Everything announced at Adobe Max 2020: Creative Cloud gets collaborative, Illustrator for iPad, and more

Creative Cloud is getting a host of collaboration, learning and AI-based features for 2020.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adobe's annual overhaul of its Creative Cloud franchise aims to enhance collaboration between creative pros across multiple screens, accelerate learning and creativity and innovate with the Sensei AI platform.

The company's Max 2020 conference is all virtual and includes more than 350 sessions. The list of product updates is also extensive.

Adobe's Max 2020 conference also lands amid the remote work trend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mala Sharma, vice president and general manager of Creative Cloud, cited a bevy of stats from the State of Creativity 2020 report where 82% of creatives said processes have forever changed and 83% said it is more important than ever to expand skillsets. There's also a spark of creativity due to the crisis.

"Collaboration is a must-have in a remote environment and creative pros are demand custom content more than ever before," said Sharma. In other words, creative pros expect more personalized community learning, content, collaboration features, and tips.

For instance, Creative Cloud is getting collaboration features so public links can be shared to Photoshop, Fresco, and Illustrator cloud documents for feedback. Version histories will be available as will the ability to embed cloud documents across apps. Stakeholders will also be able to markup text on InDesign documents.

Creative Cloud's desktop app is getting a marketplace tab and a host of features to streamline workflows across applications. Applications, creative assets, libraries, and cloud documents will all be housed in one place. Category pages will also include more details and help options.

IT admins will also be able to distribute plugins and integrations via an enhanced Admin Console.

Here's the short version of Adobe's Max deliverables and goals:


And the key announcements include.

Illustrator on iPad

Illustrator is coming to Apple iPad, which is becoming the go-to device for creative pros. The inaugural release of Illustrator on the iPad lands with a bevy of desktop updates.

Illustrator on the iPad has the core design capabilities of the desktop version with new experiences for the iPad and Apple Pencil. Features such as radial, grid, and mirror are built for the iPad.

Adobe is including more than 18,000 fonts and OpenType Color and Variable Fonts. The app also has a streamlined experience with a promise to integrate Sensei, more brushes, and effects in the future.

Photoshop gets AI enhancements

A new version of Photoshop on desktop and iPad. The latest version includes five AI features including Neural Filters, Sky Replacement, a new Discover panel, and two new Refine Edge Selections.

Of those additions, Neural Filters enables a new set of filters that are still in beta but can revamp how images are manipulated in Photoshop. The Sky Replacement feature separates the sky from the foreground to create images with dynamic skies.


Adobe's Sky Replacement feature in the latest Photoshop. 

The Discover Panel also has a bevy of new tools, tips, and recommendations based on your work. AI features are also added throughout the features.

Fresco to the iPhone

Adobe Fresco 2.0 gets iPhone support.

Fresco already supports iPads and PCs, but the iPhone will support the same docs and a simplified app for the smaller screen. Other features for Fresco include adjusting how the stylus responds to changes in pressure and more controls.

Adobe XD adds 3D Transforms, Visual Studio extensions

Adobe XD's update will include a feature called 3D Transform that allows designers to move and rotate objects to bring depth and perspective. The feature will also be handy for augmented reality experiences.

In addition, Creative Cloud libraries are being added to XD so assets can be shared across Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. An extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code will enable developers to work with design systems without leaving their editor app. Adobe said the workflow between designers and developers needs less friction.

Aero desktop beta app for iOS

Adobe Aero is getting a new mobile app and a free desktop beta app for iOS users. Features to bolster augmented reality authoring include the ability to bring in animated assets, curate experiences, and develop complex scenes.

Lightroom gets multiple upgrades

Lightroom will add Color Grading on all platforms. Color Grading replaces Split Toning and resembles the traditional color wheel.

Color Grading adds the ability to add a third color tone to midtones and more experimentation with colors in your images. Lightroom will also get Graphical Watermarks, the ability to follow favorite photographers, and new learning tools and tutorials.

InDesign gets online copy editing

InDesign's 2020 release has focused on efficiency and creative workflows to share designs, manage feedback, and collaborate better. The primary collaboration feature is Share for Review, which enables more iteration.

Adobe's video editing lineup updates

The company said updates for After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Premiere Rush included everything from easier in-app browsing, more graphic overlays, audio content additions, and pan and zoom and auto reframe. Sensei features include speech to text and captions workflow in Premiere Pro.

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