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.
Adobe Updates Creative Cloud, Adds Mobile Apps, Hardware
Regarding the Creative Cloud desktop apps, new capabilities in Photoshop CC for photographers include Blur Gallery motion effects for creating a sense of motion; Focus Mask that makes portrait shots with shallow depth of field stand out; new Content-Aware capabilities; and the recently introduced Perspective Warp for fluidly adjusting the perspective of a specific part of your image without affecting the surrounding area. Photoshop CC also has the ability to pinch and zoom images, create smoother strokes, and deliver a more responsive experience on Windows 8 Touch devices, such as Microsoft Surface Pro 3.
Also for designers, new capabilities in Illustrator CC include Live Shapes to quickly transform rectangles into complex shapes and then return to the original rectangle with just a few clicks, as well as faster rendering of vector graphics with GPU acceleration on Windows with an Adobe-certified Nvidia graphics card. In InDesign CC, layout artists can now select table rows and columns and use EPUB Fixed Layout to easily create digital books. Adobe Muse CC now includes 64-bit support; HiDPI display support for sharper-looking images, objects and text; and the ability to preview and optimize desktop, smartphone and tablet versions of your sites before going live.
New features in the video apps include Live Text Templates and Masking and Tracking, new integrations that leverage the power of Adobe After Effects CC inside Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Web tools now include the ability to look at the markup in a document using the new Element Quick View in Dreamweaver CC, which allows Web developers to easily see, navigate and modify the HTML structure of pages. CSS Designer improvements help apply CSS properties like gradients, box shadows and borders and then easily undo. SVG export in Flash Pro CC lets developers export any frame in Flash projects as an SVG file, while native HTML video support in Edge Animate CC allows the direct import of HTML5-friendly video clips.
The new CC desktop apps, mobile apps and hardware are tightly integrated through Creative Cloud services. Adobe also introduced a new Creative Cloud app for the iPhone and iPad that allows users to access and manage their files, assets and more from their mobile device.
For large organizations, Adobe Creative Cloud for the enterprise is designed for large-scale software deployments and works with other Adobe enterprise offerings such as Adobe Marketing Cloud, Acrobat, Adobe Anywhere and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Updates include more services with collaboration and file storage, expanded options for deployment, and a new dashboard for managing users and entitlements.
For education, Adobe now has a device-based licensing offer for classrooms and labs, which allows multiple users to access software on a single device rather than tying it to an individual with an Adobe ID, critical in an environment where students come and go. And for photography customers, Adobe has introduced a new Creative Cloud Photography Plan for $9.99 per month.
“On the business side, we are finally beginning to see the Adobe cloud strategy pay off,” Hilwa said. “This quarter they made almost as much out of their cloud products as they did of their traditional products, which is no small feat for a vendor of rich desktop tools. This highlights to me the compelling value of cloud technology even for what is typically client-side software. I think the cloud transformation Adobe is going through should serve as a case study for the industry. The broadening of the CC base to photographers generally with the $9.99 offering is a great example of how cloud economics can bring the value of such technology to a mass audience.”