Adobe opens design box of delights with Edge Tools & Services

Adobe opens design box of delights with Edge Tools & Services

Summary: Adobe has packaged up a suite of tools and services — some existing, some new — aimed at helping web designers and developers create rich standards-based content for multiple platforms.


Adobe's Create the Web event in San Francisco on Monday saw the arrival of a suite of seven tools and services for web designers and developers.

Adobe Edge Tools & Services — all but one of which are available now via the Creative Cloud subscription service — aim to make it easier to create standards-based websites, digital content and mobile apps that are rich in layout complexity, typography and interactivity.

Adobe's Edge Tools & Services comprise a mixture of existing and new products.

The suite is targeted at "web designers who code and developers who value design", Adobe said, and comprises a mix of the existing and the new:

  • Edge Animate  Formerly called Edge Preview, Edge Animate is a WebKit-based tool for creating Flash-like interactive, animated content using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Edge Inspect  Formerly called Shadow, Edge Inspect is a preview/debugging tool that lets you sync multiple mobile devices wirelessly to a host computer running Chrome; you can then display the same content on all connected devices and see HTML, CSS and JavaScript changes update instantly.
  • Edge Code  An implementation of the open-source Brackets project, Edge Code — currently available as a preview — is a code editor optimised for working with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Edge Reflow  Only presented as a demo to date (a preview version is expected by the end of 2012), Edge Reflow is a visual tool that allows designers create scalable layouts for different screen sizes and export the CSS code to an editor such as Dreamweaver.
  • Edge Web Fonts  A free web open-source font library, Edge Web Fonts is hosted by the (paid-for) Typekit service.
  • Typekit  This is a commercial font library that's already available either standalone or as part of a Creative Cloud subscription.
  • PhoneGap Build  Another existing service (just emerged from beta), PhoneGap Build packages up mobile apps built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript for deployment on multiple mobile platforms.
Edge Animate, currently a free preview, will sell for $499 after an undefined introductory period.

Adobe says that Edge Animate will eventually sell for $499 (UK pricing to be announced), or via a monthly subscription of $9.75. Initially, though, it is available for free via Adobe Creative Cloud to encourage developer take-up. More than 500,000 preview downloads have already been chalked up, according to Adobe.

At its Create the Web event, Adobe also revealed several proposed CSS extensions, namely: CSS Regions and CSS Exclusions, designed for creating responsive "magazine-like" web layouts; CSS Transforms, for applying consistent geometric transformations to HTML and SVG content; CSS Compositing and Blending for Photoshop-like blend modes; CSS Custom Filters for creating sophisticated "cinematic" visual effects.

Two new fonts used in the Edge suite — Source Sans Pro and Source Code Pro — have also been made open source.

Topics: Software Development, Apps, Software


Charles has been in tech publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed's Practical Computing, then moving to Ziff-Davis to help launch the UK version of PC Magazine in 1992. ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, and he's been here ever since.

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  • whaa?

    No mention of open-source alternatives? If a tech site doesn't even bother to mention competing products, but jumps on every opportunity to publish stories about immature for-profit packages, it smells like someone got paid off ... kinda like flying in journalists with a contract demanding favoritism and bias.
  • The real cost

    This is part of the conspiracy to foist software by subscription down our throats. They make the one-time sale price very high, then offer a "low" monthly subscription. But that monthly fee continues forever, and can be increased whenever they wish (after you're locked in to using that software). It has been demonstrated in this channel that the software companies stand to make indecently more amounts of money by going to the subscription service. Microsoft is pushing it with Office 365 by increasing the costs of "box" purchases considerable. And this trend will only continue until all software is by subscription.

    Who will be paying all this additional revenue? You and me.