Each year, Adobe hosts thousands of folks from all over the globe at MAX, its annual creative playground. In addition to the free-floating, right-brained vibes reverberating throughout the conference’s ground zero in downtown LA, the company traditionally uses its first keynote session — scheduled for today at 9:30 am PST — to announce major news about its products.
Today’s highlights will include the launch of new mobile apps; expanded desktop touch abilities; improvements to the company’s CreativeSync workflow and previews of a new 3D desktop app and a new desktop-mobile app combo.
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Mobile straight up
Since 2012’s debut of Creative Cloud, Adobe has focused on the convergence and interoperability of desktop and mobile workflows — a ‘connected creative canvas’ for projects with multiple participants. In this vision, assets are used and reused to create projects as opposed to simply generating finished files.
One mobile app that ships today is Photoshop Fix — known until recently as Project Rigel, a photo retouching app first demoed at an Apple event earlier this month. While on iOS now, Adobe promises Android support for Fix soon. Adobe is also launching Capture CC, a brand new mobile app that combines features from Adobe Brush, Adobe Shape, Adobe Color and Adobe Hue into a single app.
In addition, the company is shipping updates to mobile apps Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Sketch, Illustrator Draw, Comp and Premiere Clip.
In addition to Photoshop Fix, Adobe also updated Lightroom mobile with new photo capture capabilities and dehaze functions, added more layer support for Photoshop Mix and introduced new editing capabilities for Lightroom for Web.
Touch and sync
Last year at MAX, Adobe initiated touch workflows with the Microsoft Surface Pro, and that is now being extended to Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro. Adobe is also introducing new and updated touch workspaces to InDesign and Illustrator. That accompanies similar updates to Premiere Pro, After Effects and Character Animator optimized for Surface Pro, Windows tablets or Apple track pad devices.
Sync is not sexy but it sure is critical: Adobe’s CreativeSync function is at the heart of its desktop-to-mobile strategy. With CreativeSync, all assets created on the company’s mobile apps can be saved to Creative Cloud Libraries, which can then be accessed across desktop and mobile apps and shared among subscribers.
Remember Adobe’s acquisition of Mixamo a few months back? The result, to be announced today, is a new desktop app called Adobe Fuse CC. Still in preview with a launch date planned for November, Fuse is 3D character software that helps you create models that can be used in Photoshop and synced across Creative Cloud Libraries.
Adobe’s traditional desktop apps are also getting a refresh. Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro all get new capabilities while video content makes its way toward Adobe Stock, the company’s royalty-free stock photo and graphic collection.
As Photoshop’s new artboards let you place elements and layers for easier visualization, the first version of Design Space, an open source, HTML5 interface for app design, now becomes available to all customers. New Illustrator features include a Shaper tool, Live Shapes and enhanced Smart Guides, while InDesign weighs in with new online publishing capabilities.
Muse, Adobe’s code-free Web designer, now lets you create free-form responsive Web and UX design while Dreamweaver, which is aimed at coders and developers, also adds responsive design capabilities via the Bootstrap framework.
UX designers can also look forward to Project Comet, which Adobe describes as an end-to-end UX design platform featuring a new desktop-mobile app combo. Currently in early development, Project Comet will be demoed publicly today for the first time during the MAX opening keynote.
Launched in June 2015, Adobe Stock will soon support the download and purchase of video content, and will let you search and browse assets from Creative Cloud Libraries. You will also be able to access stock elements within Muse, Dreamweaver and Flash Professional just as you can with the other desktop apps.
New pooled licenses, available at no extra cost, help Stock deliver better services for businesses and is also being made available for the enterprise, with additional support for license management, reporting tools, and unlimited usage of content in large print runs.
Coming soon is a new app called Adobe Portfolio, which is free with any Adobe Creative Cloud plan, including the $9.99 monthly Photography plan. The app lets you customize responsive Portfolio sites without coding and even set a personalized URL, password protection and use Typekit fonts.
Portfolio is built on the Behance creative community that Adobe acquired several years ago. Users can sync Adobe Portfolio to their Behance Projects pages, ensuring more opportunities to get their work discovered.
Where do you get it?
Adobe’s new and updated mobile apps are available free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Updates to Creative Cloud desktop software will ship before the end of the year. When adding Adobe Stock to any paid yearly Creative Cloud membership plan, members can save up to 40 percent over purchasing such content separately. A special promotion is available until October 30.