Although Apple and Adobe are having verbal fisticuffs with each other over Flash, Adobe has still produced some very nice apps for the iPhone including Photoshop Mobile and released last month, Adobe Ideas.

This is a fun, free and useful app. It can help you sketch out ideas, write notes on photographs and extract color schemes from photographs.  Your ideas are stored as thumbnails on the home page which you can edit.

When creating ideas, basically you have two layers on which to work. A drawing layer where you can use the pencil and eraser tool, and a photo layer where you can use an existing photo from one of your albums or you can take a picture with the iPhone camera. The tools are pretty simple; a pencil, an eraser, a move tool and an undo button.


To extract a color scheme, either take a photograph with the phone or choose a picture from an album, the app suggests a scheme based on a number of points. The color scheme is saved as a thumbnail and can be used again when choosing colors for sketching.


Any sketches you create in Adobe Ideas can be emailed as a PDF for editing in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or viewing with any PDF viewer.

Here’s the main features:

• Simple vector-based drawing tools
• Zoom control without jaggies or big pixels
• Variable-size brushes using multitouch control
• Vector eraser
• Huge virtual canvas
• Automatic creation of harmonized color themes from your photos or images
• Ability to email ideas as PDF files for editing in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop or for viewing with any PDF viewer
• Gallery-style organizer to quickly scroll through your ideas and color themes
• Separate drawing and photo layers
• Easy creation of multiple versions of design concepts
• 50-level undo

Adobe Ideas, for iPod and iPad app is now available for free download from the Apple App Store.

Jennifer Farley is a designer, illustrator and design instructor based in Ireland. She writes about design and illustration on her blog at Laughing Lion Design.

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