Editor’s note: This article was updated on 02/19/2015 to reflect some updates.
You don’t have to break the bank to get some mobile design solutions on your iPhone. In fact, we downloaded five Adobe applications from the Apple App Store which are available without charge. As long as you have or create an Adobe ID, you can use Adobe Color CC, Adobe Brush CC, Adobe Shape CC, Adobe Photoshop Mix, and Adobe Premiere Clip.
The first 3 listed are CC capture apps that were just updated to allow co-workers or friends to share Creative Cloud libraries to collaborate on the production of image assets including color palettes, brushes, and shapes. This technology was previously restricted to desktop sharing, but now designers can pool their resources from wherever they travel with these accessible mobile apps. As long as you have the iOS7 operating system (or newer) on your phone, you can enjoy the Adobe magic in the tools below.
Adobe Color CC
This is a fun and dynamic way of creating your own color palette. You can use a pre-existing photograph or scrounge around your environment for different color combinations. Conversely, there’s an option of creating these palettes manually by checking out color wheels. You can pick analogous, complementary or monochromatic colors, a triad or shades of one gradation. If you save your work to Creative Cloud, you can use these new color themes in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. However, this can be a resourceful tool for other activities, like interior design. You could take a picture of your curtains at home, bring your palette on your iPhone and match it up at the store with other items like comforters, paint or throw pillows. If you have kids, you could keep them busy for quite a while seeing circles of color coming out of the woodwork. Literally.
Adobe Brush CC
This is an app that enables you to take a picture of anything and make it into a brush stroke. This is an entertaining way to take a real medium, such as paint, and digitizing it. We even utilized an old picture of friends at our senior prom from a decade ago. We focused on the vivid colors of the dresses to make a psychedelic digital brush. You will have many choices to customize the look of your creation. You can pick between the smooth ribbon or scatter, whether you want it in black and white or color, and mess with the size. You may choose where you consider the head, body, and tail to be on your stroke. You could even select how noisy the pixelation should be or use antialias for the opposite effect. Finishing effects include an option to fade or taper the ends, too. The newest feature is color masking, so that you can remove unwanted colors from your selection!
Adobe Shape CC
This may be the most effortless app in the bunch. You basically take a picture of something very bold in shape and get a high contrast black and white image of it. It will automatically save the vectors, which can be used in Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. If you already knew how to use filters in Photoshop, you could make these images, but you’ve never had an easier way to isolate the shapes into vectors!
We already reviewed this software for the iPad in September. This has since become available on the iPhone and has a very similar set up. Check out the prior article here.
Adobe Premiere Clip
This app is perfect for beginners to get an introduction into using film tools. It is a simple, user friendly way of achieving the overall look that you are trying to accomplish for video applications. This is a convenient mobile solution for quick edits before you plunge into the nitty gritty of Adobe Premiere Pro. There are templates available and community videos you can watch for inspiration. If you already have an idea, you can just jump right in and shoot or use clips of video that you already obtained. As for still images, you add those to create storycards or add several for a slideshow. You can duplicate a clip or delete ones with ease. Changing the clip duration works on a clip by clip basis, by splicing them. Afterwards, you can add music from the program or your own playlist. We were fans of the music theme called “Bend,” which has a rock element to it. You can apply a filter to the whole project which Adobe appropriately called a “look.” We thought “film” was a good esthetic, but “film noir,” “cinema,” and the rest were interesting alternatives. There are basic transition options like fading in or fading out and crossfades between clips, too. The nifty thing that sets this apart from Adobe Voice is that you can save this to your camera roll, save it to Creative Cloud, or even publish it to Youtube. You can also publish and share the video to social media. We recommend working on it further in Premiere Pro to get that professional finish.