Adobe announces Creative Cloud Express, a hint towards its freemium future?

Adobe Creative Cloud Express on a tablet and phone
(Image credit: Adobe)

If you're keen to use Adobe's powerful creative tools, but are less excited about their high prices, the company's new Creative Cloud Express app could be for you. Effectively a lite version of its software suite, the app is free to use on mobile devices or via web browser, with extra features costing $9.99 / £10.10 / AU$14.29 a month.

Creative Cloud Express is designed for students, small business owners, or for those who want to turn a hobby into a career. Instead of a collection of apps, here you download just one app that gives you features to edit photos, trim videos and create GIFs, while making content that’s relevant to your customers.

It’s the first freemium product from Adobe, and with Christmas fast approaching, it could be a great entry point for those who want to try out Adobe’s products on their new devices.

Who would want this?

Available from today, you can download Creative Cloud Express for free, from the Microsoft store, Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The free plan includes:

  • Create on both web and mobile.
  • Thousands of templates, design assets, and Adobe Fonts.
  • A limited collection of royalty-free Adobe Stock free collection photos.
  • Basic editing and photo effects including removing backgrounds and animations.
  • 2GB of storage.

You only need to sign up and you can use the above features straight away. It’s a new angle that Adobe is offering here, as you would have had to sign up for a free trial for Creative Cloud at least, to see if apps such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro were suited to your needs.

The paid plan includes a 3-month free trial with more images and templates to use, alongside the ability to export a project into PDF and other useful features. You can sign up and get a feel for whether Express or the full Creative Cloud package is best for you.

Its press release also stated that an Enterprise edition of Express is coming in 2022, which would help businesses offer the package to its employees in one go.


Analysis: A hint towards the future? 

So far the new offering from Adobe looks impressive, with its demos showing both tablets and web browsers using Express. With many users going through their favored web browser to use certain web apps, it could show what the future holds for Adobe and Creative Cloud going forward.

Express looks to be the start of this, and if its features expand to those that are inspired by Adobe’s other apps such as Illustrator and XD, this new package is an enticing and exciting start.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.