Device Central is used when creating content for a mobile device. It has data on various phones/mobiles so you can easily create content without flipping through a mountain of documentation. In this beta version the list has not been populated with real phone models but you can get an idea even with the generic devices.
At a glance you can see what specifications a specific phone has, for instance you can find screen dimensions, color depth and image types which you can then use in Photoshop. Which will eliminate the process of testing multiple modes to find the perfect settings which will speed up design time substantially.
The Device Central offers a wide range of catgory and filtering tools to quickly narrow down the list of phones. You also can build your own list of phones which allows you to effortlessly work with the phones you care about.
The main panel displays all of the specifications about the phone broken down into different uses: picture, video, web and Flash.
At the moment Device Central is accessible from Bridge and Photoshop
Photoshop: File > Device Central
Bridge: Tools > Device Central
Once in Device Central you will see a tab located in the main panel "New Document" which is used to build a new device template or load an existing one.
1) Select a phone from the list on the left
2) Choose the content type and change any necessary settings
3) You can keep the default size or tweak it by checking the "Custom Sizes..." checkbox.
4) To open the template in Photoshop click "Create"
Now with the template open in Photoshop you are able to create your screen(s). Here is a sample of the template that opens into Photoshop which would ensure you would be designing your images to fit that specific device.
Device Central is beta software just like Photoshop CS3, but you can already see how powerful it is and what it will do for your mobile development workflow.
Expect to see more tutorials and articles focused on this little gem in the months to come and especially after the other programs begin to use it.
Matthew Keefe is a new-media designer, developer with a background in application design for the web and print design. When he is not working with a client he can be found helping out the community on a series of Photoshop and development sites. Matt's personal portfolio can be found here ( http://www.mkeefedesign.com/resume/ ) where it showcases clients in the movie, music and print industries. To give back to the community that Matt has learned so much from he started ( http://www.scriptplayground.com ) to help out the new programmers and give them the ability to learn the topics covered on the site