Adobe Announces a Digital Viewer and Publishing Platform for the iPad

The State of Adobe Publishing

I’ve been using Adobe tools for several years, mostly Photoshop but latterly InDesign as well.  Whilst they are fine tools, one thing that they have seemingly lacked is a true understanding of the digital world.  Most of their export tools that target the web have been decidedly crufty, although I admit that I’ve used the likes of Dreamweaver so little as you probably have a skewed opinion.  Add to that also that I’m a developer first and foremost, and a designer second.

Adobe had today announced they are providing a iPad focused Digital Publishing Platform, which has come from the developments they did with Wired Magazine on the first and seemingly popular Digital Edition for the iPad.  I’ve already commented on what my first reaction is to the Wired App, but this announcement fills me with dread.  Adobe could single handedly screw the market for digital publishing on the iPad if they are going to continue to put out tools that help people create the shambles that the Wired App is today.  Seriously guys, if you think you can just convert page layouts to JPG/PNG format a hundred times over and call that a ‘digital publishing platform’ you really do deserve the wrath of Jobs and anyone else that gives a sh*t about user experience and the effective use of technology.

The announcement and accompanying pages on their website are mighty short on technical detail and full of marketing speak, but it looks like they are proposing that this outputs to Flash for most platforms.  Given that Flash is not support on the iPhone/iPod/iPad range, and is unlikely given the comments from Steve Jobs regarding the technology and performance issues, that means that the Adobe Publishing Platform will have to continue outputting content into a crippled static format such as PNG or PDF (albeit with a modicum of Objective-C to call it an App).  That’s not necessarily all bad – Zinio in my opinion do a fine job with their magazines as they’ve not tried to overly reinvent the content.

Oh, and by the way, that screenshot is actually how the Adobe PDF of the announcement appears on my MacPro.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

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