Why Apple’s Partnership with Adobe is Big News for Designers

Adobe has recently made a big push for making their range of computers more accessible for designers. Apple, who has had a rocky relationship with Adobe for many years, has finally proven to be more receptive and has set up a number of partnerships to drive innovation. We take a lot at the impressive tech that is now starting to come out of the two technology giants working together, and why this is such awesome news for budding designers.

Apple and Adobe are Producing Cutting-Edge AR Tech


Augmented Reality laptop


In June, Apple unveiled ARKit 2, a platform designed to take real-world experience and from it create augmented reality (hence the ‘AR’ in ARKit). The ARKit 2 is specifically crafted for designers looking to develop augmented reality apps and games for the iPhone and iPad.

One already launched piece of AR software is Measure for iOS. The app uses augmented reality to quickly gauge the size of real-world objects. By scanning the object you wish to measure and some of the things around it for perspective, the app accurately calculates the size and measurements of whatever you are trying to measure.

ARKit 2 has had absolutely huge consequences for game designers in particular. The software update includes persistent tracking so that other users can see the changes you make, and shared experience changes, which means that all the changes can be seen in real time. In the World Wide Developer’s Conference 2018 keynote which introduced iOS 12, Apple showcased this technology with Lego Director of Innovation Martin Sanders to play a Lego game through AR. They persistently emphasised how ARKit 2 can be used by designers to create the amazing experience they were having on-screen. Apple clearly at this early a stage had its eye on keeping designers on board.

Adobe and Apple have also teamed up to begin Project Aero. This project is focused on allowing designers to create AR content inside existing Adobe tools, including Photoshop and Dimension CC. Trying to keep things as simple as possible, the new standardised USDZ file type on Apple devices is meant to be an alternative comprehensive AR offering to Google, Facebook, and Microsoft’s preferred glTF format. While glTF is targeted more towards software developers, USDZ is aimed at designers – graphic designers and animators in particular. Pixar already is using USDZ and encouraging others to get on board, due in part because the technology is based on their USD in-house tech.

A lot of this is just technical jargon, but the key takeaway from Project Aero is this: Apple users can finally create with AR, and creative designers can finally design with AR in mind, thanks to USDZ and Project Aero.


The Adobe Creative Cloud on Apple Tablets


Mac computer with Adobe photoshop


One common complaint about Apple has been that its tablets have awesome potential as a tool for designers on the go, but no software to take advantage of it. Addressing this, the keynote speech at Brooklyn on 30th October showcased the iPad Pro using Adobe to fantastic effect.

First of all, Apple showed off Photoshop CC premiering on iPad. In a live demonstration, Apple touted the capability of the iPad to keep up with the most demanding designers. Instantly editing pictures to match the needs of the drawer, they showed how the new Apple Pencil could easily make edits to a 157-layer, 12,000 by 12,000 pixel 3GB photo on the iPad without any sign of lag.

October also saw the release of Adobe Premiere Rush CC – a new video editing software designed for online video creators. The software seems to be somewhere between the more simplistic iMovie and the full-on power of Adobe Premiere CC. The app gives you full control over a myriad of new features on your tablet or phone, particularly the camera: you can now control temperature and tint as you film just like on normal camera apps, but also aperture, frame rate, audio control, and more tools. The app also has multi-track video editing and the ability to edit and insert graphics into your film.


Why is all this such a big deal?


Man using laptop with clapperboard and notepad and coffee on a table


Apple has always marketed itself as the home for creatives, but they and Adobe have had a very difficult relationship. The two were close in the 20th century, with Apple even owning 20% of Adobe in their infancy, but since then the two have fallen out, very badly and very publicly. In 2010, Steve Jobs wrote a castigating letter on Adobe, claiming Flash is terrible on any mobile hardware and actively hinders Apple devices. These recent announcements are a big turning point in their relationship – from Apple in the past actively blocking Flash software on iPhones to a series of collaborations on groundbreaking new technologies. This can only be good for consumers.

Apple and Adobe coming together makes it easier than ever for users to become a graphic designer. You can now access the awesome design technology of the Adobe Creative Cloud while on the move. You can also use the cutting-edge technology of AR to make your new designs stand out like never before, and all of this can be done on a train or while lazing on the sofa.


If you are looking to switch over to Apple, we have a fantastic range of refurbished iMacs available, and you can buy a used MacBook from our online store.