Archive for the ‘Adobe’ Category

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Adobe just reported earnings for its second financial
quarter of 2013. The company reported revenue of
$1.011 billion and non-GAAP operating income of
$247.3 for an earnings per share of $0.36 (though
diluted GAAP earnings were only $0.15). That’s a
little bit better than most analysts expected, especially with respect to the company’s earnings per
share. The Wall Street consensus was that Adobe would
report revenue of about $1.01 billion and earnings per
share of $0.34. These numbers, it’s worth noting, are
very much in line with Adobe’s last quarter, when the
company announced revenue of $1.01 billion and
earnings per share of $0.35. In the year-ago quarter, however, Adobe still reported revenue of $1.12 billion. “Our Q2 results reflect our leadership position in
Digital Media and Digital Marketing,” said Shantanu
Narayen, Adobe’s president and chief executive
officer a canned statement today. “Creative Cloud is
revolutionizing the creative process, and Adobe
Marketing Cloud is quickly becoming the platform of choice for the world’s leading brands, advertising
agencies and media companies.” Adobe is clearly betting the company on its Creative
Cloud subscription service, which is set to almost
completely replace the company’s offering of shrink-
wrapped software. Just yesterday, Adobe launched
its latest offering of all of its major Creative Cloud
apps, and today, the company announced that Creative Cloud now has over 700,000 subscribers.
That’s up from 479,000 subscribers in the first quarter
of 2013. The vast majority (92 percent) of its
subscribers, Adobe says, are on its annual plan (vs.
paying a slightly higher fee for a month-to-month
subscription). Adobe itself expects to hit over 1.25 million Creative
Cloud subscribers by the end of the year and a
number of analysts believe this is actually a very
conservative number. Besides Creative Cloud, Adobe’s second main group
of services is its Marketing Cloud, which includes
services for social marketing, media optimization,
analytics, testing and targeting. Last quarter,
Marketing Cloud achieved quarterly revenue of $215.4
million, a 20 percent year-over-year increase. This time around, Adobe reported Marketing Cloud revenue
of $229.9 million.

20130507-102401.jpg. Adobe surprised everyone by showing off a new
hardware effort today at its annual MAX conference,
including Project Mighty and Napoleon. Mighty is a
pressure-sensitive digital pen that works with tablets
and stores a wide variety of settings and preferences
in the cloud. Adobe showed it off working on an iPad, and it looked similar to what we’ve seen from existing
pressure-sensitive input devices from other
companies, but with tighter integration into Adobe
products. It can pull in stored Kuler color palette themes from
Creative Cloud, for instance, as well as brush settings
and a cloud clipboard that stores assets you’ve
created previously for use in new drawings. Moving
from tablet to tablet preserves the settings associated
with your pen, which makes it possible to take everything from tablet to tablet. Napoleon looks a little like a modern Apple remote,
but allows you to easily draw straight lines and arcs
via snap tools combined with digital pens like Mighty.
It’s almost like having traditional drafting tools
including squares and triangles, but better suited to
digital media. For precise drafting and more serious, demanding graphics work, these two tools in tandem
should help push creativity on mobile devices quite a
bit further than what we have available today. The Mighty pen itself looks similar to something like
the Jot Touch 4 pressure sensitive pen, but with full
access to Adobe’s Creative Cloud services behind it.
It’s a little like an entire artist’s box in a single device,
judging by what Adobe has shown us on stage today.
It also takes advantage of non-stylus touch, too, in a way that looks novel, allowing users to do things like
erase with their free hand. But when paired with
Napoleon, it becomes much more powerful than what
we’ve already seen, which should really push the
envelope on mobile creativity. The pen boasts an LED on the back that can display
different colors depending on what a user is doing
with it, and there’s a button for connecting via
Bluetooth. The ruler has two touchpoints on its
underside to give the tablet its orientation, and the
pen has managed to make Apple’s iPad recognize even small touches, which it actively tries to ignore
using its built-in accidental touch software. Adobe
isn’t saying exactly how it pulled that one off,
however. This is still essentially a project in the R&D phase,
Adobe noted, but we will definitely see it materialize
down the road as a real product, they said. The real
question will be how this can compare to for-purpose
devices like the Wacom series of tablets, which are
much better than anything else out there in terms of pressure sensitivity, latency and overall ability to
mimic the experience of working with traditional
artists’ materials.

20130507-102225.jpg. Adobe‘s just announced the latest version of
Dreamweaver, its tool for quickly developing web
content. The new version has now caught up with a
number of modern web development techniques and
also features support for the company’s new syncing
features in Creative Cloud. Adobe says it has greatly simplified and modernized
the Dreamweaver interface in this release, making it
more intuitive and allowing for smoother workflows.
Adobe has also removed a number of outdated
features in Dreamweaver, which should make the app
feel lighter and faster. Dreamweaver CC also now features a new CSS
Designer, a visual editing tool, which the company
says, will allow developers to easily generate web-
standard code for their sites and quickly apply CSS
properties such as gradients and box shadows. The tool acknowledges that responsive design is here
to stay. Dreamweaver now features an enhanced fluid
grid layout that allows web designers to construct web
designed and responsive sites visually. The uploaded
“Fluid Grid Layout” interface, Adobe says, “makes it a
cinch to design projects that display on different screen sizes for desktop and devices.” Edge Web Fonts, the company’s font library powered
by Typekit is now also integrated into Dreamweaver,
allowing designers to go beyond the usual Arial and
Times New Roman fonts on their sites. For users who target mobile devices with their
designs, Dreamweaver CC now also includes some
new features. Thanks to PhoneGap Build Support, for
example, they can now easily build and package
native apps for iOS and Android right inside the
application.

20130507-094355.jpg. Flash may be dead, but Adobe’s Flash Professional
has already gone beyond just being a Flash tool and
it’s getting a major update today. The new version,
Adobe says, has been “rebuilt from the ground up to
be faster, modular, extensible, reliable, more focused
and more efficient than before.” That’s quite a promise, but new version does indeed sport quite a
few new features and improvements. The company has re-engineered Flash Professional
as a 64-bit application, which should make it more
stable and allow users to easily manage multiple large
files. The app, which Adobe says is now far more
responsive, now also allows Flash developers to
export their content in high definition video and audio,
“all without dropping frames.” The tool now also sports a streamlined user interface
to make dialog boxes and panels more intuitive.
Users can now also choose between a dark or light
interface. With this new version, Adobe is introducing enhanced
HTML5 support – something most of us probably
don’t think about when we hear the word “flash.” The
enhanced HTML publishing support now uses the
updated Toolkit for CreateJS, meaning the service
now features new functionality for buttons, hit areas and motion curves. Also new in this version is support for real-time
mobile testing. Developers can now test and debug
their content by connecting multiple iOS and Android
devices to their computers via USB and quickly see
how their designs work on a real device. Other new features include a more powerful code
editor, which uses the Scintilla library. This new
editor, the company says, will allow users to search
across multiple files and features a new “find and
replace” panel. Also new are code profiling in Adobe
Scout, a real-time drawing tool, and an unlimited size for Flash Professional’s pasteboard.

20130507-092954.jpg. At its MAX conference in Los Angeles today, Adobe
showed quite a few products that will soon be
available to its customers, but it also highlighted a
number of hardware experiments, including Project
Context, a totally re-imagined way for creating
magazine layouts, as well as an advanced stylus and a ruler for touchscreens. After the keynote this morning, I had a chance to sit
back with Adobe’s David Macy to talk about both the
newly announced Mighty pen and Napoleon ruler for
touchscreens, as well as Project Context. All of these
projects are definitely more than just hobbies for
Adobe, something Macy acknowledged when I asked him about the company’s plans for these tools. While Macy obviously wouldn’t talk about when (or
even if) Adobe plans to turn these prototypes into
products, my feeling was that the company is clearly
thinking about it. It’s also clear that the Adobe XD
team, which is behind all of these projects, has the
backing to explore these ideas. The idea for the Mighty Pen, for example, was born about a year and
a half ago and the team has been iterating on the idea
ever since. Out of the three projects, Project Context is clearly
the one that is the most “out there” right now. It’s
easy to imagine Adobe selling pens and rulers, but
when it comes to giant touchscreens, that’s not
exactly the company’s core focus. Right now Context
is focused solely on magazine design, but because it runs on OS X (and actually uses two Macs for each
screen), the system could be adapted for other uses
as well (and Macy wouldn’t say if Wired or Conde
Nast have any plans to use it in their actual
production process). As Wired’s design director Claudia de Almeida noted
when she demoed the project on stage today, layouts
in newsrooms today are often still created physically
with paper, scissors and boards where designers
arrange their layouts. “The wonderful thing about
Project Context,” she said, “is that it takes the best of what we do in the analog world and recreates it
digitally.” That, of course, is also true of Adobe’s
other two hardware projects. The Context system uses two 1080p high-def screens
with a frame around it for picking up touch signals, as
well as another screen set up as a Surface-like table
in front of the other two screens. Because the
screens are so large, you can actually see the
individual pixels, but Macy hopes that once 4k screen become more affordable, that won’t be an issue. There is also something about having these huge
touchscreens that gets people energized, he said. It’s
a great tool for team collaboration, Adobe believes,
and the prototype currently supports up to 30 touch
points. Hands-On With Project Context I had a chance to play with Project Context behind
the MAX stage and it’s indeed a very cool
experience. The layout is, for the most part, the
interface. Assets are available in a horizontally
scrolling bar at the top of the page and to add them to
the layout. Swiping left and right with multiple fingers allows you to scroll, touching an image with one finger
allows you to move it around on the page (or between
pages) and you can obviously resize images, pages
and perform other actions. The prototype also
includes a web browser, though it was deactivated for
the demo today. In addition to the two-screen system, Adobe uses the
Surface table-like setup that users can send
individual images to. Users can put a keyboard on it
and start writing notes onto the image or just start
drawing on it with their finger. Once you’re done, you
just swipe it back in the direction of the main screens and it’ll show up there again. Adobe’s first idea, by the way, was to build a room
that could be outfitted with Kinect-like sensors, Wii-
like remotes and similar technologies. Adobe actually
ended up building this room, but in the end, however,
Macy said, “making gestures in the air just felt silly.”
Once you have a touchscreen, touching just becomes the natural way to work with the software. The next
project for the team, then, was to build a touchscreen-
based drawing table (the team’s leader is a former
architect). Using virtual rulers and similar tools just
didn’t make all that much sense in this context,
though, so the idea of Might and Napoleon was born – and some of those influences can obviously also be
seen in Project Context. As for the future of this project, as well as Mighty and
Napoleon, it’s not clear where Adobe is going to go,
but Macy believes that it does point toward a future
and that Adobe needs to experiment with interface
like Context to stay ahead of the game.