Adobe pushes out mid-cycle Creative Suite 5.5 release

Adobe has introduced an update to its Creative Suite set of applications for web developers and designers, adding more support for HTML 5 and mobile apps
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor on

Adobe has released details of its upcoming mid-cycle Creative Suite 5.5 update, which provides more support for HTML 5 and mobile-app creation, according to the company.

The updated Creative Suite (CS) — the first to get a mid-cycle release — is scheduled for release "within 30 days", Adobe said on Monday. The products will include updated tools for the creation of HTML 5 and Flash-based apps, mobile app development, and a different way of controlling workflow between constituent parts of the platform.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5

Adobe has released its Creative Suite 5.5, a mid-cycle update that allows developers to create cross-platform apps. Credit: Adobe

Adobe said it will now offer CS5.5 on a subscription basis, whereas previously customers had to shoulder the costs upfront.

"[The] subscription-based pricing plan [is] attractive to customers who want to get current and stay current on Creative Suite products, have project-based needs, or try the software for the first time," Adobe said in a statement. "New subscription editions ensure customers are always working with the most up-to-date versions of the software, without the upfront cost of full pricing."

In addition, the company also announced a move to a 24-month milestone release cycle, with mid-cycle releases coming in between to update features and "keep customers ahead of the trends", a company spokesperson told ZDNet UK.

Suite updates

As part of the update, Adobe has refreshed a number of the key components of the suite, including expanding the Production Premium version to include new editing capabilities and more logical workflow and interoperability with other tools, such as Final Cut Pro.

Premiere Pro — a part of Production Premium — now features extended hardware support for GPU acceleration, which Adobe said allows users to open projects faster, get real-time feedback and work more smoothly at higher resolutions.

New subscription editions ensure customers are always working with the most up-to-date versions of the software, without the upfront cost of full pricing.
– Adobe

The Premium Pro package also marks the return of Audition, the suite's digital audio workstation, previously replaced by Soundbooth since the introduction of CS3. Audition also now works on Windows and Mac; it was previously unavailable on the Mac OS X platform.

The CS 5.5 Web Premium package focuses on providing tools that make it easy to create cross-platform apps for a variety of screen sizes and mobile platforms.

"This release helps enable designers and developers to deliver mobile applications on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, iOS and other platforms; create rich browser-based content across screens using HTML 5; and leverage Flash Player to deliver premium video content, casual games and rich internet applications," Adobe said.

HTML 5 support in Dreamweaver, a part of the Web Premium 5.5 bundle, now includes jQuery mobile framework integration for browser-based content and PhoneGap for designing and development of native applications for iOS, BlackBerry and Android devices. The Dreamweaver refresh also includes updates to the WebKit engine and wider support for CSS 3 attributes.

Adobe has also introduced a new Photoshop scripting engine that works in tandem with an updated version of the Photoshop Touch software development kit (SDK), which allows developers to build tablet apps that work in conjunction with Photoshop on a computer.

Adobe iPad apps

As example apps, Adobe also released three programs for the iPad: Adobe Color Lava, Eazel for Photoshop and Nav for Photoshop. Together, these apps allow users to create custom colour swatches, paint or control frequently accessed Photoshop tools from a tablet.

The release also brings new features to Adobe's Digital Publishing tools via an update to InDesign. New features include the ability to integrate web, audio, panoramic views, 360-degree object rotation, and HTML 5, to create more engaging content, Adobe said.

CS5.5 pricing

Pricing for the Master Collection is expected to be £2,303. CS5.5 Design Premium and CS5.5 Production Premium will each cost £1,509. CS5.5 Web Premium, which includes the mobile authoring tools, will cost £1,429.

Subcription customers can pay on an 12-month basis, at a discount, or month-by-month. For example, the Web Premium package will cost £108 per month on a rolling basis, or £72 per month on a one-year deal.

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