Even for the apps that were well received, professional users complained they weren't robust enough, nor were they tied closely enough to Adobe's desktop apps.
On Monday, though, Adobe hopes to satisfy the critics with eight new and updated mobile apps–all tied closely to the company's core products–Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere.
"It takes some exploration, it takes some wrong turns and some dead ends," Adobe's David Wadhwani said in an exclusive interview ahead of the company's MAX conference which kicks off today in Los Angeles. "All of that pays off when you find your final path. I feel like we are on that path now."
At the event, Adobe is announcing a slew of updates to its existing products in addition to the mobile apps, as well as new cloud based services, including one for storing font and brush preferences and another to help companies recruit developer talent.
As for the mobile apps, they are part of a bet that the physical and digital worlds are merging and that Adobe can help as those worlds collide. One of the apps, Adobe Shape, lets creative types take any thing they see in the real world and turn it into the lines and vectors used in illustrator. Another app, Adobe Brush, turns physical strokes into digital brushes for use in Illustrator or Photoshop.
The mobile apps are all free and are slated to be in Apple's store later on Monday, while updates to Adobe's Creative Suite apps will be made available to subscribers. Wadhwani credits the shift to a subscription model for allowing such a big update only four months after its last update. Both the June and October releases are among the most significant updates made in recent years, Wadhwani said, acknowledging that all companies say that about every release.