Adobe launches Creative Suite 5.5, ties tablets to Photoshop

Adobe rolled out a mid-cycle upgrade for its Creative Suite and infused it with a bevy of tools for mobile applications including some promising Photoshop apps.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adobe on Monday rolled out a mid-cycle upgrade for its Creative Suite and infused it with a bevy of tools for mobile applications.

Creative Suite 5.5, which was a big topic on Adobe's latest earnings call, allows developers and designers to push content to tablets and smartphone platforms. In addition, Adobe serves up a subscription model to expand its customer base.

New Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 goes mobile and takes on tablets (screenshots)

According to Adobe, its subscription model will range from Photoshop starting at $35 a month to Design Premium at $95 a month to the Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection at $129 a month.

The upshot is that Adobe is stepping up its product cycle with a new Creative Suite every 24 months. Adobe argues that the more frequent Creative Suite cycle will allow it to take advantage of new technologies and advances like HTML 5.

Adobe executives said that subscription pricing will open a new market for its tools. Indeed, Creative Suite street prices aren't cheap. Street prices range from $2,599 for the Creative Suite 5.5 Master collection to $1,299 to Design Standard with price points in between.

The biggest changes revolve around mobile. Adobe's Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium Suite includes HTML5 and Flash developer tools to push content to Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS (QNX) and Apple's iOS. Adobe also launched Flash Builder 4.5 Premium, which will also be included in the Web suite, to target the 131 smartphones expected to have the Flash Player by the end of 2011.

Among other key items:

  • Adobe has moved to integrate workflows between the desktop and tablets. To that end, Adobe launched its Photoshop Touch Software Developer Kit to build apps that will interact with Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry QNX and iOS devices. The demonstration of these tools were impressive. As a proof of what's possible Adobe separately launched three Photoshop apps---Color Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav.
  • The latest Creative Suite 5.5 includes video and audio workflow improvements.
  • The latest Creative Suite is also integrated with online services to review apps and improve workflows.

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