Adobe Edge and non-Flash animation
One major feature that makes Adobe Edge incredibly attractive at the moment is the price. Preview 4 is available for free as a download from the Adobe Lab website, yet it remains unclear how much longer the software will be available at no cost to users.
Not all users will actually find a use for Adobe Edge, PC World notes, although designers can benefit using the software for less elaborate projects. Small sites, particularly mobile platforms, are those that would best benefit from the software at this stage of its development. The sites can be developed from scratch or designers can import an existing site into Edge to transform a static website into a dynamic one. The importation keeps the original HTML layout intact, neither breaking the layout nor compromising the code.
Edge proved compatibility with Safari and iPad, but only appeared to work with WebKit browsers. The program also had an issue with its fonts. One of the updates introduced in Preview 4 was improved font capabilities, including the ability to increase the list of available fonts with those imported by the designer. Edge supports a number of web font services, including some of the more popular Typekit, Google Web Fonts and FontSquirrel.
A wider variety of font options can increase the level of creativity designers bring to the site, but even the widest variety of fonts are meaningless if the fonts do not function properly when the end result is on display. A fallback font option is available for users lacking the imported fonts, but that does not address additional issues with the fonts. Rasterizing the fonts may be able to help with the overall font function, although that, too, is not likely the key to correcting all font issues and restrictions.
When it comes to symbols, images and light graphics, Adobe Edge provides a variety of ways to display, incorporate and introduce them to a page. Each nestled animation can be created with an independent timeline designers can integrate into the main timeline, and each also has interactive capabilities. The features can work to produce attractive photo galleries as well as dynamic menus on the landing page and elsewhere throughout the site. Symbols are easily accessed through the library panel and have several capabilities, including an autoplay option that can be turned on or off as well as additional play and stop commands.
Designers working with symbols will find they can be similar to working with other objects, but with advanced capabilities that can simplify the designing process. Each element on the page has the capability of being programmed to appear at a certain time and specific length of time, or removed from the stage and turned off.
Other functions and features worth noting are typical for a number of software design programs but useful just the same. Adobe Edge can integrate content in the GIF, JPG, PNG and SVG formats while its text and drawing tools allow you to produce new graphics on the spot. The library feature contains a centralized location of the design’s current elements and offers easy access to each element as needed. The timeline editor allows simple editing of each object’s animation, controlling the shape, color, size, positioning and other aspects of the object.
Because Adobe Edge is still in its infant stages, certain restrictions, compatibility issues and malfunctions can be expected. Preview 4 has already incorporated fixes that plagued earlier versions of the program and further updates are still to come. As it stands, Adobe Edge can already be useful for the simpler projects that require rapid animation results without investing copious amounts of time and money producing those results.