Adobe has introduced two new services that it hopes will get the masses using its products again: one that converts and processes PDFs on the Web, and another that allows users to easily send large files to one another. The company announced the two services Friday as part of its push into the cloud, admitting that neither solution was a particularly new concept.
The file sharing service is called Adobe SendNow, which Adobe describes as a "one-stop destination for sending and receiving large files among colleagues and coworkers." Like Dropbox or Google Docs, SendNow allows you to send a file to one or multiple recipients from Adobe's website and keep track of the files you've sent or received. Unlike Dropbox, however, SendNow places a limit on how long files are available to download (the default is seven days), though you can extend that if you'd like. If you want to upgrade your account (yes, that means money is involved), you can also get delivery receipts and require your friends or colleagues to sign in if you're sending a particularly sensitive document.
Adobe's CreatePDF is the service that—just like the name implies—creates PDFs for you online. It's not as useless as it sounds; the service lets you convert a plethora of file formats to PDF without having to worry about what software you have on your computer (or the software on your recipient's machine). Even more useful is the ability to combine a bunch of files into a single PDF—the files can be single PDFs that you already have, Office documents, photos, etc.
Unfortunately, the PDF combining feature isn't free (and neither is the PDF creation tool after you use it five times). If you want to convert an unlimited number of files to PDF or perform any PDF combinations, you have to fork over $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year. Though we do find the PDF combining feature to be useful—I could have used it recently when battling my NeatScanner's software into combining a bunch of mortgage documents—most Internet users won't want to shell out that much just for the convenience of using the Web to perform these tasks.
It is possible, however, that Adobe might net a few small business accounts with SendNow and CreatePDF. Although you can convert files to PDF by importing them to Google Docs and then e-mailing to yourself or others as a PDF attachment for free, it requires a few more steps than simply using a tool like CreatePDF. Plus, businesses tend to trust Adobe a little more than Google, though that's changing quickly with the popularity of Google Apps. Either way, neither tool is likely to get many casual users to open their wallets, but they're at least a nice alternative to have in the sea of cloud-based office tools.
Source: ars technica