Adobe is calling Creative Cloud 2015 a 'milestone' release, with speed and technology improvements across its desktop and mobile applications. The larger changes, though, are deeper, and aimed more at professional designers and illustrators and publishing organisations.
Creative Cloud is a subscription-based service – you pay a regular subscription to use the applications and online services, rather than buying a software licence outright (different subscription plans are available for different types of user). This subscription model means that the CC 2015 update is free for existing subscribers.
One of the more important announcements for publishing companies is that CC 2015 now offers enterprise-level administration, security, collaboration and publishing tools for businesses and large organisations.
The other big story is the announcement of Adobe Stock, which the company says is 'the industry's first stock content to be integrated directly into the creative process. It offers 40 million photos, vector graphics and illustrations at savings of 'up to 33%', though you have to pay extra to have Adobe Stock added to your subscription plan.
New tools for photographers
The Photography Plan continues unchanged and includes both Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC. There are a few new tools and features. One is a new 'Dehaze' filter to 'eliminate' fog and haze, both in regular outdoor shots and underwater photography. The Dehaze filter is also added to Lightroom CC.
The Content Aware Fill tool in Photoshop CC has been extended so that it can now fill the edges of stitched panoramas – thought it's about time, since Photoshop Elements, Photoshop's cheaper sibling, has been able to do this for a while.
The Blur Gallery now offers 'additive' noise to make the results look more natural, so that the blurred areas aren't unnaturally smooth compared to the rest of the image.
Adobe also says that the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush and Patch tools are now much faster, thanks to improvements to Adobe's Mercury Graphics Engine.
Other improvements to Photoshop CC are aimed at designers and illustrators.
Improvements to CC 2105 apps
A number of major Adobe desktop applications get some useful improvements in CC 2015.
Photoshop CC also has a new Design Space work environment helps mobile app and website designers, and Artboards are designed for 'cross-device user experiences on a single Photoshop document'.
Premiere Pro CC has a new Lumetri Color Panel for powerful colour corrections, and a Morph Cut tool for smoothing out jump cuts in talking head shots, for example.
After Effects CC now has Uninterrupted Preview so that you can adjust composition and even resize panels with affecting playback. Adobe Character Animator uses a webcam to capture facial movements and dialog and apply them to pre-configured characters, and a new Chart tool offers customisation and sharing options.
Illustrator CC is now ten times faster and 'more precise' than the CS6 version, the last version available on the old Perpetual Licence.
InDesign CC benefits from the same Mercury speed improvements, now scrolling, paging and zooming twice as fast as before.
Dreamweaver CC has new responsive web design capabilities for websites that can adapt to different screen sizes automatically.
Adobe continues to migrate its mobile apps to the Android platform too, adding Android versions of Brush CC, Shape CC, Color CC and Photoshop Mix. The company has also updated some of it's iOS apps, including Adobe Comp CC, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Sketch, Illustrator Draw, Brush CC, Shape CC and Color CC
A new Adobe Hue CC app is designed for videographers and film makers. Adobe says you can use an iPhone to capture the lighting and colours in a scene and then apply these llight and colour moods into a Premiere Pro CC or After Effects CC project.
Pricing and availability
Creative Cloud 2015 is available right now via the Creative Cloud app. Different subscription levels are available for different types of user, but here are three key options. Prices quoted are monthly payments based on an annual subscription
- Photography Plan (Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC): £8.57/US$9.99/AU$9.99
- Complete (all CC applications): £45.73/US$49.99/AU$49.99
- Plus Adobe Stock (all CC apps plus Adobe Stock): £69.72/US$79.98/AU$85.98