Adobe today announced that it’s releasing version 5.5 of its Creative Suite of design products, with an emphasis on adding tools to help designers create content for tablets and mobile devices. This on the heels of Quark’s announcement that version 9.0 of QuarkXPress (which begins shipping on April 26) also supports creating and exporting files for the iPad and also the ePUB format for Kindle and NOOK.
Version 5.5 of Adobe’s Web Premium Suite includes new HTML5 and Flash authoring tools that let designers create and deliver multimedia content for devices running the Android, BlackBerry and Apple iOS platforms. The Design Premium package includes new ways that designers can embed video, audio, 360-degree rotation, slideshows and other multimedia elements to InDesign layouts and export them for viewing on tablets. Adobe also pumped up its video-production programs.
With this .5 release, Adobe announced a new timetable for its product development: Major upgrades will be issued every 24 months, with updates coming midway through that cycle. Adobe also announced a new subscription plan that lets users pay by the month for exactly the programs they use. Users will have access to the latest versions, and can purchase short-term subscriptions to cover temp workers, freelancers or summer interns.
Today’s Adobe press release notes that it expects to begin shipping the new software within 30 days, at estimated retail prices of $2,599 for the CS5.5 Master Collection, $1,899 for Design Premium and $1,200 for Design Standard.