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Adobe updates Creative Cloud with new apps, new features, and even new hardware

Susie Ochs | June 19, 2014
Adobe is the king of creative software but not ready to rest on its laurels. After revamping its boxed Creative Suite software into cloud-connected, subscription-based, regularly updated Creative Cloud, Adobe has set itself up to respond more quickly to the fast-changing industries it serves.

Adobe Sketch is more of a free-form drawing app, while Adobe Line is tailor-made for vector graphics, lines, curves, and perspective drawing. Both are free and iPad-only for now, and they're designed to go hand-in-hand with Ink and Slide, although you can use the apps with just your fingers too. We dive much deeper in our full review.

Photoshop Mix

Another all-new, iPad-only app, Photoshop Mix puts more of Photoshop's marquis features on a tablet than ever before, with the power of cloud computing. We are talking about content-aware fill, camera shake reduction, and the Upright tool, which straightens distorted images — these are big features that would normally bring a tablet's computing power to its knees. Photoshop Mix connects to Adobe servers running the full version of Photoshop, so you can nondestructively cut up and remix your photos and save them as PSD files for more tinkering on the desktop. It's free for iPads, available immediately.

Photoshop Mix was built with Adobe Creative SDK, new tools for mobile developers to connect their apps to Creative Cloud and put Adobe's digital imaging technology into mobile apps, all for free. Developers can apply to a private beta starting Wednesday, and Adobe plans to reveal specific partners and apps already working with the Creative SDK at its Adobe Max conference this October.

New features for the desktop apps

Besides the new iPad-only apps, Adobe is updating all 14 of its cross-platform Creative Cloud apps for Mac and Windows. The updated version of Photoshop CC, for example, has a new Blur Gallery of motion-blur effects, a new Focus Mask feature for making the depth of field shallower in portraits, and improved performance in the Mercury Graphics Engine.

Illustrator CC gets Live Shapes, which lets you presto-changeo a plain rectangle into a more complex shape and then back again, and everything will render faster on the Windows side thanks to GPU acceleration for your Nvidia graphics card. InDesign CC gets an EPUB Fixed Layout tool for more easily creating ebooks that work on multiple devices.

Dreamweaver, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, Muse, After Effects, Flash, Edge Animate, Audition, SpeedGrade, and Prelude all got performance updates, new features, and more efficient workflows as well. Adobe rolls out updates to the different areas of Creative Cloud (digital imaging or video tools, for example) periodically, but for the launch of Ink and Slide, the company decided to refresh the entire suite at once. You can read more about the updates to each app at Adobe's Creative Cloud site.

Lightroom Mobile

But wait, as they say, that's not all. Adobe also rolled out an iPhone version of Lightroom Mobile, aiming for feature parity with the already-excellent iPad version. Both of them sync with Lightroom 5 on the desktop, which is both part of Creative Cloud (including the $10/month Creative Cloud Photography plan) and available on its own.


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