All the News From Adobe MAX

Ben Moss.
October 15, 2018
All the News From Adobe MAX.

Adobe’s annual MAX conference is well underway in LA, and as usual there’s a big buzz around changes to the Creative Cloud suite. Adobe’s product line often seems archaic — parts of Photoshop’s first codebase were originally painted onto the walls of caves by neanderthals — but this iterative approach also provides a solid platform to venture into new ground in ways that would bankrupt a startup. Not only has Adobe pivoted into prototyping with XD, overtaking the existing market in a brief couple of years, but it’s now applying the same approach to new markets, where the competition is even thinner on the ground.

Adobe XD Updates

Since May, when we reported that Adobe XD is now free, interest in the platform has grown exponentially. Despite interesting additions to Lightroom and Premier Pro CC, it’s XD that’s getting all the attention at MAX. XD has new features, taking it far beyond any of its competition; you can now use XD to design for voice, and there are substantial changes to the animation design process that users have been asking for, for some time. XD’s $0 price tag means its business model is as a lure, to tempt designers into the rest of the CC product range, and as expected, tighter integration with other apps including Illustrator and After Effects has been unveiled. If you’ve been wavering, now’s a great time to pick up XDxd

Photoshop CC on the iPad

Adobe has often talked a good game when it comes to device compatibility, and its mobile apps have always seemed slick, but very few creatives actually use them professionally; they just don’t have enough functionality. [pullquote]Not since the first wide-eyed discovery of large touch screens has there been a more convincing reason to buy an iPad[/pullquote] That may now be about to change as Adobe has unveiled the hotly anticipated Photoshop CC on the iPad, due to launch sometime in 2019. The big news is that Photoshop CC on the iPad isn’t an iPad version of Photoshop, it’s the Photoshop. With a UI repurposed for touch screens, but with the full Photoshop engine behind it, it makes design work on the iPad a realistic possibility for the first time. Apple must be thrilled. Not since the first wide-eyed discovery of large touch screens has there been a more convincing reason to buy an iPad. rocket

Project Gemini

To further boost Apple sales, Adobe have also unveiled Project Gemini. Gemini is an as-yet unnamed drawing and painting app that combines bitmap and vector graphic editing. Having sat through a demo of the watercolor brushes, I have to admit, what they’ve achieved is astounding — even if a single painting effect has limited shelf life. gemini

Adobe Sensei

Almost all of the additions to Adobe’s product line come curtesy of Sensei. Sensei is Adobe’s AI project, and it’s backing it big time. Small intelligent tools are making their way into all Adobe apps. The belief is that over time, Sensei will be intelligent enough to automate tedious tasks, freeing us to be creative. It’s not there yet; personally, I’m not convinced it will ever be entirely there. But you only have to look at additions like the intelligent fill in Photoshop, to see how much Adobe is investing in this technology. stock

Project Aero

For more evidence of Adobe’s relentless march into the future, and its surprisingly nimble ability to pivot into new markets, look no further than Project Aero. Aero is still in heavy development, but it’s an AR design tool. Yes, it’s primitive now, but that’s exactly what we said about XD three years ago. aero

Illustrator CC Updates

Designers who tire of hearing about hot new products, while they earn their bread and butter with classic” applications, will be thrilled to learn that Illustrator has finally received some long-overdue attention. There’s an intelligent new tool UI, and the introduction of more natural gradients — again, powered by Sensei. Perfect for anyone joyfully burning their Flat Design rulebook this year. illustrator

Adobe Fonts

Arguably the biggest announcement of the day, at least when it comes to everyday design tasks, is the news that Adobe Fonts — yes, the long-expected renaming of Typekit has finally happened — has had its sync limits removed; you’ll no longer have to unsync half your font library just to sync the fonts for your new client’s project. There are no web page view limits, and no domain limits. No one’s pretending it’s as good value as Google Fonts, but then Google Fonts don’t sync to your design apps, and it’s the small benefits that make the biggest difference to our process. fonts

Wrapping Up

Adobe covets the idea of creative freedom; freedom to work anywhere, freedom to work any how, freedom to work on any thing. What has been unveiled at MAX today, offers a real opportunity for designers to be freer in their process, and in the coming years, freer in the projects they accept. You can see all the new features of Creative Cloud by watching the MAX Keynotes.

Ben Moss

Ben Moss is Senior Editor at WebdesignerDepot. He’s designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. One of these days he’ll run a sub-4hr marathon. Say hi on Twitter.

Read Next

3 Essential Design Trends, June 2023

This month we are focusing on three trends within a bigger website design trend – different navigation menu styles and …

15 Best New Fonts, May 2023

The choices you make when selecting a typeface have more impact on your design than almost any other decision, so it’s …

10+ Best Tools & Resources for Web Designers and Agencies (2023 updated)

Having the ability to envision a tastefully designed website (i.e., the role creativity plays) is important. But being …

20 Best New Websites, May 2023

This month, there are tons of great new agency websites to get excited about. 3D animated prisms are a popular theme, a…

How to Find the Right White Label Website Builder for Your Agency

Web design agencies face a lot of obstacles in closing the deal with new clients. One of the most common ones is the ar…

Exciting New Tools For Designers, May 2023

There are hundreds of new tools for designers and developers released each month. We sift through them all to bring you…

3 Essential Design Trends, May 2023

All three of the website design trends here mimic something bigger going on in the tech space, from a desire to have mo…

10 Best AI Tools for Web Designers (2023)

It’s time to stop worrying if AI is going to take your job and instead start using AI to expand the services you can of…

10 Best Marketing Agency Websites (Examples, Inspo, and Templates!)

Marketers are skilled in developing strategies, producing visual assets, writing text with high impact, and optimizing …

15 Best New Fonts, April 2023

Fonts are a designer’s best friend. They add personality to our designs and enable fine typography to elevate the quali…

20 Best New Websites, April 2023

In April’s edition, there’s a whole heap of large-scale, and even full-screen, video. Drone footage is back with a veng…

Exciting New Tools For Designers, April 2023

The AI revolution is having a huge impact on the types of products that are hitting the market, with almost every app b…