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Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Boosts HTML5 and Mobile Development

Adobe also said it will be making changes to Creative Suite development cycle.

Adobe is gearing up to release an update to Creative Suite, its flagship development environment and digital media production package. The upcoming version 5.5 release, due out within a month, incorporates new features for creating HTML5 applications and apps developed specifically for tablets.

Mobile Development
The latest update incorporates several new tools for developing for mobile platforms, including ANdroid, iOS, and BlackBerry Tablet OS. These include Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 Premium, which will be a part of the Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium bundle. Flash Builder 5.5 adds support for mobile Flex projects via the new Flex 4.5 framework for mobile devices, which lets developers build apps that run on iOS devices, Android devices, and BlackBerry tablets. It also includes new mobile support for ActionScript and HTML5 emulation for testing HTML5.

Other enhancements in the area of mobile development include:

  • A new scripting engine in Photoshop that allows developers to "interact with Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry and iOS devices";
  • Improved support for HTML5 in Dreamweaver;
  • Expanded device support in Adobe Device Central;
  • New mobile development tools in Flash Professional (including content scaling on the stage);
  • Mobile emulation;
  • On-device debugging; and
  • 20 code snippets for building AIR apps for mobile devices, including specific technologies like accelerometer and multitouch gestures, as well as saving and loading data.

Adobe added that it anticipates there will be 131 million smart phones with Flash installed by the end of 2011.

Digital Media Production
Creative Suite 5.5 also brings several enhancements to the core digital media production applications, including InDesign, After Effects, and Premiere Pro.

Adobe InDesign includes new Folio Producer tools for building interactivity into their magazines for use on Android- and iOS-based tablet devices, as well as e-book readers and BlackBerry tablets (via a forthcoming release of AIR for BlackBerry Playbook). This includes support for multimedia content (audio and video); interactive overlays; HTML5 elements; and interactive objects with pan, zoom, and rotation. Content can be tested in virtual tablet devices directly within InDesign.

Adobe's non-linear editor, Premiere Pro, adds more precise trimming and editing tools; overall improved performance; workflow enhancements; and a new Merge Clips for synching video with audio recorded on a separate device.

After Effects CS5.5, the new version of Adobe's industry standard visual effects tool, also adds several new features, including:

  • Warp Stabilizer (for steadying shaky footage);
  • Camera Lens Blur (for creating depth of field blurs); and
  • Light Falloff (for emulating natural light in 3D scenes).

Other new digital media production features include:

  • Automatic image resizing on e-book readers for content designed in InDesign;
  • Support for HTML5 video and audio tags in InDesign;
  • A new 64-bit Adobe Media Encoder that has support for background encoding and new formats, including AVC-Intra and DPX;
  • New watch folder support in Media Encoder for drag and drop export to multiple formats;
  • Expanded device support (including laptop GPUs) for the Mercury Playback Engine;
  • Enhanced support for Final Cut Pro project exchange and enhanced enhanced OMF support in Audition and Premiere Pro for exporting to Pro Tools;
  • Enhanced support for tapeless cameras, including RED, with a new RED Source Settings dialog and native support for RED Epic camera media up to 5k (via a freely available extension on the Adobe Labs site); and
  • An improved audio engine in Audition.

Licensing, Development Schedule
Along with the upcoming CS 5.5 release, Adobe also announced a significant change to its refresh policy. Previously the company released major product updates every 18 months with few, if any, interim updates between those refreshes. Now, the company said, it will stretch that release schedule to 24 months, with "significant mid-cycle releases" between those full-version updates.

Creative Suite 5.5 is available for preorder now. Adobe reported it will ship within 30 days.

Education pricing varies with the bundle and license type. For student and educator single licenses, the prices are about a third to a quarter of the regular retail price, as follows:

  • Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection: $899;
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium: $449;
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium: $449;
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium: $449; and
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard: $299

Volume licenses are also available for K-12 organizations and higher education institutions. Pricing varies widely by bundle and license type, from $8,999 for 250 seats of the Production Premium bundle under CLP to $16,999 for 500 seats of the Master Collection under the TLP. Further information about licensing can be found here. Further details about Creative Suite 5.5 can be found here.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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