Who Will Actually Use These Apps Right Now
In reality, these new apps are actually designed to be more consumer-friendly but I’m guessing the biggest user of these new apps will be those already using Adobe products on desktop computers.I think it’ll be at least another year or so until any teacher feels truly comfortable picking up an app like Proto or Photoshop Touch to do some wire-framing and detailed photo editing. Regardless, the new apps are exciting and worth a look.
An important note: these apps are all built around the new Adobe Creative Cloud service which, as you can probably guess, synchronizes your work so you can build something on both your iPad and desktop and then switch back and forth with ease.
These six new apps, completely optimized for a tablet interface, will cost US$9.99 each and will be available for Android tablets in November. Adobe has offered no firm date for an iPad launch, but it will make an announcement regarding availability on iOS in “early 2012.”
Why iOS Was Shafted
As for why the iOS has been shafted in the launch, I was at the Executive Q and A session where CTO Kevin Lynch said they were able to work closely with the manufacturers of Android tablets who let them develop new stylus-based technologies that’ll be used in these apps. Apple didn’t apparently let them have this same level of access.
These six new apps sound slightly more ambitious in scope than the tablet apps Adobe launched several months back. Photoshop Touch is particularly intriguing. I was able to play around with it in person and it works great. I don’t think it’s a desktop replacement yet but it’s certainly a very powerful complement.
The app allows users to combine multiple photos into layered images, make popular edits and apply professional effects, while a feature called Scribble Selection Tool allows users to easily extract objects in an image by simply scribbling on what to keep and then what to remove. With Refine Edge technology from Adobe Photoshop, even hard-to-select areas with soft edges, such as hair, are easily captured when making selections.
The software also offers a three-dimensional view of an image. This feature can be handy for images with multiple layers, where the designer overlays multiple elements together in a single image. When the image is flipped on its side, each layer of the image is shown as a separate level. It also is handy in managing multiple images in a single view.
Another touch-based app with a potentially wide audience is Adobe Proto, which provides Web developers a workspace for developing wireframes, or prototypes, of websites and Web-based mobile applications.
The remaining apps address other aspects of the creative process: Adobe Collage provides a workspace for users to create virtual idea boards, into which they can add images and annotations. Adobe Debut acts as presentation software for Adobe Creative Suite files, which could be handy in presentations and meetings.
Adobe Ideas is a vector-based drawing tool, one that can accept input from a finger or a pen. Because the lines being drawn are vector-based, rather than pixel-based, they will appear solid, regardless of the display resolution. Adobe Kuler (check out the really cool site here) is a virtual color book of color swatches, one that will allow multiple users to peruse and discuss different colors. The colors can be exported to Adobe Creative Suite projects.
Why You Should Care
All in all, these are some very powerful apps that tech-savvy teachers are going to enjoy and use on their tablets pretty often. Adobe has really occupied the power-user space and it’s great to see them make their apps a bit more accessible to the average consumer / teacher / student. The tablet apps are not dumbed down versions of their desktop counterparts, they’re simply wholly different, still powerful, but finally very easy to use.
“Adobe Touch Apps deliver high-impact creative expression to anyone who has a tablet”
Available soon as standalone apps, Adobe Touch Apps are essential components of Adobe Creative Cloud, a major new company initiative also announced today (see separate release). Adobe Creative Cloud will become a worldwide hub for creativity, where millions can access desktop and tablet applications, find essential creative services, and share their best work. Files created via Adobe Touch Apps can be shared, viewed across devices or transferred into Adobe Creative Suite software for further refinement – key features of Adobe’s vision for the Creative Cloud. With stylus capabilities expected to become a key feature on some next generation tablets, Adobe Touch Apps are designed to work with both finger and stylus input.
“Adobe Touch Apps deliver high-impact creative expression to anyone who has a tablet,” said Kevin Lynch, chief technology officer, Adobe. “With Adobe imaging magic coming to tablet devices, new apps like Photoshop Touch will open your mind about the potential of the touch interface for creativity and demonstrate that tablets are an essential part of anyone’s creative arsenal.”
Anticipating the way people are integrating tablets into their everyday lives, the new family of Adobe Touch Apps empowers users to create on tablet devices (see below for supported devices) freeing them from the desktop or laptop computer. The new Adobe Touch Apps include:
Adobe Photoshop Touch lets users transform images with core Photoshop features in an app custom-built for tablets. With simple finger gestures, users can combine multiple photos into layered images, make popular edits and apply professional effects. The tablet-exclusive Scribble Selection Tool allows users to easily extract objects in an image by simply scribbling on what to keep and then what to remove. With Refine Edge technology from Adobe Photoshop, even hard-to-select areas with soft edges, such as hair, are easily captured when making selections. Additionally, the app helps users quickly find images, share creations, and view comments through integration with Facebook and Google Search. Using the syncing capabilities that are a component of Adobe Creative Cloud, files can be opened in Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe Collage helps creatives capture and refine ideas and concepts by allowing them to combine inspirational images, drawings, text and Creative Suite files into modern, conceptual mood boards. Features include importing of images, four customizable pen types for drawing, adding text, and applying color themes. A virtually unconstrained canvas grows as needed to accommodate more assets. Files can be shared or transferred for access in Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe Debut allows users to present designs to clients and stakeholders virtually anywhere. Adobe Debut quickly opens tablet-compatible versions of Creative Suite files for convenient and beautiful viewing on the tablet, including Photoshop layers and Illustrator(R) art boards. Feedback is gathered using a markup pen tool to add notes and drawings on top of the work.
Adobe Ideas is an easy-to-master, vector-based tool for drawing. By using a stylus or finger, strokes appear smooth at any zoom level. Starting with a blank canvas, users can choose color themes, and pull in tablet-compatible image files that can be controlled as separate layers. Finished results are easily accessed in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
Adobe Kuler makes it easy to generate color themes that can inspire any design project. Color can be explored and discovered, with hundreds of thousands of Kuler themes already available via the creative community. Social engagement in the community is enhanced by rating and commenting on themes, which can be exported as color swatches for Adobe Creative Suite projects.
Adobe Touch Apps build on the launch of Adobe Carousel, the only photography solution that gives access to your entire photo library across your tablets, smartphones and desktops – no storage issues, no manual syncing hassles. Enjoy all your photos anywhere you are, and make them look terrific using the same powerful photo-processing technology as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom(R) software.
Pricing and Availability
Adobe Touch Apps will be available for Android devices in November 2011. Adobe expects to make an announcement regarding iOS availability in early 2012. Adobe Ideas is already available for the iPad. Introductory pricing is US$9.99 for each app. Access to the file viewing, sharing and transfer functionality of Adobe Creative Cloud is included in the price of each Adobe Touch App. Details regarding pricing of the Adobe Creative Cloud and its expanded capabilities around applications, services and community will be announced in November 2011.