Do plugins work with Illustrator for the iPad?

3 minute read

Illustrator on the iPad is now amongst us. Here are some very quick Q&A's that you will want answered:

Can I use my Astute Graphics plugins on the iPad?

No.

Why not?

Apple's app eco-system do not cater for plugins. Adobe aren't the bad guys here.

Do you see this happening in the future?

Not in the same form as you're used to on the desktop. But we saw this trend coming, so we developed something called Astui. Check it out.

How does that help me now?

It doesn't. But Astui is now proven to work with other applications based on web tech such as Adobe XD. The drawing app simply has to connect to the simple Astui web API and magic can happen such as block shadows, advanced path offsets and artwork optimization.

What's needed next?

Adobe would have to get a web API built into their iPad app. This could potentially be an option once the iPad app is developed to a greater level; it's highly likely that their "to do" list following the intensive development cycle to bring v1 to the market is long and distinguished!

Does Astute Graphics recommend Illustrator for the iPad?

If you have a Creative Cloud license—and let's face it, if you're a subscriber to Astute Graphics' plugins, that's more than certain—it's free to download and have a play with it.

Its use very much depends on your expectations and workflow. If you're expecting a feature-by-feature copy of Illustrator for the desktop on the iPad, you will be more than disappointed. But that would likely be missing the point of the iPad version. It should be a simpler-to-use app than its intimidating but overtly powerful desktop cousin. It is.

If you want a more full-bodied technical vector app for the iPad, look no further than Affinity Designer for the iPad. It's an impressive effort.

Does the desktop still reign supreme?

For the vast majority of Illustrator users, very likely.

But if you do venture into truly mobile and of-the-moment artwork creation, be sure to make VectorFirstAid your first port of call when the artwork is brought back to the desktop for essential tuning. Cleaning less-than-optimal artwork construction which is a by-product of vector iPad apps such as Adobe Fresco and Affinity Designer should be something you don't even think about!

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