Adobe Creative Cloud update gives it a big boost on mobile

Adobe MAX 2014
Adobe announces a big update to its cloud and mobile apps

Adobe MAX is an annual event designed to showcase Adobe's latest technologies and products. It runs from the 4th-8th October in Los Angeles, and Adobe is using the event to announce a whole series of updates to its Creative Cloud platform.

These closely follow the previous major update in June 2014 and include a new Creative Profile concept, new or rebranded mobile apps, a Creative SDK 1.0 for developers, Touch support for Windows 8 and Surface Pro 3 devices for Illustrator and Photoshop and a Talent Search feature for recruiters or artists, based on portfolios.

The idea of the Creative Profile is that the resources you rely on are stored online in the cloud, so that they're available on whatever machine you're working on, wherever you are. These include brushes, colours, shapes, fonts, photos and other files.

The mobile app line-up now includes Photoshop Sketch, which integrates with Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, Photoshop Mix, which works alongside Photoshop CC and now comes in an iPhone version, and a new version of Lightroom Mobile supports comments for images shared online and syncs GPS information from iPhone photos.

The previous Illustrator Ideas app is now called Illustrator Draw and is accompanied by a 'precision' Illustrator Line app, and both integrate with Illustrator CC, while Premiere Clip is for iPhone or iPad videos you want to share online – or send to Premiere Pro CC.

Capture the moment

There are three new 'capture' apps, too. Adobe Brush CC lets you design custom brushes on your iPhone or iPad, Shape CC can convert high-contrast photos into editable vector art and Color CC (formerly called Kuler) captures colours for use in Illustrator CC or Photoshop CC, for example.

The Adobe Creative SDK public beta is for third party mobile app developers that want to connect their tools to Creative Cloud.

There are few changes to report in the desktop apps themselves. Adobe says it has improved the performance of the Mercury graphics engine in Photoshop CC, and has added 3D printing profiles. Illustrator CC gets a new Curvature tool.

The new Talent Search feature could prove particularly interesting and useful. Recruiters could use it to find experts in specific applications who live in a particular location and have worked in the relevant fields. Adobe says 'custom algorithms' are used to identify possible candidates and that the search results improve the more you use the system. Adobe will also post job opportunities on Behance, the online showcasing site included as part of your Creative Cloud subscription.

Adobe is clearly pinning its hopes on a growing demand for 'cloud' working and mobile devices and that's the real meat of this latest announcement. The core desktop CC applications are largely unchanged.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.