All posts in Debuts

Adobe Debuts All-In-One Content Creation Service

To put it mildly, Adobe makes a lot of content-creation software—and it even comes in easy, medium, and hard flavors, just like videogames do. So for everyone out there who wishes for a single freakin’ app to take care of biz, Adobe’s answer is Project Rome. This beta cloud-based service launches today, providing an all-in-one content creation and publishing platform that runs from any browser or as an Adobe Air application for Mac and Windows (this version can be used offline). Impressively, it’s free to U.S.-based users while it’s in beta, an offer that Adobe’s making because they’re still taking feature requests and want to tune the service based on the feedback they get. When it launches “for real,” it’ll be “an affordable, paid subscription service for individuals and institutions,” according to Adobe. Hopefully it’ll get a better name, too.

So to the meat and potatoes of it—how “all in one” are we talking here? In the web-based presentation we saw last week, Adobe reps used it to quickly create websites, greeting cards, flyers, animations, and more in what looked like a pretty intuitive, user-friendly interface that we’d describe as InDesign+ for, uh, newbies. Toolbars and menus changed on the fly, adapting intelligently to whether the demo-er was editing text, building animations, editing photos or videos, and so on.

From within the layout of any given piece you’re creating, Rome also provides 126 fonts stored in the cloud, lets you insert/scale/edit vector art, work within master layers, set timelines for animations, and so on. You can also use its integrated Google media search to harvest videos and images for use in your creations (assuming they’re not copyrighted, etc), and you can place interactive Google maps within creations as well.

Intriguingly, the Project Rome service is intertwined with the cloud. Fonts and templates can be tapped from the service itself, and users can share and use files from Google apps or, while links to works made in Rome can be published to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz.

There’s also a big education focus with Project Rome, and Adobe’s very keen to attract teachers who are interested in building highly interactive lessons. We checked out a tour of the solar system that would’ve guaranteed we were wide-eyed in science class—it looked more like using NASA’s rad iPad app than taking a science class ever has. Teachers will be able to upload and download these lessons, allowing the best and most interesting to be shared between schools in what could possibly be a very helpful resource.

You can’t beat the price, at least while it’s in beta, and frankly, the idea of one app that does at least the highlights of what Adobe’s Creative Suite does is massively interesting. We’ll be checking it out, and we’d love to hear your reactions in the comments below.


Skype 5.0 Debuts for Windows, But What About the Mac?

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Skype released a new version of their desktop client for Windows today. Skype 5.0 adds multiple social networking features, including the ability to integrate with Facebook, group video calling, SMS to Facebook friends, and a completely revamped user interface. But, if you’re a Mac user, there’s no need to try to update your Skype client, because you won’t find an update anywhere in sight.

Skype 5.0 also lets you instantly search through your Facebook contacts to give them a call, text message them, or even call them for free through a Skype-to-Skype connection. Skype has also revamped the call screen, giving you better controls and a distraction-free blue gradient background. Nothing can be worse than when you’re talking to someone in Skype and your Internet connection goes out, but Skype has included a new feature for automatic call recovery, which can immediately reconnect a disconnected call.

While our Windows brethren seem to be getting all of the attention right now from Skype, there’s still hope for a new Mac version.

According to a post on the Skype blog, “You may have noticed that we’ve just launched a new version of Skype for Windows, and I wanted to reassure you that our previous statement still stands: we’re working hard to deliver group video calling to the Mac as quickly as possible. But that’s not all – we intend to give our app for Mac OS X a complete overhaul, both in terms of the way it looks, and in terms of functionality.”

It looks as though we will have to do a little more waiting to get group video chats, and the other niceties in Skype 5.0.

via TechCrunch and 9to5 Mac


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.




It's Here: Left 4 Dead 2 Finally Debuts for Mac Gamers

Finally. It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for since Steam arrived for our Macs. The zombie killing, co-op madness of Left 4 Dead 2 has finally hit the Steam store. Currently, only the sequel of this riveting series is available for Mac gamers.

You’ll be able to play as one of four survivors fending off hordes of the “infected” in apocalyptic Southern United States. You and your groupmates must make their way through each campaign, making sure to hit every safe house and checkpoint while you navigate to the rescue vehicle at the campaign’s finale. There are also five different types of boss “infected” in each campaign that you and your teammates must band together to defeat, including The Charger and The Spitter.

If you’re planning on purchasing Left 4 Dead 2, why don’t you play with us this Friday? Frag the Editor Friday will resume as normally, and at least one of the editors here at Mac|Life headquarters will assist you in your quest to stay alive.

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.