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By 25 September 2019 | Categories: news

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Adobe has finally launched its latest painting and drawing app for the iPad, called Fresco, after nearly a year since its announcement. For digital artists, it has been one of those apps greatly looked forward to, combining vector and pixel applications in one, enabling you to create scalable vector graphics, and emulate a wide variety of natural media such as watercolours, oils, pastels and crayons, all from the same interface.

Fresco has bold ambitions - to rival the current reigning champion of painting on the iPad app, Procreate.

Fresco’s real  differentiation through is that it is compatible with a formidable array of Photoshop brushes. On the surface, that sounds like Fresco would be infinitely extendable, since the scores of .ABR brushes out there likely number in the millions if not more. As well, it also plays well with Photoshop, meaning artists can start a painting on their iPad and continue it on their notebook and vice versa. It sounds great, and in our preliminary playing with the app, it is.

However there is a very big catch. Fresco costs R170 – not once off, but per month – to enable all its features. You do get a fremium version with less brushes and some hampered functionality, but as it stands I cant see that version posing a serious challenge to Procreate.

To its credit, Adobe is offering a six month free trial of the fully functioning version. However, to continue past that R170 per month is just ridiculously steep.

For comparison sake, PlayStation Plus, which offers two free games a month, is less at R110. Spotify is more than half to have access to more songs than you could live long often to listen to. And Netflix, which has replaced DSTV for many due to the array of  series and movies it offers, is also considerably less. And as for its  rival, well, Procreate 5 is on the horizon this year still, with a massive update, boasting new features, on the cards. And that won’t cost nearly R2000 a year.

If Adobe had made Fresco a once off payment of R170 – even asProcreate is about R80 once off – it would be a no brainer to buy.  But at this price, Adobe really needs to get marketing and money grabbing out of their product strategy sessions and concentrate on what it is good at – selling great software. Otherwise, with Fresco, not only will they give Procreate another leg up, but they just might be painting themselves into a corner.     

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