Adobe dabbling with iPad app to rival PowerPoint

The Ginger app for tablets is designed to make it easy for people to tell stories with animated presentations. It looks like a new Adobe effort to capitalize on the growing mobile market.

The Ginger app is designed to help people quickly create persuasive videos.
The Ginger app is designed to help people quickly create persuasive videos. screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Adobe Systems, in an apparent effort to tap into the computer industry's move to mobile devices, is involved with a tablet software project called Ginger to help people create compelling presentations and sales pitches.

"A great story, well told, can change the world, but showing a great story is hard. You have to be a writer, an artist, an animator, and you have to have a lot of time," a video about Ginger argues. With Ginger, though, people can "make an impact in minutes."

The software lets people create videos that draw on a library of art and music. It handles animations and facilitates sharing and publishing.

The Ginger app comes with a supply of photos and graphical elements that can be dropped into presentations.
The Ginger app comes with a supply of photos and graphical elements that can be dropped into presentations. screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Adobe's name doesn't appear on the site, which comes with a Ginger copyright notice and whose registration information is obscured using WhoisGuard. However, when signing up for more information, Ginger sends a confirmation e-mail from an Adobe address and includes an Adobe e-mail address for those who want to offer feedback.

Update: Adobe has confirmed that it's running Ginger, but didn't commit to adding it to its product line. "Adobe is constantly evaluating new ideas and market testing new innovative products. Ginger is one of many explorations in our product pipeline," the company said in a statement.

The software, shown running on Apple iPads, appears to be a new component of the company's effort to expand beyond its current stronghold on personal computers. Adobe already offers versions of Photoshop and other software for iOS and Android devices, but there's a lot more competition with new developers in the mobile market. The power of PC market incumbents doesn't necessarily transfer to the world of iOS and Android.

Microsoft PowerPoint is the top dog when it comes to making presentations, but others have tried to compete with it. Apple sells Keynote, and Google Docs comes with its Slides app, for example. Ginger, though, is geared for presentations that the audience watches on a screen, not presentations that are delivered by a person.

In a separate effort to tap into the mobile market -- in particular the creative segment to which the company caters -- Adobe plans to sell its Mighty pen and Napoleon ruler for iPad. The pen will go on sale in the first half of 2014, but Adobe hasn't committed to a ship date for the ruler. The company has showed off demonstration iPad apps called Parallel and Contour that that show what the devices can do on tablet touch screens.

Update, September 27 at 12:45 p.m. PT: Adds confirmation that Adobe is running the Ginger project.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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