Adobe’s Creative Cloud launched a year ago as a subscription-based alternative to the traditional licensing model that went with the Creative Suites, offering access to the full Adobe Creative Suite 6 suite of software, services such as Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, Adobe Touch Apps for mobile devices, and online syncing and storage for a membership fee. Today during Adobe’s MAX, The Creativity Conference keynote in Los Angeles, California, Adobe announced that they would be phasing out the licensing model altogether, launching updated CS6 applications through Creative Cloud. This means that instead of purchasing an expensive Creative Suite, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to use apps like Photoshop and Illustrator.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud can be thought of as the company’s own version of Microsoft’s Office 365. Next to Adobe’s library of applications, Creative Cloud gives customers a way to connect with others, share files, and build their creative portfolios through Behance to showcase projects and get feedback. Plus Adobe offers 20 GB of cloud storage (100 GB for teams) for storing files and syncing assets between desktops, laptops, and mobile devices like the iPad. In addition to having access to services such as those listed above, customers can take advantage of the entire catalogue of Typekit fonts for use on websites or in desktop applications.
Many of Adobe’s desktop applications will be updated and branded with CC to designate their integration with Creative Cloud. Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC, and Premier Pro CC are the big highlights amongst HTML5 oriented Edge apps or video tools like After Effects. Lightroom is an exception as it will be both available with a Creative Cloud membership and with an individual license. Unfortunately, Adobe has said they are discontinuing development of Fireworks due to product overlap. For those who wish to continue using Fireworks, Fireworks CS6 will continue to be supported through the next major updates for OS X and Windows. CS6 itself will also remain available for purchase (and volume licensing) outside of the Creative Cloud, although you won’t have the latest features that are being introduced with Creative Cloud.
Photoshop in particular is receiving some wonderful new features with the upcoming Creative Cloud update. Photoshop CC includes an all-new Smart Sharpen tool for bringing out more detail while reducing noise and halo effects, intelligent up-sampling for scaling images with reduced artifacts, and camera shake reduction for restoring sharpness to blurry photos. The latter technology is the most impressive, as it lets anyone restore clarity to lost photos with a simple wave of the wand tool.
Mighty and Napoleon
Projects Mighty and Napoleon are announced hardware offerings from Adobe XD, which consist of a Wacom-like pen stylus and a digital ruler. The devices are cloud connected, interfacing with your Creative Cloud account. For example and as shown in the video above, the pen allows artists to copy and paste snippets between Adobe’s suite of touch apps for mobile devices. The digital ruler is also interesting as it projects shapes to trace on the screen, acting as pocket-able replacement for a large variety of traditional pen and paper tools.
Creative Cloud Pricing
Creative Cloud costs $19.99 a month for a single application, and $49.99 a month for access to every application and service Adobe provides. For the first year, previous Creative Suite customers will only have to pay $19.99 a month if they have Creative Suite 6, and only $29.99 if they have a license for a previous Creative Suite. Students can also get promotional pricing for their first year, paying only $19.99 a month after proving their institutional affiliation. Students should apply by June 25th.
Teams, or small businesses, will have to pay $69.99 per month per user, or $39.99 per month for the first year for previous Creative Suite owners. Teams should sign-up and add users by August 31st. Educational pricing for teams is also set at $39.99 per month per user.
Moving forward, Adobe will only be offering their latest desktop applications through the Creative Cloud. The CC updates for Adobe’s desktop applications will go live on June 17th, but you can join Creative Cloud at any time to take advantage of previously-mentioned services.