Why Adobe on your iPad?

Adobe have really impressed me the last twelve months with their offer of apps for iPad.

Just have a look at what’s on offer (and this isn’t all of them!!)…

With the exception of PS Touch (£7.99), all of these Apps are completely free.

What about Adobe’s Creative Cloud?

The question many people ask me relates to the connectivity between the Apps and Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC) product. You can use these products for free but you will need, for many of them an Adobe CC account. You can set these up for free. You would not be able to deploy that sign up across an MDM but you should be able to allow students to set the accounts up using their school email addresses. If you are a school with Adobe CC then students should be able to access their CC libraries when logged in to school machines.

Adobe for Creativity

If you’re looking to use Adobe products within your Graphics or ICT classes, then there are some wins to be had with many of these products. Shape allows you to create some fantastic vector based graphics, directly from the camera roll or from the camera itself. For example:

These images can then be added in to the Creative Cloud to be accessed inside other applications on your desktop machine such as Illustrator and Photoshop. These, along with some of the other apps such as drawer and colour can really have a great impact on the workflow between the mobile device and the desktop. An example of this is below where I’ve been able to take the image of myself, vectorised in Adobe Shape and then open it via the shape library in Adobe Illustrator and colour it as shown.



Learning tools

Adobe have clearly been *the* company to work with in the creative design space for many years. Their apps such as After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator – these are staples of many a creative’s workshop.

What Adobe have done with some of their mobile Apps however is bring their power of design, simplicity and beauty to the learning space.

Adobe Voice has been building momentum for some time now with the brilliant way in which it captures learning sequences in an alternative way to develop presentations. The lightbulb moment for many an educator and student was when they finally opened up the opportunity to users to be able to save their creations to the Camera Roll. As you will probably know, the Camera Roll is a real hub for sharing media and work completed using an iPad. When Adobe opened the functionality for this Voice so students and educators were able to finally full embrace the App; and embrace it they have. Adobe Voice now features in so many different ‘go to’ Apps for educators and students – it is a staple almost everywhere I go.

Adobe Slate is the new kid on the block. From conversations with Adobe it would seem that Slate is also massively popular in the education space accounting for a massive proportion of its use. I can see why. Slate allows you to create beautiful stories which are presented via a simple HTML page that it generates, hosted within the Adobe Creative Cloud. They look amazing. Check out the one below created by @musicmind.

Low access, high challenge

I have seen and heard many stories of how Slate is being used. Its simplicity of use and effective presentation mean that, for me, you can focus on the content and the learning material, rather than the glitter and the features. This is one of the reasons I love other Apps such as Haiku Deck too. Many people looking at a Slate presentation will quite rightly recognise it as being similar to Microsoft Sway. For me, Apps such as Slate, Voice, Haiku Deck, Post-it Plus, Padlet – these are the Apps that become staples of many a modern educator because they allow the student to focus on their learning whilst allowing them to stretch the content and quality of the outcome on the merits of their work rather than the bells and whistles that come out. Adobe Slate does this with aplomb. And whilst I rate Sway very highly – it produces some presentations which are simply beautiful, the overload of features and functions means that students can be distracted from the task at hand.

Another example of a Slate is the one I produced recently on Twitter for Teachers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 19.23.06

Slate allows you to simply create your own projects from the project screen:


The project screen in Slate

From there you can simply start to build your story using either

  • photo
  • text
  • link
  • image grid

It’s super easy to use.

So what else?

I’m keen to not make this the longest post I’ve ever written so I’m just going to talk about one more of the Apps which is by their Labs division which is Adobe PaintCan.

PaintCan simply takes your existing images and ‘arts’ them up a bit. Check out the effect below:


The end result…


The workspace within PaintCan.

This App by itself isn’t too amazing, but where I can see it being particularly effective is in the hands of a teacher, looking to create beautiful elements for use in other areas. I, for example love making elements for wall displays and for presentations – I can see PaintCan being very effective in swiftly making beautiful elements to take place within these. It’s definitely not got the learning potential of Slate or Voice, but it’s certainly something that I will keep in my toolkit for quickly making innovative and new elements to use within other pieces of work that I do.


If you’re not looking at the Adobe Apps on iOS, then you are certainly missing a trick.

I’d love to hear what you think!


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