The Creative Cloud Chronicles: Reflow Joins the Adobe Edge Lineup
By Chris Dickman, Founding Editor, Graphics.com
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Adobe Edge Reflow Released for Website Design and Development
It's clear that in recent months Adobe has been piling functionality into its Creative Cloud membership service, which currently has 326,000 paid members, in an attempt to make it irresistible. Today's announcement only continues that trend, with the addition of a preview version of the new Edge Reflow, a responsive Web design tool for creating layout and visual designs with CSS. Adobe also announced feature updates for Edge Animate, Dreamweaver and the Edge Code preview, all available just to Creative Cloud members.
It's worth emphasizing that the Edge lineup of applications, which includes Animate, Code, Inspect, Web Fonts, Typekit, PhoneGap Build and now Reflow, are all available exclusively via Creative Cloud. However, you don't have to be a paying member to use these. They're included in the ongoing free version, which just requires you to have an equally free Adobe ID, so if you're not taking advantage of these... well, why not join the more than 1 million people already using them?
Adobe Edge Reflow is a responsive design tool for Web designers and developers creating websites and content for screens of virtually all sizes. It provides users with a resizable design surface that shows how layouts and visuals will adapt to different screen sizes. Thanks to the wonders of CSS, Edge Reflow enables users to create web designs on the application’s native web surface. It maintains the design vision, through development, by allowing users to preview in the browser, inspect their design in real-time via Edge Inspect and extract the CSS for use in Edge Code, Dreamweaver or any code editor. Users can create multiple comps simultaneously and choose between a desktop or mobile-first design approach.
As part of the rollout, Edge Animate, Adobe's motion and interaction design tool, also got a boost, giving it new CSS-based features, including gradients, CSS filters and enhanced font support. Users can now style and animate elements using radial or linear gradients, and preview Edge Web Fonts live in a new interface. New CSS filter support for Edge Animate allows users to take advantage of CSS capabilities found in modern WebKit browsers, including blur, grayscale, sepia, brightness, contrast, hue-rotate, invert and saturate filters. All good fun unless you're stuck using a non-compliant browser, of course.
Creative Cloud members received a Dreamweaver upgrade that is said to improve interoperability with the Adobe Edge Tools and Services family and includes several new features to enhance code authoring and workflow. Fluid grid layout, a feature first introduced with Dreamweaver CS6, now allows developers to leverage class tags in addition to ID tags and features a new editing interface. Developers can also now easily preview, select and incorporate Edge Web Fonts into their Dreamweaver projects. None of this is earth shattering but rather just a subtle reminder that Creative Cloud members will continue to get updates not available to those using the lifetime downloadable versions.
Are You a Student? If Not, Maybe You Shoud Be.
Adobe has been providing reduced cost Creative Cloud subscriptions to accredited teachers and students for some time. While attractive enough, there is currently a limited time promotion available that might make you think about enrolling at a local education provider just to qualify. The regular academic rate is $29.99 per month but until March 11, 2013, the first year will set you back just $19.99 per month for a one-year contact. You probably spend more than that on your cell phone. For the rest of us with a registered copy of a CS3 or later app or suite, the rate is currently $29.99 for the first year.