Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium review

£1800
Price when reviewed

It’s important to realise that Apple still doesn’t support the Flash player directly (hence the importance of HTML5), nor AIR via the shared runtime. Instead, each app is built on a subset of AIR capabilities that are compiled out to native iOS code. In addition, Flash developers producing iOS apps will also have to pay Apple $99 a year and accept their 30% commission, and terms and conditions. It isn’t ideal but, as with InDesign CS5.5’s new Digital Publishing Platform, most developers will accept the downsides to gain access to the potentially lucrative iPhone and iPad markets.

Flash Catalyst CS5.5

Where Flash Professional’s strength is in creating high-impact assets and media, Flash Catalyst is designed to create fully interactive projects without the need to write any code. Key to this is the creation of user interfaces, which can be achieved either by converting work from Photoshop, Illustrator or Fireworks, or creating them from scratch. To help with the latter, Flash Catalyst CS5.5 provides a new Common Library panel, which offers options for replacing and aligning objects, plus a selection of common user interface components you can use in projects.

Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5.5

With CS5.5’s new focus on handheld output, designers need to produce layouts that work well on different screen sizes. To help in this, Flash Catalyst CS5.5 makes it simple to manage how elements adjust to different screen sizes, and also lets you temporarily resize the art board to see this in real-time. In addition, there’s now greater control over timeline transitions and interactions can be defined more easily by visually targeting components.

Using Flash Catalyst, designers can create their own simple Flash and AIR projects, but they can also hand them over to developers to add richer functionality in Flash Builder. And now developers can return the project for further enhancement in Flash Catalyst CS5.5, most obviously to allow designers to skin custom components.

Device Central CS5.5

Adobe Device Central CS5.5

With CS5.5’s new mobile-focused output, it’s crucial to be able to test how your content performs across multiple devices. With Device Central CS5.5, Adobe has updated its online library to include profiles and onscreen emulations for the latest smartphones and tablets, including those with Flash Player 10.2 and AIR 2.5 support. And with the same WebKit rendering engine as seen in Dreamweaver CS5.5, Device Central CS5.5 is able to preview state-of-the-art HTML5 content, including support for svg>, video>, canvas> and media queries.

Next: Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium, overall CS5.5 verdict.

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Software subcategoryGraphics/design software

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