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Adobe Acquires Aviary

  • Published on September 26, 2014
Adobe Acquires Aviary

Mobile photo editing service Aviary announced this week that it has been acquired by Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) the maker or Photoshop and other Creative Cloud tools. Until now Adobe has been mostly on the sidelines as services such as Instagram, Flickr, and even Facebook expanded mobile photo sharing. Adobe tried a me-too strategy of offering a pared-down version of their Photoshop tools, but neither users nor developers were adopting Photoshop on a mobile platform.

Compared to Adobe, Aviary is a relative newcomer to the digital imaging, starting more than a decade after Photoshop had become well-entrenched as the standard for high-end digital imaging. Aviary created apps that individuals could use on iOS and Android devices for retouching images captured on their smartphones. Aviary also created a platform that any other app developer could use to provide retouching and filters within their own camera apps. Small developers can use the Aviary platform at no cost to power filters within their own photographic application. If the app developer wants to remove the Aviary branding they can do so by paying a monthly license fee. This free licensing model inspired thousands of developers to use Aviary’s platform, and more than 15 billion photos have been edited using Aviary’s service.

Adobe is likely to relabel the Aviary service and place it under their Photoshop brand. Expect to see “Powered by Photoshop” or “Photoshop Inside” appearing on your Flicker or Yahoo photos apps in the near future as Adobe looks to make Photoshop more relevant to a generation that has grown-up with a wide variety of digital imaging tools that aren’t from Adobe. This acquisition provides an opportunity to build awareness and regain relevancy for the Photoshop brand.

For many years Adobe has been trying to change from an applications provider into a platform company. While their efforts with tools such as Flash and Acrobat haven’t succeeded, through the Aviary acquisition Adobe has a great potential for powering many more of the photo editing apps used across the web. While we don’t expect to be offering Aviary SDK training alongside our Photoshop courses any time soon, it’s possible that it will become part of AGI’s Adobe training offerings at some point in the future.

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices. Jennifer holds the CPUX-F credential from the UXQB.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern UX Design, and worked closely with the Microsoft Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.