EDGE: A new HTML5 offering from Adobe

It used to be that if you wanted to create an animated, interactive interface for a website, you needed to use Flash. You might be able to get away with some basic animations using JavaScript, but if you made it too complicated, all you’d end up doing is bogging your visitor’s computer down and causing problems.

Plus, JavaScript was potentially more complicated to use than Flash, at least for those who aren’t fond of coding. But, of course, Flash doesn’t always work well (or sometimes not at all) on mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

Enter HTML5. HTML5 works on just about every mobile platform out there. Anything you could create in Flash can be created with HTML5 (and sometimes added JavaScript and CSS3): animations, interactive elements, and more.

But it reintroduces the coding issue for a lot of designers, who might not be crazy about hand-coding everything. That’s where Adobe Edge comes in.

It’s an entirely new program (currently available as a free preview version) that helps you create animated web content using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. It includes drawing and text tools for creating new compositions, lets you import images in a variety of formats (SVG, PNG, JPG and GIF), and choreograph animation with a timeline-based editor. You can animate position, color, shape, size, rotation and other elements at the property level.

The great thing about using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript rather than Flash for your animated and interactive content is that your site remains standards-compliant. It preserves your CSS layout and keeps your content layer separate from your presentation layer. Because of this, your site will be compatible across a wider range of platforms and will be more search engine friendly with less work.

Because Edge is currently only in preview-stage, it’s bound to have some bugs and feature limitations. With that said, it already includes twenty five built-in easing effects, and other features to get you started. No word on how much Edge will cost after the 150 day trial period ends.

The Edge interface looks similar to many of Adobe’s other programs for working with interactive content, like Premiere Pro or Flash. If you’re already familiar with these programs, the Edge interface should be pretty easy to adjust to. If not, there’s going to be a definite learning curve, but it’s still a relatively easy interface to figure out.

Of course, you’ll still need Flash for creating desktop and mobile AIR applications, or for using ActionScript.

You might also find Flash easier to use for more immersive interactions and animations where mobile-compatibility isn’t an issue. But Edge gives designers familiar with the Adobe work environment a new option for creating interactive and animated content.

Learn more: Adobe Edge


Have you had a chance to try out Edge yet? What do you think? Is it going to be worth purchasing in the future? Let us know in the comments!

  • http://twitter.com/soamjena Soumendra Jena

    Looks good. And I just feel, Adobe has know realized that, Flash is going to die a big time!

  • Stephen Bell

    I do think this sounds promising. Time will tell if it actually gets any traction. It’s a big deal that Adobe is making something that’s an alternative to one of its own flagship products.

    You spelled the name of the product wrong in your headline (“EGDE”).

  • Julien

    Might want to revise your title. EDGE is misspelled.

  • Stevodevo

    Hate to nitpick but the app’s name should be EDGE instead of EGDE in the title. ;-)

    Even though there will still be uses for Flash (games) I guess Adobe has finally seen the writing on the wall. Flash will eventually go the way of Director/Shockwave.

  • http://twitter.com/conceit_digital Conceito Digital

    nice, just fix the title that says “egde”

    • Anonymous

      lol…nice find

  • Piet

    they had to adjust their strategy and if you can’t beat them, join them

  • http://twitter.com/DesignerDepot Webdesigner Depot

    Embarrassing…. fixing now, ty :)

  • Not On The Bandwagon

    Yep, Flash is done for.

    As soon as HTML5 develops to the point that it can do what Flash does then why would you need it? And at the current rate of progress that’s only going to take a decade.

    Call me cynical, but I remember when HTML4 ‘killed’ Flash.

    There’s no doubt other technologies will eventually overtake Flash if Adobe cease development and let Flash stagnate, but they won’t, why would they?

    Adobe is doing what Adobe has always done, they’re covering the whole market.

    Adobe Edge: Chance of ‘killing’ Flash = 0.6%; Chance of ‘killing’ Dreamweaver = 54.2%; Chance of dying on its arse = 98.7%.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DULTM2OSZR2BVJCTMPGMMAUK5I ed n

      Hasn’t wordpress almost killed Dreamweaver?

      • http://jordanforeman.com/blog Jordan Foreman

        How do you figure? WordPress is completely different than Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is a WYSIWYG Editor, while WordPress is a CMS.

      • http://cinitriqs.deviantart.com/ CiNiTriQs

        Just give the dog a bone… ;)

      • Gary Hicks

        I’ve been developing hand crafted websites for more than 10 years -before Ultradev, the spiritual predecessor to Dreamweaver -and I would have agreed with you if it wasn’t for the last 12 months. 

        In that time my pipeline has shifted towards CMS platforms such as Joomla, Drupal and WordPress and OpenCart for e-commerce. For CMS, WordPress came through as the clear winner, in part for its online editor. By comparison I really don’t like editing such platforms in Dreamweaver, where in fact the WYSIWYG feature of Dreamweaver is made redundant -what with all the includes and server dependences -wysiwyg is no longer a factor. Of course, Dreamweaver certainly won’t be made redundant… but I am certainly *less inclined* to upgrade to future versions.  Wordpress et al have a plethora of editing options and user-level permissions to help facilitate coding of the site efficiently. 

        If I were solely developing such CMS websites (I am not) then I wonder, would I really need Dreamweaver? -and given the popularity of CMS driven websites I think that is definitely a conundrum that should worry Adobe.

  • Austin Knight

    I like that Adobe is trying to re-align itself with the standard, but I hope that we still continue to hand code rather than relying on WYSIWYG’s. It’s so much easier to design for the web when you understand the way code works behind a website, and I think visual editors only hinder the potential of making greater websites. And why wouldn’t they just integrate this with Dreamweaver and kill flash instead of creating an entirely new product?

    • http://jordanforeman.com/blog Jordan Foreman

      Mo Products, Mo Money :p

      • http://cinitriqs.deviantart.com/ CiNiTriQs

        While keeping in mind though, adobe has some of the finest products out there, just saying, even though they cost a …. load… they do deliver and also listen to the community, either way, gonna try this thing out, looks promising for experimentation

  • http://twitter.com/regmtait Reg Tait

    Had a quick go ‘animating’ an object across the screen – this is how EDGE rendered it out:

  • m8

    I tried it and it looks very very promising. It lacks almost everything required to do anything at the moment, but obviously it’s still extremely early. The application is very smooth and responsive, and every aspect of the animations is customizable, unlike the recently released Hype, which is very limited even in its finished state.

    I’m not sure I agree with the assumption that everything that you could do in Flash can be done in HTML5, as I’ve yet to see HTML5 games and highly interactive content, such as the stuff you find on Newgrounds.com.

    Adobe promised nested timelines and symbols, as well as much more interaction (there’s none at the moment). I hope they make it as close as possible to Flash, and they should also include a solid coding system of some sort, which would allow extreme levels of customization, right from the app without having to edit the code manually, like ActionScript in Flash.

  • Wasilewski Maciek

    Actually I did one application – I had a little change source. You can see that the creators think about the many cool things, there are a lot of functions that can be used, but it is not public API. However, relatively easily made ​​it sound like, so that could play different animations depending on the user action, revert the animation, go back to a point in time etc. In general, we can do quite complicated slider, and that’s something more than a simple animation.

  • Guest

    If people are still having the Win7 graphics issue, there is a pretty simple work around that I explained on my blog, but as of this morning I don’t think there was a solid bug fix as of yet.

  • http://gauravmishra.com/ Gaurav Mishra

    Sharing my experience with the same. It is way better than Sencha Animator. But Sencha Animator is free. And i wonder whether it will come in free or paid version (after the trial days). But they done it very smartly.

  • http://www.ConstantStrategies.com MFrancis

    I like Adobe products, I love FLASH… I do not really like Javascript simply because some people will disable it! I also like PHP, I want to animate strictly from the back-end original code…

  • Daem

    Please let’s stop saying Flash is dead. The entire Flash Platform is dead? Maybe Flash as a browser plugin is dead but there is a whole world behind Flash that allows to create with the same language, actionscript, different solution for different devices (web, desktop and yes… mobile).

  • Peter

    It’s pretty fun to play with and simple to use, I really like it. I put together a small animation to test how it works and I must say it looks pretty good especially on the iPad :)

    Take a look if you like :)



  • http://www.facebook.com/malachi.simonyan Malachi Simonyan

    Just tried the software and im love it!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/malachi.simonyan Malachi Simonyan

    Just tried the software and im love it!! 

  • http://twitter.com/JonSEM Jon Hines

    Adobe Edge is what i’ve been looking for – new toy to play with, an alternative to Flash