You know Adobe, right?
This is the company that makes extremely complex software for professionals. This is the company whose flagship product, Photoshop, has more than 500 menu commands. This is the company that earned the world’s fury when it decided to stop selling its software — and offer it only as a monthly subscription. This is also the company behind the handy, but once potentially dangerous, PDF format for documents.
So what does Adobe go and do this morning? It releases one of the simplest, most creative, most joyous apps ever written — and gives it away free.
It’s called Adobe Voice. It’s for the iPad only right now; click here to get it. Adobe says it will bring it to other gadgets if the app is successful. And it will be.
Trying to describe Adobe Voice is tricky, both for Adobe and for me, because there’s never been anything quite like it. You truly don’t get it until you try it.
But if you had to force words around this app, you could say it’s an effortless way to make explainer videos.
You’ve seen them, even if you never knew what they were called. They’re a cross between videos and slideshows. There’s a happy little soundtrack—often ukulele or pizzicato (plucked) strings. There are charming little drawings, quivering or animating. And there’s an unseen narrator.
You see these videos all the time online: describing a new website or service, unveiling a Kickstarter project, walking you through a point of science or math, calling you to action for some cause.
Adobe Voice was born to make explainer videos. But because it’s a heady brew of drawings, photos, typography, music, and voice, it swings wide the doors to all kinds of other projects. School reports (kids will be all over this app). Business reports. News updates. Invitations. Storytelling. Instructions. Slideshows. Apologies. Congratulations. Business proposals. Wedding proposals.
When you open the app, you name your new project and then choose a template for the kind of video you want to make. The choices include Promote an Idea, Share an Invitation, Tell a Story, Teach a Lesson, and so on.
The app presents you with a storyboard at the bottom of the screen, which serves as a sort of outline for your video. You can ignore it and just add a “slide” at a time, if you prefer.