It has been more than a year since Adobe updated Ideas for iOS. After all of that time, the app now includes the layers features at no additional cost, improved organizing and sharing, plus a drastically revised color extraction and theme system.

Let’s start with something easy, shall we? For better organization and sharing, Adobe Ideas now allows project naming. While editing a project, tap on the name in the top left of the screen to bring up the text edit box and keyboard. The name shows up in the Ideas gallery, as the default email subject when sharing, and as the file name.

Adobe Ideas version 1.6 (iPad 2) - Eyedropper

Use the eyedropper for easy color extraction, complete with magnifying glass

Next up, Adobe has added in layers. Initially, the layers feature was a $4.99 in-app purchase, then it was reduced to just $0.99, although, the app price jumped from $4.99 to $9.99. As of today, the use of layers functionality is included as a standard feature. Adobe Ideas allows up to 11 layers, one photo layer and 10 drawing layers. You can set the opacity for each and adjust the position among the layers.

The last items of change deal with color. Foremost, Adobe has replaced the color wheel with multi-slider systems to choose your color using the red, green, and blue or hue, saturation, and brightness combinations.

In an even bigger change, Adobe has added the eyedropper to Ideas, making color extraction while editing extremely simple. In related news, Ideas now uses drag and drop controls when dealing with some color functions. To swap preset colors, tap on the color box to display the color options popover window, tap and hold on the “color” box, then drag it into a slot in the current color theme palette to replace a color.

Adobe Ideas version 1.6 (iPad 2) - Colors (HSB)

The new RGB and HSB combination systems make finding that perfect color easier

The aforementioned drag and drop ability works for color themes as well. Tap on the color box, tap on the expand arrow at the bottom of the popup window, and select Themes. To save a color theme palette for quick access later on, tap and hold the current palette in the far left of the of the color popover window, then drag it into any of the theme slots to the right. Drag a palette to the trash icon to remove it.

There is just one more thing to mention. Triggering negative feedback, it appears that Adobe has removed the automated color extraction and separate color theme management systems in favor of the eyedropper and editing tools now supplied. While I do understand that it’s redundant to have two palette management systems, the automated extractor would still be very useful beyond the eyedropper.

To me, the positives outweigh the negatives, but I wouldn’t mind if Adobe decided to reintegrate the color extraction and theme creation system. However, it’s your choice to make. If you’ve already updated to v1.6 and want to go back to v1.2, it’s possible if you use Time Machine, have another incremental backup system, or haven’t updated the app in iTunes.

Adobe Ideas is a universal app compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or later, and available in the App Store for $9.99.