updated 02:00 am EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
Subscription-based software offers new features not in CS6
Adobe has formally released the full Adobe Creative Cloud software, marking the next generation of its venerable Creative Suite and officially making its subscription-based, cloud-authorized software the default option going forward. Although the company will continue to sell copies of Adobe CS6 -- which features a traditional "perpetual" license -- for the time being, the new "Adobe CC" package features a number of enhancements to each of the programs within that are not available to non-Creative Cloud subscribers.
In addition, the online gallery and creative community Behance, purchased by Adobe last year, has been integrated into the Creative Cloud suite as an optional showcase and storage medium for work produced by the programs. The company is celebrating the new release with a multi-project collaborative art project, called Create Now: A Celebration of Creativity.
The update is available immediately to existing Creative Cloud users, and owners of the latest CS6 software can activate the new updates by signing up for a subscription. New users will need to download the apps from Adobe and activate them with a Creative Cloud subscription, which can be on a flat-rate annual subscription, a month-by-month subscription or on a single-app level if required. Existing customers going back to CS3 can get a discount on annual full and single-app subscriptions for the first year to ease the transition and get up-to-date in one go.
The Creative Cloud apps come with 30-day free trials and 2GB of cloud storage. Single-app subscriptions are $10 per month for the first year for existing customers, $20 per month after that, but do not require an annual commitment. Access to the complete suite starts at $20 per month for the first year for CS6 users and $30 per month for CS3 and later users for the first year ($50 per month for new clients). After the first year, the full suite costs $50 per month on an annual commitment, or $75 per month on a "cancel anytime" subscription. There are separately-priced plans for business and teams, and a discounted price for students and teachers. The annual commitments include 20GB of cloud storage.
The new Creative Cloud suite was first unveiled in May and allows files to be easily shared via Adobe's cloud storage to Macs, Windows computers, iOS and Android apps as well as Behance. In addition to all of the Creative Cloud applications, CC members also gain free access to Behance ProSite to make portfolio websites, the Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) to turn publications into iPad periodicals, and PhoneGap Built to create other types of mobile apps. Also included is Adobe TypeKit for use on websites, and the company says that a future update will bring over 700 fonts to members as well -- along with new ways to manage, buy and sync other fonts.
The release formally introduces Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC and Premiere Pro CC among other programs. Together, the new versions offer hundreds of new features.
Adobe says that Photoshop CC includes new sharpening technologies, Camera Shake Reduction, an all-new Smart Sharpen, Adobe Camera Raw 8 and direct upload to Behance among other features. Illustrator also gains direct Behance uploading, along with a new Touch Type tool that allows text manipulation while remaining editable -- and works with a mouse, stylus or multi-touch device. The program can now enable painting with a brush made from a photo, and lets Air, Pattern and Scatter brushes contain raster images. InDesign CC has been essentially re-written with a new architecture that dramatically improves performance, and Adobe Muse offers artists and designers the ability to do in-browser editing, creating HTML-based websites without coding.