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2/22/2012
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Adobe Ideas Offers Whiteboard Freedom On An iPad

Sketch out your ideas, quick and clean, with this versatile iPad app.

Adobe Ideas was designed as a simple iPad sketching tool for artists. However, it also makes a great mobile whiteboard for hallway and elevator meetings.

Since its launch in 2010, versions for Android tablets and the iPhone have become available. This review focuses on the iPad version.

Using Adobe Ideas as a mobile whiteboard does not require any drawing or drafting skills. In fact, this vector-based drawing app smoothens your lines to create very clean-looking diagrams and handwriting.

The app starts off with a tiled view of sketch collections. My usage philosophy is to treat virtual whiteboards somewhat like real ones and delete sketches that are no longer needed. Important whiteboard drawings can be filed in a cloud storage service.

Adobe Ideas's left side bar contains a few basic drawing options. The bar itself can be hidden away to maximize the drawing space.

The width of the drawn lines can be adjusted with values from 0.5 (very narrow) to 60 (very thick). There are separate width controls for the drawing pen and the eraser.

The app provides a simple and interesting way to select colors. Five colors are available in a preset list in the sidebar. However, any color can be chosen by tapping the palette icon above the list of preset colors.

The five preset colors, called a theme, can be adjusted by extracting five colors from any photograph or image stored in the iPad's photo album. These palette themes can be stored and swapped in while working on a sketch.

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