Adobe's Creative Cloud roadmap runs through Apple's iPad: Everything announced at Adobe Max

Adobe Illustrator is coming to the iPad, and Adobe is also eyeing Microsoft's Surface. At Adobe Max, the company launched a series of Creative Cloud updates to improve performance, leverage AI, and bolster collaboration. There's even a TikTok partnership.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The future of Adobe's Creative Cloud increasingly runs through Apple's iPad and its place among creative pros, marketers, and enterprises. By putting Adobe Illustrator on the iPad, the company is making clear that most of its Creative Cloud apps are headed toward tablets.

At Adobe MAX, the company outlined a barrage of updates to Creative Cloud updates designed to address multiple screens, improve collaboration, leverage artificial intelligence via Adobe Sensei and address new mediums such as 3D and augmented reality.

Meanwhile, Adobe is adding hooks to new networks as they emerge. For instance, Adobe is partnering with TikTok on content creation. Adobe Premiere Rush, a video editing app, now can directly share to TikTok. Premiere Rush is the first third-party app to publish directly to TikTok.

But the overall vision here is that Adobe is moving toward mobility quickly and working with Creative Cloud anywhere.

Adobe said that Photoshop on the iPad is now generally available for basic retouching, masking, and compositing. A demo of Photoshop on iPad looked like it'll be a welcome workflow addition. Full PSD files will be available on the iPad and can be finished on desktop Photoshop.


Adobe Photoshop on iPad.

Photoshop on the iPad supports iPad OS 13 and the following devices:

The approach by Adobe is to bring its Creative Cloud applications to the iPad systematically. For now, the iPad gives Adobe the most lift. 

Next up is Illustrator. Adobe previewed Adobe Illustrator running on the iPad with an extension available in 2020. By working with Apple Pencil, Illustrator's mobile edition bridges screens. 


Adobe Illustrator on iPad

Adobe also said that its Fresco app has fared well on the iPad and is now moving to Microsoft Surface and Wacom MobileStudios.

Simon Longbottom, vice president of Creative Cloud services and strategy at Adobe, said the move to the iPad is part of an effort to "work the way you work and working with teams." The emphasis from Adobe is on streamlining workflows between creative pros.

On the mobility front, Adobe is indicating that it is moving its apps to iPad, then Microsoft Surface, and potentially Android down the line. Apple iPad and Surface would have a stronger footprint in the enterprise among creative pros, but a vendor like Samsung could ultimately make a play.

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For now, it's worth going through the highlights of everything announced at Adobe Max that applies to creative pros and the enterprise.

A new version of Adobe XD launched and the primary theme among the new features is co-editing and collaboration features. Adobe XD's latest release allows multiple people to edit a project at the same time.

Creative Cloud has redesigned desktop apps. The redesign provides tutorials and support contextually within each application. Libraries enable the sharing of images, logos, and colors within a company. Adobe Animate, Dimension, InDesign, and Character Animator are some of the apps with significant updates. Premiere Pro gets improvements on audio workflows and improved routing for effects.

Adobe is partnering with IBM iX, Big Blue's design studio, and services unit. The two companies said they are extending a partnership to offer Adobe XD as a design system as a service (DSaaS). IBM iX will help customers implement and manage a design system. Adobe XD will also enable customers to customize IBM's open-source Carbon design system.

Creative Cloud has improved performance. Adobe said it has cut bottlenecks, crash rates and added new features that streamline repetitive tasks. These improvements run throughout Creative Cloud. Sensei features such as Auto Reframe in Premiere Pro and the ability to find similar images in Adobe Stock have been added.

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Adobe Aero launched. Aero is a free iOS app for viewing and building augmented reality experiments. Aero is now integrated with apps such as Photoshop and Dimension. Substance Suite, a 3D authoring app, rides shotgun with Aero.

Adobe After Effects gets a performance upgrade that enables better playbacks of cached previews. The performance boost comes via CPU threading improvements as well as a new GPU architecture. Adobe said it will also accelerate the release schedule for After Effects. 

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