Today Adobe are releasing a major update to Creative Cloud. It will see significant updates to all 14 major applications, and there’s more exciting news about the product range.
Since the announcement of Creative Cloud, and more specifically the subscription model, Adobe have vowed to justify the new pricing with frequent updates. And that is something they have maintained since CC first launched. However they found that third party suppliers, such as plugin developers and book authors, wanted definite major versions that they could write and test for. Consequently, this release will informally be known as Creative Cloud 2014, and we’ll be getting annual major updates year on year for the foreseeable future. Adobe have guaranteed that the regular updates CC subscribers enjoy will continue to roll out throughout the year.
As part of the announcement Adobe will be delivering a new Creative Cloud plan for photographers, which features Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99 per month. It’s unlikely to be of interest to web designers, who either like CC enough to sign-up for a complete license, or will make do without. Students may be pleased to hear that they have a new package too, priced at $19.99 per month, it's still on the expensive side for most students.
There are a variety of new capabilities in the updates: one of the most popular likely to be enhanced support for Smart Objects across multiple documents in Photoshop; another will be the inclusion of Live Shapes in Illustrator.
One incredibly exciting feature of the announcement is the inclusion of three new mobile apps, for creating content on an iPad. Those apps are Adobe Sketch, Adobe Line and Adobe Photoshop Mix—yes, that’s Photoshop on your tablet. Vitally, the mobile apps all sync seamlessly with your CC desktop apps. Android users will be disappointed to learn that Android versions are not yet in development, Adobe will be assessing the demand before committing, however given the likely demand the apps should arrive at some point in the future.
In addition to Adobe’s own mobile apps, Adobe have announced their new Creative SDK, currently being beta tested for release in the coming months, the SDK will allow iOS app developers to harness the power of Adobe applications in their own iOS applications.
To compliment the mobile apps, we’re finally going to be able to purchase Adobe’s much anticipated hardware; a stylus and a unique ruler-like device for drawing on touchscreens. Previewed some time ago as projects Mighty and Napoleon, the two devices will now be known as Ink and Slide, and will be available to buy as a package, initially within the U.S. only and expanding from there.
There’s no question that Adobe’s enhancements to Creative Cloud will be welcomed by subscribers, but a question very much remains over whether CC is a relevant tool for web designers. With responsive design making itself the default approach for new web projects, it’s difficult to see a future for webdesign work in such static applications.
Adobe have yet to solve the responsive tools issue, and no amount of new filters are going to hide that. Creative Cloud is a fantastic set of applications, and this new major update delivers real improvement, but I can’t help feeling that web design has moved on.
Ben Moss has designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. When he’s not in front of a screen he’s probably out trail-running.