Adobe & HTML

Honestly, I’m not really impressed with many things Adobe’s been doing lately. Actually, I believe that Adobe is going through some sort of an Identity Crisis. Nonetheless, you cannot really ignore some of the innovative and good things they’re spearheading, specially with open standards like HTML.

Recently, few of us were hurriedly called to the Adobe Bangalore office and we met with Paul Burnett (@pburnett), Adobe APAC Evangelist. I was unable to agree with few things that he showed us but was genuinely impressed with many other initiatives from Adobe.

What I don’t like.

Adobe fought back in many ways when the world was abandoning Flash, they even went ahead to say they love the company that fired the first lethal bullet to the Flash’s Kingdom. When Adobe realized that it was not winning the battle, they went ahead and try to re-create the reign they had with Flash in forms that does not necessarily pronounced “Flash” but doing very similar things that Flash did.

Flash is a good solution for the right purpose and still is. Actually, HTML5 is way behind when it comes to lots of capabilities what Flash can do. But that’s it, let Flash shine where it can and leave alone where it’s not its job anymore.

Edge Animate – really? This brings back unpleasant memories of the Skip Intro days. Do the web need to recreate what Flash did but with CSS? Adobe’s Edge Animate can help you create Flash-esque Animation and spit out CSS and Javascript. The very idea of spitting our machine written CSS and Javascript sounds scary to me – a web full of ‘blings, bells and whistles’ but done in ‘html5’?

I’m of the opinion that you don’t really need that bad to animate elements on a website. In case of websites that needs so many moving parts, they’d rather be doing it with specialized tools or Javascript Experts doing the job, not by a tool that spits out JS codes for you!

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Adobe introduces Acrobat XI

In a small, focussed and quite gathering, Adobe unveiled their new Acrobat XI. Acrobat is Adobe’s product suite for creating, editing, and viewing PDFs. It is literally used by all big corps, government institutions, and many non-profit organizations.

The event was India focussed and Adobe showed some pretty interesting statistics and details on how Indian companies, Institutes, and other governing bodies like Passport Offices, Vehicle Registration and Licensing were using Adobe Acrobat to automate document management tasks.

Adobe Acrobat now features PDF editing and export to Microsoft PowerPoint; touch-friendly capabilities on tablets; and newly integrated cloud services, including Web contracting with Adobe EchoSign and forms creation, data collection, and analysis with Adobe FormsCentral. Acrobat XI additionally supports IT departments with seamless Microsoft Office and SharePoint integration, easy deployment, applications virtualization, and robust application security to help provide a low cost of ownership and sound return on investment.

Acrobat XI has the following offerings – Acrobat XI Pro, Acrobat XI Standard, Adobe Reader XI, and newly integrated document services, Adobe FormsCentral and Adobe EchoSign.

With Adobe Acrobat XI, new and improved features and functionality for business professionals now include:

  • Edit PDF files, modify paragraphs, images, and objects by simply clicking and dragging using the new, intuitive Edit Text and Images tool. Arrange and visually merge select content and multiple documents into one organized PDF file, while retaining source file integrity.
  • Expedite document and Web contract approvals from weeks to hours with electronic signatures using the integrated Adobe EchoSign electronic signature service. Simplify forms creation, distribution, and results analysis using the included Adobe FormsCentral desktop app.
  • Enhanced mobile capabilities. Work with PDF files across tablets and smartphones in touch-friendly Adobe Reader to annotate and add comments, as well as fill in, sign, and save forms.
  • Save PDF documents as PowerPoint, Word, or Excel files or reuse parts of or entire PDF files as Microsoft Office documents and Web pages without retyping or need to reformat.
  • Improved protection of all PDF files created from Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel to help prevent copying, editing, or printing without permission.

The new and improved IT features and functionality now enable IT professionals, to:

  • Standardize on an easy to use, full-featured, consistent, trusted PDF Reader now with full support for iPads and Android tablets. Additionally, deliver Acrobat XI and Reader XI as a centrally managed, touch-friendly, virtual application with new support for Microsoft App-V via Citrix XenApp.
  • Integrate Adobe Acrobat XI more seamlessly with Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint, enabling users to do more with PDF in an Office or SharePoint environment.
  • Streamline deployment and maintenance with free Adobe tools to aid configuration and installation, as well as enhanced support for Microsoft SCCM/SCUP and Apple Remote Desktop.
  • Help mitigate risk and protect systems and data with industry-leading security technology, in addition to the Adobe PDF Whitelist Framework, allowing selective enablement of JavaScript for both Windows and Mac OS. Easily deliver multi-step PDF file preparation and security measures using the Action Wizard to help ensure organizational consistency.

Adobe Creative Suite 6 – the new face of creativity

Adobe recently released its latest version of Creative Suite – Adobe Creative Suite 6, introducing a slew of features and enhancement to their software line-ups.

I was fortunate to be present at the Media Launch of Adobe CS6 in New Delhi, India. Presided over by Umang Bedi, Managing Director, South Asia at Adobe Systems, there were demos galore and quite a bit of stunning new stuff with the likes of Photoshop, Premiere, SpeedGrade, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, etc.

It was not surprising to know that many creative geniuses from India relied totally on Adobe Products to get their work done. Film-maker Aseem Bajaj talks about his experience from analog to digital film-making and how he uses Adobe Products day-in and day-out. Kushal Ruia, Creative Head at Amar Chitra Katha Media demoed some interesting and creative motion video works done in Flash. CB ArunKumar, Academic Director at FX School talked about the creative outcomes as a result of Adobe Products used by his students. It was a day well spent and I came back home thinking, ‘Adobe still have their mojo intact when it comes to creativity tools.’

Adobe CS6 software delivers a whole new experience for digital media creation, enabling you to work lightning fast and reach audiences wherever they may be. Now, for the first time, CS applications are also available through Adobe Creative Cloud, giving you the flexibility to download and install them at any time.

I’ve been trying out the products from the Creative Suite 6 collection and they’re awesome. They are pretty fast and a huge improvement over their predecessors.

Download and Installation

Here is my unfortunate experience. I got a ‘demo’ DVD of CS6 at the event and decided to try it out. However, Adobe Bangalore called me and told me they’re sending me a ‘final’ copy instead. Well, that turned out to be the “Pre-release” version, which means I was able to use my Master Collection Serial Number but cannot log in to Adobe from the software, leaving me with just 5 days before it shuts me out.

After that ordeal, I decided to download the trial from Adobe’s website. For reasons known best to Adobe, I had to download a downloader to download the new download. I downloaded the downloader and installed it and finally downloaded the trial. I just wish Adobe can improve the user experience when it comes to downloading their software – simplify and make it easier for users.

They perhaps want to know who downloaded what! But then why not figure out that I’ve got the serial and I don’t need to be spammed every week that my trial is ending and I should buy the software. That was a sad experience. And yes, the unsubscribed link on that ‘reminder’ email led me to an error page on Adobe.

Adobe Creative Suite 6

Adobe Creative Suite 6, we can see a product-wide overhaul of the interface, albeit a dark-gray-theme, which seems to be more suited for creative people. CS6 sports better speed, improved performance, and native 64-bit support for both Mac and Windows across the suite of products.

Adobe Photoshop saw a huge improvement and quite a lot of them are now the darling features of many artists, photographers, and creative users alike. 3D got a huge change in Photoshop CS6 Extended, with its primary focus on usability and performance. Adobe has completely overhauled the User Interface and 3D workflows, which are now, much more intuitive and easier to use. The new interface sports a single tool instead of the earlier 14. In CS6, you can use the standard Photoshop Move Tool and click on the element (light, camera, mesh) in your 3D layer (scene) and that will reposition it!

Illustrator features a new “gradients on stroke” feature, which can add gradients to lines, pattern-creation tool has a new tracing engine, as well as the ability to create and edit tiled vector patterns, without any visible seams, from the images you trace. InDesign has added new features like Alternate Layouts, Liquid Layout, and Content Collector. This will be a blessing to those page designers who create for a variety of platforms. InDesign CS6 also offers vast upgrades with a new Linked content tool, as well as support for building interactive PDFs.

Dreamweaver, the entry point for most web designers, saw some decent improvement, and is geared towards the new ‘responsive design’ paradigm of the web. I was under the impression that Dreamweaver will move to oblivion and die a silent death but CS6 seem to have taken a huge turn. Dreamweaver helps you design once and adapt your websites when viewed on a phone or tablet or on a browser. Dreamweaver CS6 is built for the multi-platform era, with full support for HTML5 and CSS3.

I’m not much of a video guy but from the demo, I saw on that day, Adobe Premiere Pro seems to be kicking some real ass. It’s integration with After Effects and Photoshop is something very interesting and should serve as a convenient tool for video professionals. SpeedGrade was something the film-makers swear by, smiling to the fact that now they can see their movies being graded quickly in real-time right in front of them. Real-time subtitle support was another awe-thing from the video line-up by Adobe.

Well, for Adobe Flash, it’s not what we used to know from the yonder years. Flash graduated to doing more and more of HTML5 and Javascript. It’s now being marketed as ‘the tool’ for your web and mobile needs when it comes to HTML5 and Javascript and an easy development tool for iOS, Android, and other platforms.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a digital hub where you can explore, create, share, and deliver your work using any of the Adobe Creative Suite desktop tools, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, and new applications like Adobe Muse and Adobe Edge preview. Creative Cloud also includes new Internet-based services and enables the delivery of high-impact content experiences such as interactive websites and stunning digital magazines. By offering connectivity with Adobe Touch Apps, headlined by Adobe Photoshop Touch, Creative Cloud enables a mobile workflow, from ideation to publishing, to bring the power of Adobe innovation to iPads and Android tablets. Creative Cloud gives you the freedom to create, offering immediate and ongoing access to industry-defining tools and technologies, to serve a vibrant worldwide community of creative talent.

Well, if you do not want or cannot afford the costly software from Adobe, you can now use them by paying a monthly subscription. Membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud is available at a price of $49.99 per month for individuals and $69.99 per month per seat for workgroups, both for an annual plan.

Adobe Offers Cloud Storage Plus Monthly Subscription

Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a creative hub where you can explore, create, publish, and share your work using Adobe Creative Suite desktop applications, Adobe Touch Apps, and services together for a complete ideation-to-publishing experience. (source : Adobe)

Over the years Adobe has pioneered in offering excellent design tools. Applications released by Adobe are integral part of all kinds of computer users worldwide. Adobe has introduced excellent tools that can be used to create stunning visuals by including not only text but also photos and animations.

Google built its empire on search engine technologies and expands its other spheres by strengthening social networking platform with its strong web based email application. Microsoft has built its empire by offering wide flavors of windows based operating systems. Oracle has established its domain in database. Similarly, Adobe had revolutionized the way the people express their ideas through design and animation. Adobe plans to expand its realm by expanding its domain of specialty and touching new milestones by spicing up with Adobe Cloud Services and Subscription plans.

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3D, enhanced 2D and gaming takes center-stage in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3

Adobe announces the immediate availability of Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3. This release pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on the web, and helps customers deliver innovative games, data-driven and rich media apps consistently across multiple devices and platforms including Android, iOS, BlackBerry Tablet, Smart TVs, Internet-connected Blu-Ray players and set-top boxes, Windows, Mac and Linux.

As the game console for the web, Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow game publishers to instantly deliver console-quality, immersive games; with new 3D and enhanced 2D support, game publishers and developers can more easily monetize their content by delivering engaging 3D games to desktops and TVs, as well as greatly improving 2D game performance. Dozens of new features in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow developers to deliver a new class of gaming and rich media application experiences, as well as sophisticated, data-driven content with back-end systems integration across devices, including the iPhone and iPad via AIR. Media companies can take advantage of new features to seamlessly deliver protected feature-length, cinema-quality HD video through the web, in apps, and complete with surround sound for connected TVs.

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Will love-hate relationship continue with Flash 11?

The love-hate relationship that millions of computer geeks around the world have with Flash is about to change. Flash Player has gotten a makeover and released its version 11. The widely-used browser plug-in from Adobe got an overhaul, undoubtedly due to threats to its monopoly from rapidly-growing web standards competitors like HTML5, Silverlight and Java FX. Web standards coming to market is the only threat to Flash’s supremacy though, Adobe’s brainchild has also been locked out of iOS devices and has only a small foothold with Android.

With this new release of Flash Adobe seems to be forgetting the iOS lockout and other cellphone and tablet platforms, and instead is targeting high-end technology — specifically within gaming, high-end video, in-house application building and the growing 64-bit world.

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Adobe India’s social initiatives

Renaun Erickson & Duane Nickull
Renaun Erickson & Duane Nickull at the Adobe Bloggers’ Social

Adobe has always been social and have spear-headed many ways to interact intimately and directly with developers, designers and its users in general. Community engagements was one of the strong point of erstwhile Macromedia and it has sipped down to Adobe in many ways.

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Adobe moves beyond Flash — finally

Adobe is finally moving beyond Flash. Sort of.

Adobe is giving up their sole focus on Flash and entering the exciting world of HTML 5. Before you get too excited — they are only releasing a first preview of their new HTML 5 tryout — Edge. Could this be Adobe’s first foray into the eccentric world of internet web standards?

Despite their efforts to push Flash on everyone — including iOS users — Adobe seems to be recognizing the abilities of programming, outside of their own brainchild Flash. This very likely comes after several technologists describe Adobe’s clinging to Flash a “living in the past”.

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Flash to iOS – Journey of a Video

Earlier this month, Apple previewed Final Cut Pro X; the newest version of the company’s professional non-linear video editing software and Photoshop Touch SDK. But, the next biggest announcement was that of Adobe’s declaration to add support for HTTP Live streaming (HLS) to its Flash Media Server.

HLS helps send live or pre-recorded video to iOS devices and Macs, using any traditional web browser. Which means that, companies who create Flash video as part of their workflow can now stream that video to iPads, iPad touches, and iPhones, without the pre-requisite of re-encoding it. This will enable users to watch many Web videos on iOS devices or Flash-free Mac.

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