Adobe's Fantastic iPad App for Drawing and Painting is Finally Available

Gif: Andrew Liszewski (Gizmodo)

Today Adobe has officially released Fresco for the iPad bringing an impressive set of drawing and interactive painting tools to Apple’s tablet, which will further help legitimize its use as a serious creative tool. The app was announced nearly a year ago in October of 2018, and we spent quite a bit of time with it ourselves last month.


The app is currently freely available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers or can be purchased as a standalone app for $10 a month with the first six-months free if you buy it before the end of the year. Adobe is also making it available free to use, but with a reduced toolset and output limited to the resolution of the iPad’s screen.

Besides bringing many of Adobe’s standard creativity tools to the iPad, Fresco can also access documents created in other Creative Cloud applications such as the desktop version of Photoshop. But the app’s most notable feature is its Live Brushes, created using the company’s AI-powered Sensei platform, that simulates the experience of painting with oil paints and watercolors, including colors that mix and bleed into each other as brush strokes are made on the simulated canvas.

The app does require some graphical horsepower to make those new painting tools feel completely interactive with real-time results, and as a result it requires iOS 12.2 or higher running on an iPad Pro, iPad Air 3, iPad Mini 5, and the 5th, 6th, and 7th-generation iPads. It fully supports touch gestures so you can paint with your fingers, but from our testing the Fresco experience is vastly improved when used with the Apple Pencil.



Nothing will make an iPad a “serious” creative tool.

It may be fun, interesting, and good for pet projects. But, I think “serious” implies the ability to use it for business. Maybe there are a handful of use cases, but if you think creative agencies and businesses are going to start handing these out to improve the creative process in the workplace, you’re wrong.