Mobile Apps

Adobe touches up Android apps for Chromebook education push

Now that Chrome OS can run Android apps, Adobe will optimize its apps for the stylus-enabled Chromebooks that Google's pushing for schools.

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Creative Cloud mobile running on an Android phone.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Google's Chromebook initiative for the education market, which the company announced Tuesday, comes with its first targeted set of apps.

Adobe has refreshed a select handful of its Creative Cloud Android apps to work in the latest version of Chrome OS, which can run apps designed for Google's other mobile platform. Notably, the Chromebooks offer stylus support, which makes the Adobe contribution logical.

The apps -- Photoshop Mix, Lightroom Mobile, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp CC and Creative Cloud Mobile -- are an interesting selection. Note the wording in the press release: "free download." It doesn't say "free to use." They are free to use, but with an Adobe ID, because they operate in conjunction with Creative Cloud.

According to Adobe, each child will have their own ID, which means Adobe's collecting your kid's name and email address. The current Creative Cloud terms of service stand, since Adobe's still limiting use to people 13 or older.

It's also an odd selection for the classroom. For example, Lightroom Mobile doesn't make a lot of sense for that market; it's only really useful if you tie it back to Lightroom desktop. Aviary, also owned by Adobe, would be a better choice. If Adobe's intent on on-ramping kids to Creative Cloud, even Photoshop Fix would be a better option, since its feature set aligns better with what kids like to do with photos.

Update, 3:20 p.m. PT: Adds clarification from Adobe on the logistics.

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