Adobe releases tablet publishing tool

New software and service is geared to help publishers transform magazines into interactive apps. Along with Ideas and Journal, it shows Adobe's growing tablet awareness.

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Stephen Shankland
2 min read
Outside uses Adobe's publishing app to produce an iPad version of the magazine.
Outside magazine uses Adobe's publishing app to produce an iPad version of the magazine. screenshot by Stephen Shankland

Adobe Systems today released the Enterprise Edition of its Digital Publishing Suite, a tool for creating interactive publications on tablets--and for making Adobe more relevant in an age of new computing devices.

The software integrates with Adobe's existing Creative Suite applications such as InDesign to let designers produce digital publications for Apple's iPad, RIM's PlayBook, Motorola's Xoom, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab lines of Android-based tablets. It also dovetails with digital distribution systems, including Apple's App Store Subscriptions and Google One Pass. And it comes with analytics services from Adobe's Omniture acquisition so that publishers can track details about how people use the digital publications.

Among 150 titles using Adobe's technology are National Geographic, Vogue, Consumer Reports, Marines Magazine, Backpacker, Autotrends, The New Yorker, Outside, and Wired. Publishers include Bonnier, Conde Nast, Globo Media Group, and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Adobe is a major power when it comes to selling software for personal computers, but it's working to adapt to the new era of smaller, more-mobile devices. It has basic Photoshop versions for iPhone and Android phones and offers the Adobe Ideas app for sketching on iPads. The company is also working on more elaborate software for tablets, including an Adobe Journal technology demonstration app for drawing and sketching on Android devices.

Journal includes a variety of drawing devices, Photoshop-like features for adding graphical elements to a drawing, and tools for panning, zooming, and moving among different pages. It's based on Adobe's cross-platform AIR software foundation, meaning that Journal could likely be ported to other operating systems--even iPads, using an Adobe packaging system that turns AIR apps into native apps.

In contrast, the Digital Publishing Suite isn't for ordinary consumers with tablets, but rather for businesses trying to reach those consumers. The version released today is for large publishers; for smaller outfits, Adobe's Professional Edition is due to ship late in the second quarter, Adobe said.

Also at that time, Adobe plans to release the Folio Producer Service, which will let publishers directly upload content from InDesign, Adobe's software for design and layout.

Pricing of the Enterprise Edition depends on a custom quote from Adobe based on access to services for creating and distributing publications, Adobe said in a blog post.