As Sketch and XD battle for the hearts and minds of designers and developers everywhere, Adobe has made some critical improvements to XD that may have many thinking twice about which design environment they use.
Announced today at its annual Max conference, Adobe XD will soon include two oft-requested features. Layers and Symbols, first made popular in Photoshop and Illustrator, have been retooled for use within XD.
The two features work similarly, but have unique functionality when wire-framing an app. Layers lets you manage an entire view, while Symbols pertains to specific elements in an app. Now editing a macro view of an app’s screen with Layers is easier, while fine-tuning the elements within that view using Symbols is also simple.
And the changes are recursive throughout your app: if you’ve recycled a Layer or Symbol on multiple artboards, changes can be reflected elsewhere. That way, upsizing a layer or changing the color in text will display throughout the entire app (if you want it to).
Collaboration is also coming to Adobe XD. In addition to letting you manage multiple artboard elements via Layers and Symbols, Adobe is also utilizing its Creative Cloud to let others edit or comment on your work in real time. When someone comments on your prototype (for example, a project manager who wants the background image to be larger), you can mark their comments as ‘finished’ once you’ve completed the task.
Adobe XD uses versioning so you can ‘go back in time’ and find older elements or views for re-use in current builds. You can also share your work with clients via a dedicated link.
Finally, Adobe XD is getting a standalone mobile app for iOS and Android as well as a desktop app for Windows 10. The mobile apps will display edits in near real-time, which is handier for both collaboration and sharing with others (or seeing your work on an actual device). The Windows 10 app will be very similar to the Mac version.
New features will be rolling out in beta soon for Creative Cloud subscribers. Adobe says its Windows 10 app will be available as a UWP client before 2017 hits.