Adobe Illustrator for iPad has been officially announced

Illustrator for iPad will include many more features than the previously released Illustrator Draw  check them out up close in our new hands-on review here.

Illustrator will be coming to the iPad in full next year. While a cut-down version, Illustrator Draw is currently available, this is a stripped-down app mainly for sketching. At its Adobe Max conference in LA, Adobe has announced that it’s bringing a full version of Illustrator to Apple’s tablet. (Update: while at MAX we managed to grab a hands on preview of the app.)

Illustrator for iPad won’t be identical to its desktop cousin. While Adobe isn’t releasing many details of what will be in the iPad release of the vector art and graphics software as it’s still early days in its development, the company has said that it’s "reimagining the Illustrator experience from the ground up to take advantage of the unique capabilities a tablet offers in terms of touch and Apple Pencil."

(Though, interface conventions aside, how using Illustrator on an iPad has ‘unique capabilities’ that you don’t get using the desktop app on a Microsoft Surface device or a Cintiq we’re not sure).

The screenshots Adobe has released do give some indication of what will be on offer – both in terms of tools and capabilities. There are the familiar Selection, Pen, Shape, Text and Artboard tools on the left, with the Layers and Properties panels on the right.

Typographic tools include support for vertical text.

Other features we've seen demoed include clipping masks, drawing guides, repeating patterns, gradients, symmetry and outline text.

As with Photoshop for the iPad, which was released today, Illustrator for iPad will be able to work natively with files from the desktop app – and you can share files between desktop and iPad using Creative Cloud storage (or, we presume, iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive).

One feature Adobe has disclosed is a version of Image Trace, which creatives vector versions of sketches and other images.

Illustrator will be Adobe’s fourth ‘full-spec’ creative application for the iPad after Photoshop, Premiere Rush and painting app Fresco (which is also now coming to Windows). Previously Adobe had focussed on creating sketching and roughing tools such as Photoshop Sketch, Illustrator Draw, Comp (a drafting version of InDesign) and Premiere for rough edits.

Adobe hasn’t said when Illustrator for iPad will be released, but an indication could be that Photoshop for iPad was formally launched a year ago at Adobe Max 2019 and was released today – so we can perhaps expect to see Illustrator for iPad released at Max 2020. However, might be able to get your hands on an early version if you sign up for the private beta here

Illustrator for iPad was launched alongside the first full release of Photoshop for iPad, and Creative Cloud 2020 with new versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD and many more for the desktop.

Read next: Illustrator for iPad – hands-on with a desktop classic in tablet form

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