Adobe Releases Photoshop Beta, New Developer Sites

Adobe Systems on Friday released a beta version of Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 3 (CS), the next generation of its industry-standard digital image editing software.

This beta release is a first, as it is a Universal binary that will run on both Intel-based Apple  Macintoshes and x86-based Windows PCs. The final version is on track for release in spring 2007, according to the company.

There is one caveat to the beta: Adobe  requires a licensed copy of Photoshop CS2, Creative Suite 2, Production Studio, Adobe Web Bundle, or Adobe Video Bundle to use the demo for longer than a two-day trial period.

Along with the beta release, Adobe introduced two new Web sites to accompany CS3. Adobe CSS Advisor is a community site devoted to identifying and resolving browser compatibility issues. It’s meant to be a place for Web designers and developers to discuss issues and help each other out.

The second is a site for Spry, a framework for Ajax developers. The Spry site is a community portal in the same vein as CSS Advisor, just for Spry developers.

Spry is expected to be included in the next version of Dreamweaver, Adobe’s Web publishing application. Kenneth Berger, a product manager in the Dreamweaver group, told that some of the tips and trouble-shooting techniques on the CSS Advisor site could eventually become integrated with Dreamweaver, which is slated for its next beta release by April of 2007.

Included with the beta are two other pre-release applications: Adobe Bridge, a file management application that’s a part of Creative Suite and being significantly updated with CS3; and a new product called Adobe Device Central. Device Central is for creating content for mobile devices.

Among the features of the new release of CS is a new user interface, camera RAW enhancements, a Quick Select tool, and improved print dialog and print preview function. Adobe has added some new features, like Auto Blend and Auto Align tools and improved black-and-white conversion control.

Pricing and final system specs have not been determined.

Erin Joyce contributed to this report.

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