Adobe Updates Creative Cloud, Adds Mobile Apps, Hardware

Adobe announced a series of updates to its Creative Cloud, including enhancements to its desktop apps, new mobile apps and new digital hardware.

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Adobe updated its Creative Cloud with a slew of enhancements, including 14 new versions of the company's Creative Cloud desktop apps, as well as new mobile apps, new hardware and more.

In what the company said is its biggest software release since Adobe Creative Suite 6—which was released two years ago, Adobe has introduced significant updates to tools such as Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Dreamweaver CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Adobe also announced four new mobile apps, new creative hardware in the form of a digital pen and ruler, updates to Creative Cloud services, and new offerings for enterprise, education and photography customers. In addition, the company announced that there are now more than 2.3 million Creative Cloud subscriptions, exceeding original projections, Adobe said.

"Our shift to Creative Cloud has given us a broad canvas on which to innovate like never before," said David Wadhwani, senior vice president of Digital Media at Adobe, in a statement. "We've taken bold steps with this milestone release, fast-tracking new features to industry-defining tools like Photoshop and InDesign, while introducing mobile apps that turn tablets into indispensable creative tools."

In a blog post on the updates, Wadhwani noted: "Creative Cloud, with its ongoing updates, lets us innovate faster and evolve with our customers. We are creating an ecosystem that supports the modern workflow that creatives increasingly expect—across desktop, mobile and web. In short, the next frontier is all about experience and we will do all we can to make sure Creative Cloud members have everything they need to help shape the next decade of innovation."

Adobe launched three new mobile apps for the iPad—Adobe Sketch, Adobe Line and Adobe Photoshop Mix—and began shipping new creative hardware called Adobe Ink, a new digital pen, and Adobe Slide, a new digital ruler.

The mobile apps were developed using a new Adobe Creative SDK that taps into more than 30 years of Adobe innovation and makes it available on mobile devices for the first time. These new apps are similar to the recently launched Lightroom mobile app for photographers and Adobe's new animated video app for storytelling, Adobe Voice, which were also updated with this release. These apps add mobile capabilities to Creative Cloud, integrate workflows with the CC desktop apps and bring tablets into serious creative workflows.

"This release is packed with new things that push the boundary of what is possible for creative folks," said Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC. "The most exciting part of the new stuff has to do with how Adobe is beginning to use the cloud for delivering functional value and in hybridizing workflows across mobile and desktop."

Adobe Sketch is a social sketching iPad app for free-form drawing. Adobe Line is an app for precision drawing and drafting. Photoshop Mix is an app for compositing and masking on the iPad. Lightroom for iPhone extends recently shipped Lightroom mobile capabilities to the iPhone. It provides an efficient way to manage and edit images across desktops, mobile devices and the Web. Additionally, the recently announced Adobe Voice, a free animated video app for the iPad, has also been updated to work with Lightroom catalogs.

Adobe Ink is an aluminum stylus for the iPad running iOS 7. It enables controlled, expressive drawing and connects to Creative Cloud, giving users access to their creative assets at the tip of the pen. The Adobe Slide digital ruler also is for the iPad running iOS 7 and enables precision sketching including straight lines, perfect circles and balanced shapes on the iPad.