Adobe buys Aviary to boost Creative Cloud apps

If you've heard of Aviary (opens in new tab), it's probably as the maker of a free editing photo platform that's not even on the horizon of most professional designers. Not something you'd think would be of any particular interest to the makers of a high-end tool like Photoshop CC 2014 (opens in new tab).

But what's interested Adobe about Aviary is as a developer of mobile SDKs (Software Development Kits) for the delivery of creative apps.

With thousands of developers already using Aviary’s SDKs, across mobile platforms, Adobe's acquisition, announced today, ties in with the company's strategy to make its Creative Cloud subscription service a platform for third-party apps.

App platform

Adobe wants this to happen through the Creative SDK, which gives third-party developers access to Adobe APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), previously only available to Adobe’s internal engineering teams.

Adobe Creative SDK Examples include: browsing files stored in Creative Cloud, extracting elements from PSD files, Adobe’s “Touch Slide” software for straight-line drawing and cloud image-editing services like Content-Aware Fill and Upright.

“Aviary has an exceptional team and technology platform, as well as expertise serving a robust developer ecosystem,” said Scott Belsky, vice president of Creative Cloud Ecosystem & Behance (opens in new tab) at Adobe. “We're thrilled to leverage Aviary's technology to make our Creative SDK even more powerful for app developers.

"This is great news for developers because thousands of mobile apps will have the opportunity to become compatible with industry-defining desktop tools like Photoshop CC, as well as new Creative Cloud services."

Aviary will continue to support and enhance Aviary's SDK as part of Adobe's broader Creative SDK offering.

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.