Adobe has announced the 2015 release of its Creative Cloud, a move which is frankly puzzling. All the major tools – Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, Premiere Pro CC and InDesign CC – have been updated, which looks an awful lot like a new release of the Creative Suite. Except, of course, there is no Creative Suite; Adobe did away with it precisely so that it would be free to update all these programs whenever new things were available, without having to wait until the suite could be revamped. And yet, here we are, with users paying to get regular updates, that have instead been rolled into a single 2015 version.
Nonetheless, Photoshop and Lightroom now gain a new Dehaze feature, which eliminates fog and haze from photos, including underwater shots. Adobe has also added design tools to Photoshop: Artboards, is for designing cross-device user experiences in a single Photoshop document (whatever that means); and Design Space, which is a new work environment for mobile app and website designers.
Premiere Pro benefits from a Lumetri Color Panel, which uses sliders and other simple controls for colour corrections. There’s also a new feature called Morph Cut, which makes it easier to deliver polished interview content by smoothing out jump cuts in talking-head shots to create a cohesive, polished sequence.
Curiously, Illustrator is now said to be 10 times faster than the CS6 version, which is hardly surprising given that CS6 is now several versions behind.
Adobe has also released a stock library service, Adobe Stock, which includes 40 million photos, vector graphics and illustrations, all available directly through the Creative Cloud.
Of course, the reason for this monolithic release is publicity. The problem with quietly updating all the programs online is that only the existing users know about it – and then only if they’ve kept their hardware up to date and can use the new versions. So every so often Adobe has to push out a big enough story to gain traction in the wider world. This is important because new products lead to new sales and help maintain the share price – something Adobe should have thought about before dropping its regular release schedule and perpetual licensing.
The other problem that is likely to become increasingly acute is the confusion caused by having multiple versions of these programs. This will particularly affect plug-ins from third-party developers.