First look: Adobe Slate for iPad is an easy-to-use tool for creating compelling visual stories

Posted:
in iPad edited April 2015
Building on a growing base of mobile creativity app offerings, Adobe on Thursday launched Slate, an iPad-only tool that lets users construct and publish online visually striking presentations, newsletters, reports and more.




Slate is a continuation of Adobe's recently adopted app design mantra touting easy-to-use tools for creatives.

In some ways, Slate can be likened to an all-visual version of Adobe Voice, the free iPad storytelling app that combines preset text and picture themes with user voiceover tracks. Like its audio-centric sibling, Slate pares down creation options to a core set of elements -- text, photos, design and animation -- to keep things as streamlined as possible.

Fittingly, users start out with a blank slate, the first page of which is dedicated to a title page. Everything in Slate operates within the confines of its core design principals and the title page is no different. After adding a title and subtitle into a moveable text box, users choose a background picture from their camera roll, Lightroom library, Creative Cloud files or Dropbox. Alternatively, Adobe baked in a search tool for browsing Creative Commons images.




Adding to a project is dead simple since the layout is strictly linear. A plus symbol appears wherever new content can fit, and tapping it invokes a contextual pop-up to insert text, photos, quotes, captions, HTML link buttons and more.

While text customization is somewhat limited, Slate features 11 font themes out of the box. A "magic wand" icon in the upper right corner opens the theme drawer, presenting previews of each distinct font and character style.

Unfortunately, themes are global and apply to the entire document, leaving no room to change styles between text boxes. Adobe makes up for it by including different preset fonts and styles for headings, subheads, body, quotes and bullet lists.

Adding photos in Slate is identical to selecting the title page background image. In addition to single screen-size pictures, users can insert multiple photos that are automatically arranged in a grid. Photos can be moved around on the page using arrow buttons, or flagged for enlargement to draw the reader's eye.




Image handling includes a powerful animation engine with document location-based operations, much like modern Web design. Aside from in-line inserts, the app offers full width and windowed view options, as well as text overlays and captions.

Preparing a Slate project allows for a fairly flexible and varied viewing experience, especially when readers are iPad owners. As an example, Slate authors can pin a focal point on a photo to ensure the area appears in both portrait and landscape viewing modes. To help keep flow consistent, projects can be dynamically previewed as they are being created,

Completed Slate creations are published to Adobe's servers for embedding or sharing via email and text message, though users can also post to Facebook and Twitter.

The Maine Coon


As for future features like video embeds and iPhone compatibility, Adobe is taking a wait and see approach. Building Slate with the same font technology as Adobe TypeKit means the company is able to quickly implement a wider variety of themes and tools if needed.

Overall, Slate is extremely easy to use and outputs visually pleasing results with little effort. The example above was created in under five minutes.

Adobe Slate is available for free from the iOS App Store, while Creative Cloud subscriptions with Lightroom and Photoshop access start at $9.99.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member

    iPad sales are dropping and iPhone 6/6 Plus sales are surging.

     

    Yet Adobe keeps churning out iPad only apps.

     

    Adobe never learns.

  • Reply 2 of 14
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,133member

    Trying to figure out how this is better than Keynote... Am I missing something?

  • Reply 3 of 14
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

     

    iPad sales are dropping and iPhone 6/6 Plus sales are surging.

     

    Yet Adobe keeps churning out iPad only apps.

     

    Adobe never learns.




    Considering Apple has 75% of the market in tablets? Sales from Apple still more than double what competitors are.. lol 

     

    Might want a new measuring stick.

  • Reply 4 of 14
    applezilla wrote: »
    iPad sales are dropping and iPhone 6/6 Plus sales are surging.

    Yet Adobe keeps churning out iPad only apps.

    Adobe never learns.

    Creative people are whom Adobe are after. iPads are used to create. Android tablets are given as stocking stuffers and spend their life in a drawer.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 893member
    applezilla wrote: »
    iPad sales are dropping and iPhone 6/6 Plus sales are surging.

    Yet Adobe keeps churning out iPad only apps.

    Adobe never learns.

    Last thing I'd ever want to do is design a layout on an iPhone. Well, perhaps an Android phone might be worse.

    Let's give adobe some credit: they are confining most of their mobile app development to iOS. So they are certainly committed to the platform.

    It's great to see adobe building out a set of tools for iOS. I sort of see these apps as a foot in the door in case apple ever starts making ARM Macs or the mythical ipad pro that would be a more viable content creation tool. If Adobe has a basic set of their creative tech ported to iOS, it will be easier for them to port over their big name design applications one day.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cornchip View Post

     

    Trying to figure out how this is better than Keynote... Am I missing something?




    Yep, me too.  How is this better than keynote?  Serious question.  Sorry if I'm just being dumb.

  • Reply 7 of 14
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 893member
    Quote:


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cornchip View Post

     

    Trying to figure out how this is better than Keynote... Am I missing something?


     

    Originally Posted by Sociable Weaver View Post

     



    Yep, me too.  How is this better than keynote?  Serious question.  Sorry if I'm just being dumb.


     

    I don't know if it's 'better' than Keynote, but it is different.

     

    Here are a couple unique features I was able to identify:


    • Creative commons image browser built in

    • Uses TypeKit fonts

    • Free, including no need for a paid CC subscription to use Slate, only requirement is a free Adobe ID. From Adobe's support page for Slate: Why do I need an Adobe ID to publish my Slate story? In order for us to publish and host your Slate stories – and associate them with you – you must be logged in. Adobe ID's are completely free to create and use. Signing up for an Adobe ID does not require a subscription to Creative Cloud.

  • Reply 8 of 14
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,245member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by polymnia View Post

     

     

    I don't know if it's 'better' than Keynote, but it is different.

     

    Here are a couple unique features I was able to identify:


    • Creative commons image browser built in

    • Uses TypeKit fonts

    • Free, including no need for a paid CC subscription to use Slate, only requirement is a free Adobe ID. From Adobe's support page for Slate: Why do I need an Adobe ID to publish my Slate story? In order for us to publish and host your Slate stories – and associate them with you – you must be logged in. Adobe ID's are completely free to create and use. Signing up for an Adobe ID does not require a subscription to Creative Cloud.


    Might work better for people that that are in deep in Adobe workflow and assets created in Adobe. 

     

    On the question of iPad vs iPhone, my memory serves that there was just an Illustrator Draw release for the iPhone that was previously iPad only. I expect that Adobe will create for the iPhone when it makes sense.

  • Reply 9 of 14
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 893member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by polymnia View Post

     

     

    I don't know if it's 'better' than Keynote, but it is different.

     

    Here are a couple unique features I was able to identify:


    • Creative commons image browser built in

    • Uses TypeKit fonts

    • Free, including no need for a paid CC subscription to use Slate, only requirement is a free Adobe ID. From Adobe's support page for Slate: Why do I need an Adobe ID to publish my Slate story? In order for us to publish and host your Slate stories – and associate them with you – you must be logged in. Adobe ID's are completely free to create and use. Signing up for an Adobe ID does not require a subscription to Creative Cloud.

     

     



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    Might work better for people that that are in deep in Adobe workflow and assets created in Adobe. 

     

    On the question of iPad vs iPhone, my memory serves that there was just an Illustrator Draw release for the iPhone that was previously iPad only. I expect that Adobe will create for the iPhone when it makes sense.


     

     


     

    ?I'm sure the intended audience is the current Adobe user. And further, perhaps pushing simpler presentation tools upstream from the front-line designers and production teams to account and senior creative leaders. Allow assets to be reused in these simpler authoring tools for big picture communication rather than forcing all content through the high end (and high skill required) design tools.

  • Reply 10 of 14
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,245member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by polymnia View Post

     

     

    ?I'm sure the intended audience is the current Adobe user. And further, perhaps pushing simpler presentation tools upstream from the front-line designers and production teams to account and senior creative leaders. Allow assets to be reused in these simpler authoring tools for big picture communication rather than forcing all content through the high end (and high skill required) design tools.


    All I know, is there are more apps every day for creating content, and many are first rate. People may not need to update their iPads all that often, but it is definitely beneficial to track the new apps as they are released. Whether the rumored iPad Pro will have the performance to handle Pro workflow isn't known, but if it is, I would expect Adobe to have apps to take advantage of it.

  • Reply 11 of 14
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 211member
    It may have only taken under 5 minutes to create this example, but it looks it.

    Perhaps a more artistic example without an underexposed cat, whose great ears are cropped, and an actual downloadable example, or at least finished screen shots, would be more illustrative of the app's potential. I couldn't get much from this article's screenshots.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 893member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stevenoz View Post



    It may have only taken under 5 minutes to create this example, but it looks it.



    Perhaps a more artistic example without an underexposed cat, whose great ears are cropped, and an actual downloadable example, or at least finished screen shots, would be more illustrative of the app's potential. I couldn't get much from this article's screenshots.



    Tough crowd!

  • Reply 13 of 14
    moreckmoreck Posts: 187member
    I have a Maine Coon :D
  • Reply 14 of 14
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The example above was created in under five minutes.

    I can tell.

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