Adobe Nav


Adobe Nav running on my iPad

Since the introduction of the iPad, Adobe has been experimenting with various apps.  The holy grail of iPad apps for Adobe would probably be “Photoshop Lite”, providing some of the functionality of Photoshop in the small device … and I’m betting they are working on this.  (I know Scott Kelby has been talking about this on his blog 🙂 ) Adobe created an app early on which has some limited use (and is fun to play with) called Adobe Ideas, ( basically a simple drawing app).  Coupled with a stylus (such as the new Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPad) it can actually be somewhat useful.

Recently Adobe released three new apps, Color Lava, Eazal, and Nav.  I didn’t really check out the first two, but Adobe Nav sounds appealing, and indeed it might be very useful for some … and it’s pretty cool.  What Nav does is put your most used tools onto the iPad, and allows you to switch tools via the iPad while working in Photoshop on your Mac.  Unfortunately it doesn’t allow you to save much screen real estate since the Tools pallet isn’t that large, and you may need to keep the pallet up in photoshop so you can access the options in each tool.  If you use keyboard shortcuts probably not much use either (other than it’s kind of cool 🙂 )

However, very useful for me is the second screen which allows switching between documents.  I personally prefer using PS in the application frame mode with the documents in tabs.  I don’t really want to see anything but one document and I want all the screen real estate possible.  Switching between documents isn’t hard, but with several documents open, using Adobe Nav on the iPad offers me a thumbnail view and easy tap to navigate.  No more trying to remember which of the 5 tabs is the one I need.  The thumbnails scroll so there doesn’t seem to be a limit as to the number of open documents.  There is also a new button to open a new document directly but this seems really limited in that it creates a document the dimension of the iPad screen, no options for other sizes. Double tap a thumbnail and you it displays document info, and pinch zoom a thumbnail to see it full screen on the ipad, (where you can flip through the documents ).

This screen lets you quickly select which open document you want.


You can only have 16 tool available at one time, but pretty much any tool can be used so you can create a pallet that suits your workflow.  Additionally you can toggle through your screen modes, zoom to 100%, or switch your foreground background colors.

It seems pretty limited, for example why only 16 tools?  The tools could also flyout so you could select secondary tools much like when clicking and holding on a tool in Photoshop does.  Also, why not multiple pallets so you can have various setups for various tasks?  Of course, you could really take it to the next level, and allow placing more useful things on the iPad, such as layers pallet, history pallet etc.

But hey … it’s only two bucks, it’s pretty cool, and may just be the start of something great.  Read more about it (including a video) at Adobe’s, or check it out in the App Store.

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