A quick look at Adobe's Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud, announced this week at the Adobe Max 2011 annual conference, is a cloud-based software initiative designed to redefine the process of content creation, storage, and sharing, and as a major component of the company's transformation. Creative Cloud is further evidence—in case any more was needed—of Adobe’s recognition that the mobile marketplace is the current and future cornerstone of art and design and is the company’s future.

What is Creative Cloud?

There are three parts to the structure of the Creative Cloud—applications, services, and community. Applications will include the tablet-centric Touch apps announced Monday alongside the desktop Creative Suite and Adobe's newest offerings from the lab, Edge and Muse. Services will include Digital Publishing Suite technologies, a portion of Business Catalyst, and cloud-based fonts for Web design via Adobe's acquisition of Typekit, a cloud-based subscription font library. Community will facilitate presentation, sharing, and collaboration on creative projects.

From Adobe's perspective, Creative Cloud—including its 20GB of online storage—will evolve into a hub for creative professionals to view, share, and sync content created with Touch apps and Creative Suite programs (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, and After Effects). The company intends for Creative Cloud to develop into a service that allows access to those flagship applications and services, and act as an all-around resource for creatives, all at an attractive price.

Cloud membership will be available in early 2012. However, Adobe has not announced which features will be offered for that debut. More details are expected in early November.

Adobe Edge, Muse, and all of the Touch apps and services that will be included in the Creative Cloud membership will also be available individually. The benefit of subscribing to Creative Cloud, Adobe says, is that users have access to the full spectrum of Adobe's products and services—and new versions as they become available.

Unfortunately, Adobe Touch apps will be available separately for Android devices in mid-November, while availability for iOS devices will come at a later date.

Single Edition Digital Publishing Suite

However, in an iPad exclusive, Adobe also announced a new component of its Digital Publishing Suite for tablet-based publications. The new Single Edition for iPad—an offshoot of its professional and enterprise-level editions—lets freelance designers and small publishing companies publish one-off publications from InDesign CS5.5 for $395 per application, for sale and distribution via Apple’s App Store. Such publications include brochures, image-heavy books, annual reports, design portfolios, and other materials that are not purchased as subscriptions.

Like the enterprise and professional versions of the software, the Single Edition lets designers publish sophisticated interactive content, using their existing skills, without having to learn code or hand off their project to a developer.

Single Edition for iPad is expected to be available for purchase on Adobe’s website at the end of November. Single Edition will support additional tablet platforms later in 2012. More details on Single Edition, Professional Edition and Enterprise edition pricing are available on Adobe's Web site at the Digital Publishing Suite buying guide.

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