Adobe Unveils Creative Suite 5.5

Adobe broke from its usual 18-month product release cycle on Monday with the introduction of Creative Suite 5.5 The midcycle release is the first in a new pattern that will include what the company is calling milestone releases every 24 months and midcycle upgrades for key applications, and this time around InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro and Flash Professional were all on the list.

Along with its new product release cycle, Adobe also introduced a Subscription Editions plan that lets users essentially “rent” the applications they need on a monthly basis. The Subscription Editions plan isn’t a cloud-based app service; instead, users install the Creative Suite applications they need on their computer and pay monthly just for the titles they need, and only when they need them.

Companies that need Photoshop for season staff, for example, can pay for just the months they need instead of buying licenses that sit unused for most of the year. “This makes Creative Suite more affordable for companies and freelance designers that don’t need certain apps all the time, or are on a tight budget,” Adobe Creative Suite vice president and general manager Dave Burkett told The Mac Observer.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5

InDesign CS 5.5 sports improved epub tools along with new interactive content creation tools. InDesign is Adobe’s professional page layout application.

Designers now have more control over epub content they create in Indesign thanks to the ability to set the order of stories in the Articles panel and set a cover graphic when exporting. Required document metadata that previously was left out of InDesign-created epubs is now included, too.

Version 5.5 also includes support for building multimedia epub documents that are compatible with Apple’s iBooks app on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

InDesign CS 5.5’s enhanced interactive document features are geared towards magazine app building for mobile devices including Apple’s iPad and Android-based tablets with the application’s new Digital Publishing Suite features.

Dreamweaver CS 5.5 gained built-in CSS3 and HTML5 support along with a new dynamic multiscreen preview panel for showing what site designs will look like on various resolution displays simultaneously. Dreamweaver is Adobe’s Web site design application.

Version 5.5 also added JQuery Mobile support, Adobe BrowserLab support, FTPS and FTPeS support.

Premiere Pro
Premiere Pro CS 5.5 added support for rendering clips in real time by taking advantage of the GPU in desktop and many laptop computers. Premiere Pro is Adobe’s professional video editing application.

Version 5.5 added the ability to merge groups of video and audio clips together so that they can be edited as s single item, added auto-edge cropping to video stabilization, added rolling shutter correction, added new encoding presets for several mobile devices including the iPad

Flash Professional
Flash Professional CS 5.5 improved its mobile device development tools and can now better export iOS-compatible and Android OS-compatible apps, along with apps for RIM’s still unreleased PlayBook.According to Adobe’s Paul Trani, support for other mobile platforms will is in the works, too. Flash Professional is Adobe’s multimedia content design and deployment application.

Version 5.5 also improved content scaling, improved the layer controls, offers better code snippet handling, and offers built-in mobile app testing and preview.

Along with Flash Professional, Adobe also introduced Flash Catalyst 5.5. The update for the Flash application mock up tool added support for resizable applications, improved the timeline tools, offers better animation controls, added a common Library panel, and more.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 is set to ship within about 30 days. As usual, customers can purchase individual applications or product suites. The suites are priced at US$2,599 for the Creative Suite Master Collection, $1,899 for the Design Premium Collection, $1,799 for the Web Premium Collection, $1,699 for the Production Premium Collection, and $1,299 for the Design Standard Collection.