David Asch - June 22nd 2014
This month saw the latest releases of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Adobe Muse had possibly the biggest overhaul of the lot. If you're familiar with the old version, it had a slightly awkward feel to it, never really feeling as polished as the other Creative Cloud applications. Dragging and resizing items was often sluggish. Moving the dock panel occasionally seemed to go behind the main window or caused the rest of the interface items to flicker.
The 2014 update sees Muse not only moving to native 64 bit code from its previous Air platform, but also a shift in interface design, now nestling in nicely with its CC brethren. By default, the interface is dark but this can be set to one of four shades, ranging from nearly black to very light grey, the latter being closest to its previous incarnation, if that's what you prefer. The Toolbox is now positioned vertically on the left and can be floated if desired. Panels can be docked and floated to suit but, as of this release, it's not possible to save your layout as a preference, as it is with the other CC apps. This will no doubt be added in future updates. Other tweaks to the interface see the workspace buttons moved to the far right but other than that, there's little difference.
A move from one codebase to another requires a huge amount of work by the development team, so new features are thin on the ground. There are some additions, however. Muse now supports HiDPI displays, using alternate high-resolution versions of images when a compatible –Apple's Retina Displays, for example – display is detected. Slideshows can be set to 100% width so they fill the entire browser area, shrinking and growing to fit. In-Browser editing has been greatly improved, allowing sites hosted on third-party hosting to have the same benefits that were previously only available when the site was host using Adobe's own hosting platform. Other improvements include a 100% width button, which makes it simple to set page elements to full width. Site previewing within Muse now uses the OS's default browser (Safari or Internet Explorer), making it a better representation of how the site will appear.
Overall this is a great update, where it may be short on new features, it certainly makes up for it with its more stable and streamlined usability. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes in the next few months.