Adobe XD Windows Update
It’s been an exhilarating six months since we released the first public beta version of Adobe XD, available for Mac OS, back in March ‘16.
While we were confident in our approach to delivering Adobe XD, there’s nothing quite like the reality of shipping the product, measuring the level of interest, working through the feedback and analysing the usage data, so as to understand whether we were on the right trajectory or whether we needed to rethink the approach.
Thankfully the response has been amazing! We’re excited to announce that we will be delivering several major new capabilities in the coming months, including layers, symbols and real-time mobile preview — culminating in a milestone release on Mac that we believe will be ready for everyday use by UX designers.
What about XD for Windows?
When we first started working on Adobe XD, we wanted to focus on a single platform to ensure that we were on the right path to creating something of true value. Focusing on one platform enabled us to iterate and adjust quickly, before committing to multi-platform development. We heard from our existing customers on Mac that they were dealing with the friction that came from trying to use non-Adobe tools alongside those from Creative Cloud, so we decided to start with that platform.
Now that we have established a solid foundation with Adobe XD on Mac, we’re working as fast as we can to “catch up” on Windows. At the same time as we’re catching up, we also want to ensure we’re building a next-generation design tool that takes advantage of the latest hardware and software, so as to really deliver something special for designers on Windows. That means we’re not just porting the product from Mac to Windows, but rather, we’re investing in a completely new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app that will be available exclusively on Windows 10.
UWP represents the future of the Windows platform, opening up opportunities for us to leverage the latest touch-enabled hardware and to deliver Adobe XD to a future generation of Windows-based devices.
Adobe XD is the first UWP app from Adobe, which means there is a lot of learning along the way. Not only do we need to deliver Adobe XD, but also Windows 10 versions of the supporting libraries and components that every Adobe application relies upon. So, while we understand (and appreciate) the desire to get Adobe XD on Windows as soon as possible, we are taking the time needed to craft a unique UWP-based experience.
What’s different about Adobe XD for Windows?
While the core feature set will be the same across Mac and Windows, as will our focus on performance and stability, Adobe XD for Windows will be different than on Mac — the experience will be customized for the unique capabilities offered by Windows 10 hardware. For example, only on Windows 10 will Adobe XD offer full support for both pen and touch — meaning that you can fluidly zoom and pan your document, create vector artwork and connect wires between screens of your prototype by using touch-based input. Designing and creating prototypes using touch on Windows feels completely natural and will make Adobe XD feel even more special for Windows users.
When will Adobe XD for Windows be available?
As eager as we are to release XD for Windows as soon as possible, our approach is to make it available when it’s ready — we really want to deliver a product that you look forward to using every day.
That said, we also need feedback from designers on Windows to help us get there — if you’re the adventurous type and would like access to a pre-release version of Adobe XD on Windows you can let us know here. We’d love to get your input as we craft our Windows 10 experience.
For everyone else, we’re aiming to deliver our first Windows public beta release towards the end of 2016. That first release will not have feature parity with the Mac version, but you’ll see rapid progress with each of the subsequent monthly releases, getting to an aligned set of capabilities across Mac and Windows versions of Adobe XD before you know it.
We hope you’re as excited about Adobe XD for Windows as we are — we promise it will be worth the wait 🙂
You can reach out to our team here in the comments or @AdobeXD on Twitter — we look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime there are additional answers to common questions we’ve heard about our Windows release below.
Why only support Windows 10 and not earlier versions of Windows?
We’re building Adobe XD from the ground up and wanted to take advantage of the latest hardware and software platforms so as to provide a modern, high performance, future-proofed tool for UX designers.
Will the features on Mac and Windows be exactly the same?
The core feature set across both versions of Adobe XD will be consistent, but on each platform we’ll look to take advantage of native capabilities. We want the Mac OS version of Adobe XD to feel great on Mac and likewise, the Windows version to feel great on Windows 10 — designing and building specific versions of XD for each platform allows us to do this.
Will you support touch and pen features available on devices like the Surface Book?
Yes, absolutely — we’re excited to bring a fully pen and touch enabled Adobe XD experience to our customers using Windows 10.
Will the file format be compatible across Mac and Windows?
Why did you work on the Mac version first?
Back when we started working on Adobe XD, we wanted to focus on one platform to ensure that we were creating something of true value, with the ability to iterate and adjust quickly, before committing to multi-platform development. We heard that some of our existing customers on Mac were dealing with the friction that came from trying to use non-Adobe tools alongside those from Creative Cloud, so we decided to start there.
Why did you de-prioritize the Windows version relative to Mac?
Initially, we wanted to focus on one platform to ensure that we were creating something of true value, with the ability to iterate and adjust quickly, before committing to multi-platform development.
What is the roadmap for Adobe XD on Windows?
We’re on track to deliver a first public beta release of Adobe XD for Windows in late 2016, with subsequent monthly releases adding additional features and enhancements based on customer feedback. Once we’ve caught up to Mac features, you can expect continued parity with new capabilities coming to the Mac and Windows versions of Adobe XD at the same time.
Andrew Shorten is Director of Product Management for UX Design at Adobe. He is passionate about improving the quality, richness, and value of digital experiences. Andrew previously developed user interfaces for government and enterprise customers while working at Fujitsu. He has since worked for Macromedia, Microsoft, and Adobe, where he has engaged with designers, developers, digital agencies, and organizations to help them deliver engaging web, mobile and desktop experiences.
Originally published at blogs.adobe.com.