Goodbye Creative Suite, Hello Creative Cloud: Adobe intros its New Apps

| Product News

Adobe unveiled the next version of its popular graphic design, Web design, and video editing applications at Adobe MAX on Monday, and the collection is changing names from Creative Suite to Creative Cloud, hinting at a future where Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver are available only through subscriptions instead of traditional licensing. Adobe is also pushing the collaborative features of its apps through its purchase of Behance at the end of 2012.

Adobe revamps its apps, drops Creative Suite for Creative CloudAdobe revamps its apps, drops Creative Suite for Creative Cloud

Creative Cloud, formerly Creative Suite, includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, Premier, After Effects, Lightroom, Acrobat, and more. For the first time, it includes InCopy, which previously was seen as a critically missing component from the package.

Adobe chose to do away with the two-version model for Photoshop and is now offering all of the image and graphic editing features from Photoshop Extended in the app while dropping "Extended" from the name. That means all Photoshop CC users will have access to advanced 3D editing tools where previously only Photoshop Extended users had those features.

Photoshop CC's updated Smart Sharpen toolPhotoshop CC's updated Smart Sharpen tool

Photoshop CC includes several new features such as a Camera Shake Reduction that intelligently fixes blurred images from moving cameras, Smart Sharpen for better image sharpening with fewer artifacts, improved upsampling that creates less image distortion when increasing resolution, round rectangle shapes and new multi-shape editing tools, nondestructive blur and liquify effects, and more.

InDesign CC, Adobe's professional page layout application, finally gained 64-bit support and Retina Display support, which the company says improved performance when printing and importing INX and PDF documents. The new version also falls in line with Adobe's dark interface that was already available in Photoshop and Illustrator CS6. Like those versions, InDesign users can choose between several different menu and palette color schemes.

The new version supports Adobe's Sync Font feature for finding and downloading fonts from the Adobe Typekit library. Fonts downloaded through the service are available to all applications on your Mac as long as your Creative Cloud subscription is up to date. When Adobe previewed the new Creative Cloud apps to The Mac Observer they didn't yet have details as to how subscription licensing for Typekit fonts would be managed.

InDesign CC's enhanced font menusInDesign CC's enhanced font menus

InDesign CC now offers an enhanced font list filter that lets users find specific typefaces by searching for terms like "bold," or "italic" in addition to font names, they can now set favorite fonts that sync between CC apps, and the app now includes a built-in QR code creator.

Adobe's vector image editing application Illustrator now includes what the company is calling the Touch Type tool for precise control over changes to text on a letter-by-letter basis. individual letters are editable as if they were objects, and object handles now include specific functions. For example, grabbing one corner handle can resize proportionally while another skews an object.

Illustrator CC treats text as individual objectsIllustrator CC treats text as individual objects

Illustrator is the first of the CC apps to support color swatch syncing from the new Kuler app for the iPhone. The app lets users snap photos, select colors from those images, and then build a custom color palette. For now, those palettes can be synced only with Illustrator, but Adobe told TMO that support for other CC apps is coming soon.

The new version of Illustrator also includes the ability to paint with raster images, can create CSS code for use in your website designs, and can import multiple files into a single document.

Dreamweaver CC, Adobe's website design and editing app, now sports a visual editing tool, can build responsive sites through its improved Enhanced Fluid Grid layout, supports visual jQuery UI widget support, and offers improved asset management. Like InDesign and Illustrator, Dreamweaver CC supports font syncing

Even though Flash isn't as dominant as it once was, it's still an important part of the Adobe product lineup. Flash CC has a new 64-bit architecture, offers high definition video and HTML5 export, gained an easier to use interface, supports real-time drawing, and includes an unlimited pasteboard size.

Flash is still here, and includes HTML5 export supportFlash is still here, and includes HTML5 export support

Premier CC, Adobe's professional video editor, sports a redesigned timeline the company says will make nonlinear editing easier, supports source sequence editing into other sequences without nesting, offers improved asset linking in projects, can more easily use shared assets stored on servers, improved Closed Captioning support, and added the Lumetri Deep Color Engine.

The CC app suite also supports syncing settings, libraries, brushes and other preferences between apps on different computers. CC users will also get 20GB of online storage along with access to the Behance graphic designer and photographer social network.

Hello, Cloud
For users that aren't ready to make the jump to the CC app suite, Adobe still has you covered. Creative Coud subscribers can download the Creative Suite 6 apps as well, and Adobe will keep both versions up to date through its online update mechanism, and CS6 users will continue to receive maintenance updates at least until the next major Creative Cloud update regardless of whether they have a traditional perpetual license or are already Creative Cloud users.

Pricing for Creative Cloud hasn't changed. Users will still pay US$49.99 a month, or $19.99 a month for a single app. Traditional license CS6 users can sign up for the full Creative Cloud package or an individual app for half price for the first year.

If you're planning on buying a traditional perpetual license for the new app versions, just as you've been able to do for Creative Suite, get ready for disappointment. Adobe chose to move forward aggressively with its subscription-only model, killing off perpetual licenses only a year after introducing Creative Cloud. In other words, if you want the latest Adobe apps going forward, plan on jumping in to the subscription model.

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Yeesh. Color me underwhelmed. InDesign gets a new interface color? Ooo. Sign me up. This subscription model is going to go over like a lead balloon in higher-ed where I am. Many colleagues haven’t even found the budget to upgrade to CS6, let alone this pay forever nonsense. Adobe has opened the door, Apple, Quark, and anyone else… have at ‘em.


Agreed. This is a symptom of a company that has become arrogant and complacent, that feels that no matter what they do the customers will have no choice to follow and pay. The trouble is; where are the alternatives.  If you don’t want to buy into the “pay us the monthly fee or all of your work is inaccessible” extortion racket, where do you go?


Yeah. Right now the only recourse for a pro is to sit on what you have installed, and hope any OS updates still run it. The new features they announced are as blah as when they announced CS6. What do you want to bet they still don’t have a common type engine across the suite? Ugh.

Bryan Chaffin

You guys are clearly missing the part where these updates are good for Adobe. Get with the program!

John Davis

This finally finishes Photoshop, etc., for me. Pixelmator and Acorn have become quite sophisticated and provide all the functions that I need. At ONE TENTH of the cost!

Edward Stern

Sigh the Dumb terminal has arrived and we are back to the 1980’s with centralized computing from a server. I thought that was what 1984 apple ad was all about getting free from dumb terminals.


Yes, here’s a REAL advantage for creative customers. So what if the company puts out barely useful/useless & mediocre updates, and STILL fails to fix bugs. You get to pay up your monthly $50 dues anyway. EVERY month. Or your software won’t run!

I think this maneuver is not only hostile towards Adobe’s customer base, but also anti-American.


And so now if you are offline (Antarctica)  PS doesn’t work?

Lee Dronick

Yeah. Right now the only recourse for a pro is to sit on what you have installed, and hope any OS updates still run it.

I am still on CS4, but mostly just run PhotoShop and Illustrator, I am using Pages for layout and Coda for webpages, Aperture. Of course Adobe’s products are very powerful and feature rich, some people need that, but as John Davis says there are alternatives for those that don’t.


John Dingler, artist

Shoot! Where’s my comment? Will repost:

“Adobe used to periodically take ransom for using its latest defective software, now it has attached a tube to your artery to become a steady blood sucker.”

To John Davis,
People are also mentioning that fairly decent, I hear, God awfully named Gimp, surely a name asking for avoidance.

John Davis

John Dingler,

There’s a new version of Acorn out now for an introductory price of - 20 dollars or so. Of course it’s not as feature rich as Photoshop/Illustrator, but it’s got most of what you need. It’s stable, fast and cheap.


Just checked the FAQ at Adobe. Apparently Creative Cloud apps only need to call in to the mothership on install or once every 30 days. So everything will run offline, at least for a while or until you stop paying. I’ll be curious to see how third-party plug-ins work with this system. I need to look into the new versions in more detail, but the initial unveiling surely isn’t offering any significant features or updates that are worth upgrading from CS6. I’ll also be curious to see if CC adoption isn’t what Adobe wants will they decide to disable or cripple CS6 with an update in the future.


This switch is about a lot more than just the delivery of the programs that we’re used to… it seems Adobe has been buying up a lot of little companies and is really filling in the HTML5 toolset. It’s really a genius little business plan… although I tend to agree with the bloodsucking theory a bit.  With the behance acquisition, there’s an immediate “community” portion that is going to be the online American Idol of “creatives”.  You can tag, follow, etc… and Adobe will promote “faves”.  Adobe will also pretty much own everything we do… and be able to watch our every move…  just like CVS… and Walgreens… and the supermarket… and everywhere else.  It seems to be a sign of the times that we don’t just give people money for services… we give them information as well.  I


it’s this the way of the American Corporation? Squash the small guys, absorb/kill them and then have your store in every large shopping mall? And you’re the only supplier, yet not called a monopoly. Oops, did I say monopoly? Yeah, I did, for while there are individual apps that allow most of the functionality of the CC suite, there is no other CC suite-like product that compares so does that make Adobe a sort of monopoly in the application suite space?


I have to agree that this is moving into a monopoly… but I’m concerned about it for these reasons:
The quality of Product Improvements
The rising cost of subscription services
Complacency in developing new capabilities
These are all under Adobe’s control. As they’ve shown in the past, they are usually late to the party and mediocre in their offerings. We can still be running CS4 and be creative because there are better options for multimedia, Ebooks, App development and HTML 5. Even in the upcoming “CC” versions, Adobe is coming to the party once again with mediocre updates.
In my opinion, the only real claim to fame for Adobe is Photoshop and Illustrator.
After that, the waters stay murky.

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