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An in-depth look at Adobe's updated Creative Cloud

Patrick Budmar | June 24, 2013
Software vendor refreshes its online offerings with new features and functionality.

This may be the last time that Adobe will be releasing new versions of its products all at once, according to Adobe digital media product marketing manager, Michael Stoddart.

The observation comes as Adobe carries out its first major update to its Creative Cloud suite following the original launch in May 2012. Since Adobe's products are now available from the Cloud, the software vendor plans to roll out incremental changes throughout the year instead of waiting for a full version upgrade to do so.

For this year's update to the Creative Cloud, Stoddart said the focus will be more about synchronizing assets and settings than before. While free Cloud services such as Dropbox exist, the Creative Cloud comes with Adobe's own online storage solution, which has the advantage of being able to recognized files created by the vendor's software suite. Files from Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs can be viewed directly from the Cloud, with basic layer controls, commenting and change tracking available from a web browser. This functionality is not limited to Creative Cloud users, as Stoddart said that non-members, such as clients of a design studio, are able to view and edit the files online via the Creative Cloud.

In addition to web browser functionality, content stored on the Creative Cloud can also be accessed and edited via Adobe's app for smartphones and tablets. Stoddart said the ability to synchronise assets opens up a "new workflow," and while Adobe has integrated collaboration into its products in one form or another over the years, he said the Creative Cloud is where the collaboration process is "really built in."

Gathering of artists
Community is a word that Stoddart uses a lot when describing the Creative Cloud, stating that the "days are gone where the expert keeps their expertise to themselves." Instead, the more a user gives out to the design community, the more likely they are to get back, so the Creative Cloud enables users to put up a personal portfolio of work.

By joining the Creative Cloud, a user can publish their work to Behance, which Stoddart characterises as the "largest creative network on the Internet." In addition to posting work to ask for feedback and help, the professional scope of the community allows clients to look up portfolios and offer work to artists. Stoddart said features such as this make the Creative Cloud "more than just the apps."

A new addition is the Creative Cloud app plug-in for Mac and Windows, which consists of a dialogue box where users can quickly and easily find Adobe products to install, manage fonts and track files that are synchronised in the Creative Cloud. Fonts are managed through the TypeKit functionality, which Stoddart said has not been implemented yet but will be "coming soon." The feature has been designed to overcome the complexity of finding and installing new fonts, with the user able to quickly browse potential fonts from the panel before installing and using them, both in Adobe applications and throughout the OS.


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