ship from London, so there's still a couple of days left to order the Ink and Slide before Christmas. The set costs $179.99 plus $13.04 shipping and $35 VAT – for a total of $223.03 (around £142).
Adobe Ink and Slide: What it's for
Adobe Ink, formerly 'Project Mighty' (as in old adage 'the pen is mightier'...) is triangular, 'so it doesn't roll away', according to Adobe creative evangelist, Rufus Deuchler, demonstrating the devices at a London press preview. “It works very like a normal pencil,” he added. “But it has Pixelpoint technology, so it's not like one of those devices with a big rubbery tip at the end that are really hard to draw with.”
There's one other key difference between this and a dumb stylus – the connected device can copy and paste images via Creative Cloud, sending sketches to Photoshop or Illustrator for further refinement. Ink can also set a custom LED for easy identification, in case you and your teammates down tools at the same time.
Adobe Slide, formerly 'Napoleon' ('a short ruler') can be used to draw straight lines, as you might expect, but buttons on the surface also allow you to apply templates and objects you can trace around, as well as draw circles and create French Curves: 'the easiest way to draw rounded shapes and precise sketches on the iPad', according to Rufus.
Adobe Illustrator Line (above) has a 'paper feel' according to Rufus, and enables users to draw straight lines and perfect shapes as well as use templates to create very precise drawings on the iPad. Tools include pencils and pens based on real life versions (2H, HB, brushes and markers) as well as colours (accessed by touching a Kuler icon). Size and opacity of the pencil can be adjusted, as you might expect. Template stamps and perspective grids can also be applied and used and circles and other shapes can be created and adjusted by tapping on the screen.
When the apps are used in conjunction with Ink, Deuchler said the experience was like using a real pen on paper. Finger gestures allow Undo and access to History and both apps can store and access saved drawings (via the app itself or the Ink pen) and Kuler colour themes They also allow direct access to the Behance community, with feedback and comments available from other users appearing within the app itself.
All of the mobile apps (except Brush CC, realistically) can be used without the devices, though that may make them of limited use.
Adobe's aim is apparently to keep creatives entirely within a digital world. It makes sense then that it wants partners to help in this aim. The Adobe SDK is also being made available today, allowing third-party developers to tie their tools into the Creative Cloud and access some of the unique technologies in Photoshop and other applications. Does this mean we'll see Wacom, for example, bringing out a Creative Cloud-connected Cintiq? It's probably more likely than a rival version of Ink and Slide. More details are to be announced at Adobe Max this coming October, so stay tuned.