Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Apps of Christmas: Adobe takes CS 6 to the Cloud

The Twelve Days of Christmas runs from Christmas Day to the evening of January 5th, or Twelfth Night. But TNM's 12 Apps of Christmas, which began on Tuesday, will look at significant media apps released this year – one per month. We look at April today, continuing the series through New Year's Eve.

Is April always so busy? It sure seemed that way this year, with new product launches, execs moving about, mergers and acquisitions, you name it.

The month began with a bit of a shocker as Instagram said it would accept a billion dollar offer from Facebook. The deal was depressing news for Instagram fans, though I have a feeling that those who think Instagram is a bit silly, probably feel the same way about Facebook, so maybe it was a good match. But Instagram users are not very happy today, now that Facebook introduced a new Terms of Service that say, among other things, that the company can use the photos in Instagram for advertising purposes without compensating the Instagram user.

A couple days later the U.S. Justice Department filed suit against Apple and some major book publishers over the agency model, as well as clauses in Apple contracts. The publishers involved included Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, while other publishers were left out of the suit because they had already settled.

The lawsuit split both the book publishing and book reading public as it seemed to seriously favor Amazon.

One week later news came down that Gregg Hano had left Bonnier for Mag+, the digital platform company launched by the Swedish magazine publisher. The next week TNM featured a long interview with Hano in which the new Mag+ CEO said "The biggest challenges that we are faced with right now is probably one of making certain that advertisers can get their interactive creative on the different platforms in a way that is efficient for our agency partners."

TNM also featured in April an interview with the MPA's outgoing President and CEO Nina Link where the magazine association executive talked about the organization's new voluntary guidelines of tablet magazines.
On April 12 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia released a new tablet edition for Whole Living, completing the task of making sure there were digital editions for all the titles published by the company.

Unfortunately, the year will not end well for the title and its employees as later in the year the word was leaked that the company wanted to sell off the title. Unable to find a buyer, the company said it would shutter it.

As the new year comes it is still possible that Whole Living will find a buyer, as often companies swoop in after a title has been closed to see if it can acquire the assets of the brand at a discount.

For many media app developers, though, April will be remembered for the month that Adobe launched its Creative Suite 6, and its new subscription-based Creative Cloud.

At the time of the release I wrote that as "a former publisher I can not overstate the problems this upgrade may cause with those in the publishing community which have delayed or cancelled outright much of their investment in technology over the past decade."

Talking to both publishers and would-be publishers, this remains an issue and the search for an inexpensive production solution continues. But Adobe has, assuming you are invested in InDesign, attempted to create some inexpensive app publishing solutions, such as Single Edition. But the number cost of producing a native tablet edition remains the costs of the design software.