updated 02:25 pm EDT, Mon October 3, 2011
Adobe rolls out six tablet-optimized apps
Adobe started off its MAX conference with six new creative apps all focused around the iPad and Android tablets. Its flagship, Photoshop Touch, is intended more to replicate professional image editing with support for layers and other "core" editing tools. It acknowledges the limitations of fingers and pens, and carries a unique scribble select feature to extract objects as well as the desktop app's Refine Edge option to get very minute selections with broader strokes.
Tie-ins with Facebook and Google search help grab and share images without having to leave the app.
Other tools are more specialized, including pre-creation process tools. Collage is considered an idea generator intended to pull in images and other content to see how they interact, with notes. Debut serves as a way of showing optimized Creative Suite files in a presentation environment. Kuler helps generate color themes based on photos and other content to help generate ideas for projects.
All of the apps tie into Creative Cloud, an infrastructure that will let both desktop and mobile apps sync and share their content.
The Touch Apps suite will initially be available first on Android, when they go live in November at $10 per app. iOS details are expected in "early 2012" and, though not official, will likely show near the iPad 3 unveiling in a similar timeframe.
Adobe's rollout is likely the biggest of its kind for tablets and a potential landmark in establishing them as useful for creation, not just consumption. Microsoft has repeatedly tried to minimize mobile tablets as it believes only a desktop OS can be viable for creation. While the new releases aren't on the same level as desktop apps so far, they are potentially much more optimized for tablet screens than a still mostly mouse-driven release like Adobe CS5.5.