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Adobe will power smart iPad styluses through hardware partnerships

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Adobe Project Mighty Napoleon hands on (STOCK)
Adobe Project Mighty Napoleon hands on (STOCK)

Your next stylus might be powered by Adobe. Through a partnership with Adonit, Adobe is planning to bring its cloud-connected Project Mighty smart stylus and Napoleon ruler to market sometime in the first half of next year — but those aren't the only hardware tools that could be shipping with a connections to Creative Cloud. Those two tools, which connect through Adobe's cloud services to sync designs and settings, will be used as an example of what's possible for smart hardware. Adonit, and eventually other stylus manufacturers, will be welcome to create their own tools that hook into Adobe's services as well.

Apps and hardware made by third-parties

The two tools will work by tapping into custom software inside of select apps. Each tool only has a single button, and from that buttons users can cycle through different drawing tools, color options, stamps, and settings. Some new and existing Adobe apps should support the tools at launch, but like the hardware, the software won't be limited to what Adobe makes. Any drawing app will be able to tap into the software if the developer wants to add in the necessary code. "We're hoping there will be an entire ecosystem of apps around drawing," Michael Gough, vice president of experience design at Adobe, tells The Verge.

Adobe's goal is to get as many apps to support the cloud-connected pens as possible, allowing it to profit off of the subscription service that'll be necessary to make all of its smart features work. Even without a subscription, users of an Adobe-integrated stylus or ruler would still be able to use its seemingly dead-simply connection to apps for changing tools and settings. "There was a Photoshop generation," Gough says, describing the ways digital art has been made. "Some people say this is the Instagram generation. Well, I'm hoping instead it's one of our tools."