Last weak, to great fanfare, Adobe launched its Edge Tools and Services initiative, designed to make us forget the firm ever championed Flash as a technology for creating cross-device rich media. While the two-hour presentation above is well worth watching, I’ve sketched out below the high points of what Adobe delivered to save you some time. The main thing to keep in mind, which Adobe has not done enough to make clear, is that all the Edge applications and services are free. Yes, they’re part of its Creative Cloud subscription service, but you can access them via the free level, which is not a trial. If you’re really short on time just jump straight to Edge Animate, since it’s simply a great little tool for creating web animations.

Edge Animate
This first saw the light of day two years ago as ‘an experiment in standard-based animation’ and has now hit version 1. Described by Adobe as a motion and interaction design tool that allows users to bring animated content to the Web using HTML, JavaScript and CSS, it has little competition and with this release emerges as the leader in a category of tools that will only grow, as developers seek to take advantage of web standards to bring life to their projects.

Edge Inspect
Formerly known as Shadow, this inspection and preview tool allows front-end Web developers and designers to preview and debug HTML content on multiple mobile devices. Pretty sweet to see the content update in real time on a specified device when the code is changed. Pressing a single button to generate screen shots of all the connected devices is also a snazzy feature.

Edge Reflow
This responsive Web design tool is designed to help users create layouts and visual designs with CSS. Being able to interactively tweak layouts for different devices is a great idea. Unfortunately, a preview release won’t be available until near the end of this year.

Edge Code
Currently available as a preview, it’s built on the Brackets open source project, which apparently means it’s easily customizable. Sounds great but while that’s too deep for me, its ability to perform real time edits of the underlying CSS and JavaScript powering a page would make things easier, since with my modest coding skills, tweaking is my life.

PhoneGap Build
This is something I’ll probably never use but it does sound intriguing. The idea is that you can simply take your HTML, CSS and JavaScript assets and PhoneGap will handle the pesky compilation side of things for creating mobile apps.

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