Straighten Up: Adobe Slide
Where Ink expands on the concept of what an iPad stylus can be, Slide takes us into new territory. It's more than a straight edge, which is great because the edge of a book or ruler handles that task without any problem at all.
Adobe's Slide ruler companion for Ink
Instead, Slide is more like a little personal assistant for you and your stylus. Along with helping you draw straight lines, it lets you draw perfect squares, circles and triangles, create bezier curves, draw on or stamp with built-in stencils, and find intersection points in perspective drawings.
Slide doesn't use batteries, so there isn't any need to worry about recharging. Instead, it works much like an extra set of fingers tapping and swiping in apps for you. Slide includes a single concave button for switching between shapes, lines and stencils.
Once I got Slide in my hand I quickly realized all other styluses feel like they're missing an important component when using them for anything other than writing. Slide made it so much easier to get just the shape I wanted into a drawing, place lines exactly where I needed, and visualize how the next line or shape I planned to draw would look before placing digital ink on my work of art.
The upside to Slide is that it takes the frustration out of drawing straight and curved lines, as well as geometric shapes, out of the mix. People who otherwise would just give up can draw without feeling like they simply aren't capable, and more advanced artists get a new level of precision they haven't had before on the iPad.
The downside is that Slide takes up literal space on your iPad display. I often had to spin mine around into different positions to keep both ends on screen when I used my iPad Air. On my iPad mini I routinely found it just didn't fit.
While I found Slide to be a fantastic addition to my drawing arsenal on my iPad Air, it was little more than a tool for drawing straight lines and perfect circles on my iPad mini. That said, putting both in the hands of an 11 year old showed the iPad mini's screen to be big enough, and was also a great reminder to just how creative kids can be.
Working with Ink and Slide is easy and picking up on how to use both is simple, too. Even easy to use tools can benefit from some quick how-to training, so Adobe put together a set of video tutorials showing how to set up your Ink and Slide, and how to use them in the companion Line and Sketch iPad apps. They're short and well done, and Adobe even went so far as to list the time stamps for each new topic in all of the videos.