Adobe Systems Inc. opened its five-day Max conference in Los Angeles, CA this morning with a bang: the company announced that it's the end of the development road for its Creative Suite (CS) software. From here on out, the company is focusing exclusively on its Creative Cloud service, and has rebranded new versions of its applications with the CC moniker to denote the change. New apps will roll out on June 17, 2013. What's more, the company has a couple of new iOS apps in development.
It was only last year that Adobe rolled out Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud, its subscription-based service that provides access to all of the applications included in CS6 for $50 per month. Adobe recently announced that more than half a million customers have subscribed to Creative Cloud. And with so much development on Creative Cloud applications and services, Adobe senior VP David Wadhwani said the company planned no further development for Creative Suite applications, though the company will continue to sell and support the software, offering bug fixes and compatibility updates as necessary.
To help facilitate migration to Creative Cloud, Adobe's offering a special reduced rate for CS6 customers of $20 per month for the first year. (Adobe also offers a reduced rate for customers who own CS3-CS5.) Adobe has posted details online about its focus on Creative Cloud.
One of Adobe's central concepts with its focus on Creative Cloud is fully integrated collaboration. The company leveraged Macs and iPads throughout its presentation, showing various features and functionalities that are linked to cloud software and services, and Adobe says the integration goes for Windows and Android products as well. Adobe has also integrated Behance with Creative Cloud. Behance is a digital portfolio service of sorts Adobe acquired late in 2012 that enables creative professionals to show off their work to other members online.
During a two-hour keynote that featured a parade of Adobe executives, the company introduced key new features in applications like Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator and others. Photoshop CC sports Adobe Camera Raw 8 support, for example, with new capabilities like an advanced Healing brush that no longer forces a circular brush, Radial Gradient and Upright, a perspective correction tool. Illustrator sports "bitmap brushes," which enable you to turn bitmapped images into brushes without creating distortion on endpoints with detail, and a Touch Type tool optimized for Windows 8 tablets and touch-based computers. After Effects now bundles Maxon Cinema 4D Lite and improves workflow, enabling users to more easily integrate 3D rendered elements into their scenes.
Other announcements include the availability of 175 font families via TypeKit, suitable for desktop installation (many more are available for Web-only use), a redesigned Kuler color palette generation tool (with a version that runs on the iPhone); and a preview of an iOS app for Creative Cloud that lets you view project files and invite people to share or view content.
In a call with iMore after the keynote, Adobe senior director of product marketing for Creative Cloud Scott Morris said that the Kuler app should appear on the App Store at or before the release of new Creative Cloud apps; the other app is in development, but its release is further down the road.
Adobe also gave a sneak peek at its first two hardware projects: "Project Mighty," a Bluetooth LE-equipped stylus that enables you to draw shapes on your tablet (demonstrated on iPads) with cloud connectivity that remembers setting and content; and "Project Napoleon," a short ruler (get it? Short ruler?) that helps you draw shapes on a tablet including lines, angles and arcs. Both projects are early in development, so Adobe offered no details about pricing or availability.
The company capped off the keynote with a sneak peek at Project Context, a special project Adobe is working on with Wired magazine to bring magazine layout into the modern age using large touch screen displays and desks, with a lot of Minority Report-style interaction with on-screen objects.