Adobe is kicking off its annual MAX conference in Los Angeles today. Traditionally, this is where the company announces its latest updates and gives us a glimpse of the new features it’s working on for products like Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and Premiere Pro. This year is no exception. The company is launching a slew of new features for almost all of its Creative Cloud products and their companion mobile apps.
Adobe is also making updates to its Adobe Stock stock content service and it’s launching new portfolio sites for the creative professionals on its service (based on its existing Behance service). You can read more about the Adobe Stock updates here.
With the acquisition of Behance back in 2012, Adobe acquired one of the most popular portfolio platforms for creatives. Soon, however, it will also offer its Creative Cloud subscribers (including those on the lower-priced Photography plan), a new, easier to use portfolio service based on Behance.
Adobe Portfolio, which should launch before the end of the year, is meant to make it easier for creatives to showcase their work online. The new sites will be responsive and users will be able to choose between a range of different templates. The new sites will support Typekit fonts and users can sync their portfolios to their Behance projects pages, too.
As usual, there are too many small new features and updates across the Creative Cloud app to go into detail about every one of them, but Adobe is clearly putting the emphasis on a couple of areas.
With CreativeSync, for example, the company is now making it easier than ever before to sync all kinds of assets between its different apps. CreativeSync itself isn’t new, but until now, it was mostly about syncing between desktop apps and from desktop to mobile and vice versa. With today’s update, the company is also allowing you to sync between mobile apps.
This pretty much completes Adobe’s CreativeSync story. The main feature powered by this service are Adobe’s Creative Cloud Libraries. Ideally, this allows you to keep all of your assets — be they fonts, graphics, images or colors — in one place. These libraries are also integrated with Adobe Stock.
“Being connected to your assets, team and projects, at all times, is critical to today’s designers,” said Adobe senior vice president and general manager for Digital Media Bryan Lamkin in today’s announcement. “With this Creative Cloud update, Adobe’s signature CreativeSync technology drives powerful connections between desktop and mobile apps as well as essential creative assets.”
Adobe was quick to jump on the mobile bandwagon and over the last few years, the company launched a wide range of mobile apps for both iOS and — to a lesser degree — Android. Some of these, like Adobe Color, Shape, Brush and Hue had similar purposes, though. With today’s update, the company is combining all of these capture-focused apps into a single Adobe Capture CC app. Using the app, users will be able to turn any photo into a color scheme, vector graphic or brush.
In addition, the company is also officially launching Photoshop Fix today (previously codenamed ‘Project Rigel’), a photo retouching app the company first showed during Apple’s iPad Pro event last month (using a demo that left a bad taste in quite a few people’s mouth). Photoshop Fix, which allows you to send your images directly to the Photoshop desktop app, will be available on both the iPad and iPhone. No word on when we can expect an Android version.
All of Adobe’s other mobile apps like Photoshop Mix, Premiere Clip and Comp CC will also see their fair share of tweaks and new features.
While Adobe’s mobile apps are obviously touch-centric, the company is also making some updates to its desktop apps to make them more touch friendly. InDesign CC and Illustrator CC are getting new and updated Touch workspaces, for example, and Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Character Animator are also getting new touch capabilities.
And There’s More…
Photoshop and Lightroom mobile now feature Adobe’s Dehaze functionality, which made its debut in the last desktop update.
A few months ago, Adobe bought Mixamo, a tool for creating and rigging game characters. Now, it’s launching this tools (in preview) under the Adobe Fuse name. Fuse models can be sent right to Photoshop CC.
With this update, Adobe is also bringing Design Space — its previously announced design-centric user interface for Photoshop — to its customers for the first time.
On the video side, the company is announcing a few updates around 4K and 8K video format support, better HDR workflows in Premiere Pro and now color adjustment tools in After Effects CC.
Overall, there are no major stand-out features here. Photoshop isn’t getting some amazing new feature like content-aware fill, for example. For the most part, today’s update feels a bit more like a service pack. That’s okay, though. Since moving to a subscription model, Adobe is able to launch new features whenever they are ready. While the company is still sticking to launching point releases about once every year, the reality is that it’s not really bound by its old timetables anymore.