Adobe has announced that it will be changing its product release strategy bringing out milestone Creative Suite (CS) releases every 24 months with mid-cycle releases in between - starting with CS5.5.
Adobe's CS5.5 product line focuses for the first time on smartphones and tablets as these form factors continue to dominate the technology market place. There have also been substantive advances to HTML5, Flash authoring, digital publishing and video tools as well as new capabilities to integrate tablets into creative workflows. The new Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK enables developers to build tablet applications that interact with Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry PlayBook and iOS devices. Adobe also announced three new iPad applications that demonstrate "the creative possibilities of using tablets to drive common Photoshop workflows" - Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop.
The CS5.5 Web Premium Suite includes a lot of innovations in both HTML5 and Flash authoring tools allowing users to easily create and publish their own smartphone and tablet apps. Having seen a demonstration of this in action, it is a very straightforward system, which even allows you to check how your app will look and act prior to publishing. Adobe has also launched Flash Builder 4.5 Premium (available in CS5.5 Web Premium) and the Flex 4.5 framework, which will allow developers to "easily develop and deploy mobile applications to more than 200 million smartphones and tablets by the end of 2011." Adobe are currently trialling a Flash-To-HTML5 converter and it also spoke about the future of this battle, with a spokesperson for Adobe saying that it was about choice. Commenting on Adobe's apparent larger focus on HTML5 this time round, he said: "Certainly Flash is not dead."
In an interesting move, Adobe has also announced a subscription model for customers who want to get the latest version of the products when they become available."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." With the new subscription pricing, customers can get Adobe Photoshop from £47.09-a-month, Design Premium CS5.5 for £130.68-a-month or CS 5.5 Master Collection for £210.54 per month. When the subscription is up, customers get five days grace before the software goes belly-up.
If however you want to pay out the full price for the new version, pricing is as follows: CS5.5 Master Collection - £2,763.60; CS5.5 Design Premium - £1,810.80; CS5.5 Web Premium - £1,714.80; CS5.5 Production Premium - £1,810.80 and for CS5.5 Design Standard - £1,238.40. Adobe promises shipping within 30 days and there is currently free shipping until July 31.