Thoughts on Adobe Max Announcements

Adobe is having it’s Adobe Max conference this week, and is packing it full of announcements. Some of the new products look very intriguing – I’ll be anxious to get my hands on them.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • They have acquired Typekit, one of the pioneers of web fonts as hosted service. On paper this makes a lot of sense, and it’s good to see a company like Adobe embracing the future in this way. However, I’m not too thrilled about this. Typekit was one of the real ground breaking services that brought web fonts into being a reality. I’ve not relied to much on their particular service, but I have always admired their impressive catalogue of fonts, as well as the ways they continued to push the envelope. I’ve also seen a lot of great startups get bought by larger corporations, only to die from neglect (Delicious?). I fear a similar fate for Typekit; at least, as we know it.
  • Creative Cloud – this is Adobe’s take on cloud computing, and their attempt at tying it to their creative software. The collaborative possibilities are something to ponder; I’m just curious if they will be more successful at fostering real creative communities than they have in the past. Frustratingly, they announced no pricing details (so what’s the point??). The problem in the past with other collaborative services is that it relied on a combination of applications and subscriptions that simply priced too many people out. If they’re charging, say, $50/ mo, with access to core apps (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), with say 20 GB of storage, I think they’d have a winner.
  • Touch apps – they are embracing the era of touch, and this was the most interesting part of today’s announcements for me. They showed off a number of apps, but the two that intrigued me was the collage app – for making mood boards; and the “proto” app which helped make rapid prototypes. I think “proto” still seemed a bit clunky, but was a great early glimmer at what could be an awesome app. The “photoshop touch” app, though, struck me as a tablet app that was simply trying to replicate the desktop app, and making the user do things in much less efficient ways.

I think tomorrow will be more announcements, probably regarding the desktop level of applications. If you wan to see today’s keynote, you can do so here.