Apr 16, 2015

Adobe's new Slate app aims to turn anyone into a web designer for free

Over the last year, Adobe has been steadily beefing up its mobile offering with several new and rebranded apps. Though most of these require a Creative Cloud subscription to get the apps' full benefits, the company's latest app, Slate, is completely free, no subscription necessary. The iPad app, launched Thursday, is the company's latest standalone storytelling app that allows people to create interactive web-based stories from their tablets. Slate is a bit like Microsoft's Sway in that it allows users to combine text and images into stylized layouts based around specific topics or events (here's one on Snowy Owls.) The goal of the app, which is only available on the iPad for now, is to help users share stories in ways that look beautiful and professional with just a few steps, says Brian Nemhauser, the app's product manager. A big part of this is the app's library or pre-set themes, which Nemhauser says are the app's "secret sauce." "These are people who don't necessarily have design or technical expertise," he said. "The importance of a theme is there is literally hundreds of designs made by someone who is a a professional editorial designer captured in each one of those across every device." The app was created by the same team that made Adobe Voice, the voice-based storytelling app. Like Voice, Slate doesn't require a Creative Cloud subscription, though subscribers can link their accounts if they wish. The content created in Slate is also much more shareable than Adobe Voice videos, which was a complaint many had about that iPad app. Slate generates a link to each story, which can be shared anywhere, and users can also embed previews of the final stories on their websites.

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