We have been working on a review of Adobe Creative Suite 6 for a while. The learning curve and functionality of this professional visual landscape of all kinds of media is massive and impressive. As with most things software and digital, if you don't check things in a few months, the world changes. Adobe announced that it will no longer upgrade its creative suites and improve features in the Adobe Creative Cloud by subscription, only, earlier this month. This announcement may or may not affect your decision to buy Adobe Creative Suite 6.
Designers who formerly would pay a thousand dollars or so per upgrade now must pay the monthly service fee as long as they use the product if they want the latest features. We have been using Adobe Creative Suite 6 for several months in the hope of understanding the best ways to create media for all devices including mobile devices.
- Improved speed and performance from previous suites.
- Support for multiple formats like iPad, Kindle Fire, YouTube, Vimeo and smartphones.
- When bought as a package, you get more software for your money.
- Photoshop added 3D editing.
- DreamWeaver suports HTML5 and CSS3.
- Premiere Pro offers professional video editing, drag & drop file insertion/editing, dashboard customization and integration with Adobe Flash, After Effects and Illustrator.
- Premiere Pro new tools include; Warp Stabilizer, Adjustment Layers, Dynamic Timeline trimming and Rolling Shutter Repair.
- All elements work together with easy integration.
- Unified style of interfaces, menus and operations have familiar look and feel.
- Many file formats and mobile considerations offered.
- Some Adobe Creative Suite 6 packages have been discounted.
- Can be installed on a desktop computer (Mac of PC) for use anywhere without Internet access.
The Bad News about Adobe Creative Suite 6
- You will not be able to upgrade unless through the cloud monthly model for new features.
- Initial investment high but offers a lot of bang for buck. Prices range from $1299 (Standard), $1899 (Production or Web) and $2,599 (Master).
- Requires a lot disk space, RAM and fast processor
- Complicated buying structure for which program comes with what suite.
- Cloud-based only upgrade, makes for a cloudy controversy.
The cloud only upgrade may be helpful to those who say only need the suite for a project, one in a while. Those who want to upgrade only one software product won't be able to do so. Say a photographer, uses primarily PhotoShop and Adobe Premiere Pro, once in while, previously, he could upgrade just one software product, now it all products on the cloud, you can only subscribe to one product or all products. The cloud software, however is always up to date.
Adobe claimed that "Creative Cloud reimagines the creative process through a stunning set of “CC” desktop applications and sophisticated cross-device collaboration and publishing capabilities:
Creative Cloud allows users to stay connected with work groups and the creative community via their desktop, website, or mobile device. It offers the services necessary to publish highly personalized portfolio websites using Behance ProSite, high-impact digital magazines for iPad using Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) Single Edition, and PhoneGap Build to create and publish mobile apps for any device.
New Software Features of Creative Cloud:
- Photoshop CC with new sharpening technologies and designer workflow enhancements
- For designers, the Touch Type tool in Illustrator CC offers a new level of creativity with type.
- For video, Adobe Premiere Pro CC includes dramatic new editing features, customizations and improvements to help editors work efficiently.
- Advances in Adobe’s family of Edge tools and services. DreamWeaver will offer up-to-date CSS and properties via the intuitive visual editing tool, CSS Designer. And Adobe Flash Pro CC features a modern, modular 64-bit architecture rebuilt from the ground up to be fast and reliable.
Membership Plans and Availability
Creative Cloud membership for individuals is US$49.99 a month ($599.88 per year) with annual membership. Students and teachers can get Creative Cloud for $29.99 per month ($359.88) per year and $19.99 a month for first year($239.88 a year). Individual app use is $19.99 a month (annual).
Special pricing for existing customers with an annual discount promotional pricing for the first year only.
- CS3 and later get Creative Complete for $29.99 a month = $359.88 a year.
- CS6 customers get Creative Complete for $19.99 a month = $239.88 a year.
- CS3 and later get Single App for $9.99 a month = $119.88 a year.
- Discounts are only valid if you join by July 31, 2013.
Software companies are entering the subscription based realm similar to wireless carriers, with a contract. After the cloud-only announcement a petition was created at change.org stating
"You should support this petition because Adobe is making their already expensive products even more expensive in the long run. Adobe is robbing small business, freelancers, and the average consumer. They do not seem to understand that every company is a not multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation that has an infinite amount of resources."
The petition has over 26,000 signers. You are welcome to give your opinion in the comments below. For cost-conscious buyers, the solution appears to be finding independent or open-source products with similar features. Let us know your solutions in the comments below.