Adobe has announced a significant update to Creative Suite, with the unveiling of our first mid-cycle release: Creative Suite 5.5. This is part of a new release strategy, where we’re moving out our milestone releases (such as CS3, CS4, CS5) to a two-year cycle. Mid-cycle releases will keep designers and developers ahead of technology changes, such as the mobile communications revolution (tablets!) that is radically altering how content is consumed and created.
Some highlights from CS5.5….
- For Web folks: huge updates to HTML5 and Adobe Flash authoring tools, enabling designers and developers to deliver mobile applications on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, iOS and other platforms — and create rich browser-based content across screens. All the big HTML5 checkboxes are ticked in Dreamweaver CS5.5: jQuery mobile framework integration for browser-based content, PhoneGap’s in, as well as WebKit engine updates. We’ve also launched Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 Premium and the Flex 4.5 framework now includes mobile support. Now hundreds of millions of mobile devices can be targeted with content and apps, created through our web tools. Remember, Adobe tools support the development of both HTML and Flash content, don’t let crazy headlines make you think otherwise.
- For Design and Publishing jocks: Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium suite builds upon Adobe’s recent product innovations in digital publishing. Using InDesign CS5.5 designers can add new levels of interactivity to their page layouts targeted to tablet devices. Documents can include video, audio, panoramic views, 360-degree object rotation, pan and zoom of images, integration of HTML and HTML5 content and other interactive overlays. Creative Suite 5.5 is tightly integrated with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to support publication, sale and analysis of content on iPad, Android tablets and the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook.
- For video and audio peeps: Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium suite delivers awesome performance, workflow improvements, creative innovations, and powerful new audio editing capabilities that build upon the huge customer momentum Production Premium is experiencing with broadcasters, filmmakers and video professionals. The powerful Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, introduced in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, broadens its graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware support to include laptops and more supported cards, allowing users to open projects faster, get real-time feedback and work more smoothly at higher resolutions. If you’re at NAB this week in Las Vegas, come check out the buzz at the Adobe booth, where our evangelical video wolverine Jason Levine and others will be demoing to packed audiences. Also at NAB, we’re hosting a panel with some great young filmmakers, including Gareth Edwards (Monsters) and Tyler Nelsen (The Social Network) on Tuesday. I’ll be at the booth as well, so stop by, say hi and we’ll hit the tables later.
- Holy tablet-revolution Batman! Today also sees Adobe extend the creative process beyond the desktop by helping integrate tablet devices into creative workflows. The new Adobe Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit (SDK) enables developers to build tablet applications that interact with Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry PlayBook and iOS devices. Adobe also announced three new iPad applications that demonstrate the creative possibilities of using tablets to drive common Photoshop workflows – Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is our policy to turbo-charge Photoshop’s integration into the tablet revolution, comrades. Unlike some companies we think tablets are here to stay and creatives want to use them for their work.
And one more thing. Today also sees Adobe debut an affordable and flexible subscription-based pricing plan, attractive to customers that want to get current and stay current on Creative Suite products, have project–based needs, or try the software for the first time. New Subscription Editions ensure customers are always working with the most up-to-date versions of the software, without the upfront cost of full pricing. With subscription pricing customers can use flagship products, such as Adobe Photoshop for as little as US$29 per month, Adobe Design Premium CS5.5 for US$89 per month, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection for US$129 per month. Yup, for less than your monthly Starbucks bill (or at least mine) you can have all of Adobe’s creative tools at your fingertips. I’m a tall-non-fat-wet-cap kinda guy, if you have to know.
All this software goodness will ship in early May but you can pre-order today.