In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, Adobe has just announced (following their disappearance from the Play Store) an end to development for all their touch apps on Android except Photoshop Touch (Ideas is still alive for iOS users), meaning Adobe has essentially killed their Kuler, Ideas, Debut, Proto, and Collage apps for Android.

In a post to the Creative Cloud Team Blog, Adobe explains that while some of their efforts in "exploring how the creative process can be augmented and enhanced on touch devices" have been successful, others "have been less so." It is for that reason the team is ceasing active development for the apps.

The statement notes that users who already have the apps installed can keep using them, but as some users have noted, the apps are no longer available for download from the Play Store. Here's the full statement.

Over the past year, we’ve been exploring how the creative process can be augmented and enhanced on touch devices. While some of our efforts have been successful, others have been less so. Therefore, starting today, we will no longer be updating Adobe Debut, Adobe Collage, Adobe Proto, or the Android versions of Adobe Ideas and Adobe Kuler.

If you have these apps installed on your iPad or Android tablet you can continue using them, but we will not be providing bug fixes or updates. We will continue to provide support in our forums, so if you have questions you can reach us there or contact Adobe Customer Care.

We will keep supporting and developing our other Adobe Touch Apps and exploring other ways to enhance creative workflows on tablets.

The apps launched just over a year ago, and whether a lack of interest or a prohibitive price contributed to Adobe's decision remains to be seen. Any way you cut it, it's always sad to see such ambitious (and arguably very useful) software get cut from the Play Store's collection. For the original post, hit the link below.

Thanks Zach and Steven!

Source: Adobe

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Well, that sucks. I understand there was probably not enough demand to justify spending money on developers (those are expensive), but it still sucks.

    I wonder if that means there's not enough demand for them on Android or Adobe didn't do a good enough job promoting them and making sure people who would use them are aware of them. I mean, I have no idea what most of them did, and even after looking it up, I'll still forget in a few weeks.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yeah I feel like Adobe did next to nothing in the way of promoting the apps and what they did, and the names aren't exactly helpful. Pile that on top of a $10-a-pop price tag and I'd say the interest just didn't quite materialize the way they'd hoped.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        Their promotion efforts were extremely thin. Other than news sites and a couple of hidden corners of Adobe's website, I never saw any sign that these apps existed.

        I think a lot of this also came from the relatively little functionality offered by most of these apps. Kuler was nowhere near a $10 app, not when there were equal or better apps for $0.99. Debut and Proto were good ideas, but they weren't very ambitious and didn't cross the line where they were good enough to use seriously. Collage was never gong to fly, too few people want that sort of thing. Ideas and Photoshop are the only ones that made sense for the price.

        Adobe had two really big problems; most of these products didn't make sense and everybody bought Photoshop Touch first, just to see how it turned out. Anybody who's spent much time with Photoshop Touch can confirm that it was a pretty unfinished product. Once you've tried Photoshop Touch, you're not too likely to mess around with the others. I'm sad to see Ideas go, but we can hope that they wrap the feature set into Photoshop Touch, which is where it belongs anyway.

  • Teddy Reardon

    I'm trying to figure this out... why not leave them in the play store? but not update them? why totally remove them?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Support, company image.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      I had the same question. From my perspective (if I had been the one to develop the apps) I wouldn't want a product I ultimately considered a failure to remain available for purchase, with customers who are going to want support, updates, etc. for their payment.

    • Forcemaker

      I agree. IMHO, Adobe could have done these three options:

      * Reduce the price tag. If an app like this was on a 1-3$ basis e.g. on sale every 4-8 weeks, it would have attention. (I imagine some people do buy apps they don't really need but it is handy to have them in your app portfolio for the case you do. Well, I'm such a jerk.)

      * Remove the price tag ...
      a) because you already put all the effort in there
      b) the people might look at it and make it a (somewhat) success afterwards (I judge an app for free or 1$ more "politely" than I do for 10$)

      * Announce the sucker! If I knew it would be removed from market (oops, Play i meant), I really really really would have considerd to buy the bummer ASAP!

      Sad! (Maybe there be some .... adjusted ... .apk's around there? Not suggesting anything, but I really wanted to try it.)

  • NW

    The problem is Adobe released too many content creation Apps, most people don't have a clue which one does what, and the prices are way too high.
    Photoshop has a recognizable name so it makes sense that Adobe continues with it, it needs to be improved a lot too, they probably could integrate a lot of the function from the other defunct apps into it.

  • http://twitter.com/ArtVandelay440 Nathaniel Webb

    Any chance they'd pull an awesome and open source their defunct projects?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      That would be pretty amazing, but I don't see Adobe pulling something like that unfortunately.

      • http://www.facebook.com/duckofdeath Hans Pedersen

        PDF is an open standard since 2008, so, it has happened before from Adobe. Though, these apps I kind of understand why they're dragged to the recycle bin, they were simply the ones tested that Adobe found that "no one" had an interest in. All software companies does that from time to time.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          There's a much longer story behind PDF becoming a "standard". Adobe wanted to push PDF forward so that they could make more sales of Acrobat Pro. Obviously, as an open standard, other people were allowed to make competing products, but Adobe also owns several patents on PDF, so they also collected license fees on several of those competitors. Adobe also knew that Microsoft and Sun were both planning to release their own alternatives. Making PDF an 'open standard' was entirely about removing competition and pushing for more profits, it was not an act of good will.

  • ocdtrekkie

    Does anyone know if they have content protection on them? Can we reinstall the APKs without a problem on stock devices?

    • Forcemaker

      Very interesting question. Is there a Google policy/rule that clearly states on the case that an app is removed?

      Let's assume, an app's only protection was to ask the Google Play server whether the user has bought it, then what happens if the app isn't available any more through Play???

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        I can't confirm that this is still true, but I knew the answer to this back in the 2.x days. At the time, even after the app was removed, you still officially owned it and licenses were supposed to still work. The device just asked the Android Market* if the user's account had purchased a key for a given application. I'm not sure if it was looking up the package name (ex. air.com.adobe.pstouch) or an ID, but it was all stored in the user's purchase history.

        I'm pretty sure that the same is still true today. The only real hint I have comes from MadFinger when they made Dead Trigger free after launching it at $0.99. After a month or two, they pushed an update that gave existing purchasers some existing stuff. The only way they could have known the difference is to have queried the Play Store to find out if they had made that purchase.

        * I'm talking about the past, so I get to call it the Android Market!!! ;p

  • http://twitter.com/brandonb927 Brandon Brown

    I used Proto when doing quick mockups for websites with clients until I got my Nexus 7 and realized they don't support it. Sucks to see it go as I was planning on getting a Nexus 10 eventually to get Proto back. Oh well...

  • mgamerz

    So essentially if you bought the apps you can't download them again.

    • okungnyo


      • Asdg

        i can't stand Drake. Worst rapper ever.

    • Forcemaker

      Try using e.g. "App Monster" ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=think+Android ) to make a backup of the apk (works on non-rooted devices, in general, and in the case it hasn't been flagged "protected"; App Monster will tell you, in case.)

      (There are many other apk-backuppers you might try.)
      (Remember: they only backup the apk NOT the user data.)

      • mgamerz

        I mean for the average user. They might need not realize its gone until its too late.

    • Jeffu

      Pretty much the case for me... went to download them and couldn't find them. It was a dumb idea looking back but nonetheless I spent $10 on Adobe Kuler and that doesn't exist anymore... -_-

      • Jon

        Same here. It's pretty sad. We have to resort to "pirating" apps we paid for. If they don't want to support the apps. Just make them free.

  • Asphyx

    I think Adobe has just come to grips with the fact that Phones and Tablets are content CONSUMER hardware and not all that good at Content creation.
    Maybe if they looked at units like the NOTE that come with a Stylus they might have had more success.
    Or if they were smart would have come up with a USB or BT stylus to drive with in thier apps.
    Fingertips are just not good enough for art programs and a big reason why they had such difficulty making them work well enough to warrant sales.

  • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

    Adobe is retarded. Their company is so jacked up that they can't produce simple apps and figure out how to release them for a reasonable price. The apps they had are great, but they were charging what - $10 per app? I think their strategy was just all wrong on this one.

    Release the apps for free and see how they do. Sell premium versions. And don't make them $10.

  • Maff Mace

    bad move, maybe they should have promoted their apps?
    I didn't even know most of the ones mentioned even existed!
    I get emails from Adobe as I use their PC software, there's been no mention.
    Android is about to over take Apple for tablet users any month now, that's a lot more users coming to Android tablets that they are missing out on that they've not had a chance to sell to!

    • Forcemaker

      > Android is about to over take Apple for tablet users any month now,[...]

      Jupp, that's the sad part: IMHO it would have been a real plus for Android to have the apps that were discontinued, it would have made Android (even) more "multimedial"

  • itznfb

    Other than Photoshop, Adobe has never made decent software. Even for the PC/Mac. There are much better alternatives for all of their software except PS.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      I feel like this is something that could have been said for a very long time, and somehow that company persists (probably the same way people felt about Microsoft for a long time). If another company came along and introduced something just like Photoshop that had full support for the same plugins, I'd buy it just to help remove Adobe as the de facto standard

      In Adobe's defense, most people who work on vector graphics seem to also prefer Illustrator over the competitors. So, maybe two products are worth having :)

      • itznfb

        Was Illustrator an Adobe original or was it a Macromedia purchase?
        Edit: Must have been an Adobe original. Not listed on the Macromedia -> Adobe Product list.... damn. Ok 2 products.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          According to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Illustrator
          Illustrator appears to be an Adobe original and was a competitor to Macromedia Freehand.

        • TonyPRO

          I believe that illustrator was created by a company called Aldus. But has been a staple of the adobe lineup for almost 20 years now.

          • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

            Nope, again that was Freehand, which was initially created by Altsys, licensed to Aldus, which merged with Adobe...then Adobe gave Freehand back to Altsys who was acquired by Macromedia. Here's the wikipedia link that details all of this more thoroughly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macromedia_FreeHand

            I wouldn't really call it a staple in the beginning (because of very limited functionality and being Mac-only), but Illustrator has been around since January 1987, so it just had it's 25th anniversary this year.

          • TonyPRO

            How right you are! Lol. I just remember the aldus box with a robot carrying a rapidigraph.

  • cpc464freak

    There devs were pretty bad at exploiting the mobile platforms. They were aiming really low feature wise with very uninspiring results. They should fire the current lazy dev teams and aim a little higher in their aspirations.

  • Adrian Meredith

    As an owner of proto and touch I'm very disappointed. I personally though proto was a fantastic idea but only half executed.. Firstly they weren't native apps and as a result were unbearably laggy, secondly the ability to properly export was missing (last time i used photoshop the quality and resolution was seriously degraded)

  • Jeb

    Great, just great. I had been waiting for the 1.5 update to Proto before I bought it, so I am really screwed now. The overall function of Proto would have greatly helped my web design process. So much for that now.

    And I don't really see the complaint with the pricing. Seeing as how adobe tends to hyper jack their products price tags, I felt that their Touch apps were fairly reasonable.

  • http://www.paperacrobat.blogspot.com/ Paper Acrobat

    I don't get it. Android tablets are one of the best sellers this Xmas and Adobe Ideas is one of the best vector drawing apps - why ditch it now?

  • DonDroga

    There is a need for a decent wireframing app for Android. Some attempts have been made but nothing really worth using.

  • Jon

    They need to bundle them all and sell for $10. Or just make them free and drop support.