Adobe unveils Creative Suite 5.5 with subscriptions, iPad tools for Photoshop

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Adobe on Monday officially announced Creative Suite 5.5, a new mid-cycle upgrade for its creative applications, bringing subscription pricing and new multi-touch iPad applications for operating Photoshop.



The Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 family marks a major change to Adobe's product release strategy for Creative Suite. Adobe said it now plans to have milestone Creative Suite product introductions at 24-month intervals and -- starting with Creative Suite 5.5 -- significant mid-cycle releases.



As part of Creative Suite 5.5, Adobe has launched a subscription-based pricing plan. Subscription Editions ensure that customers are always working with the most up-to-date versions of the software without the upfront cost of full pricing.



Subscription pricing allows users to access flagship products like Adobe Photoshop for as little as $35 per month, Adobe Design Premium CS 5.5 for $95 per month, or Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection for $129 per month.



"Creative Suite 5.5 will drive the development of new digital experiences across devices, including all major smartphones and tablets," said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer at Adobe. "As publishers, media companies, advertisers and enterprises transform the way they develop and distribute their content, Adobe will be there to support them with technology innovations in content creation, management, measurement and distribution."







In addition, Adobe announced three new iPad applications that demonstrate the creative possibilities of using tablets to drive common Photoshop workflows -- Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. THese are designed to enable users to create custom swatches, paint and drive popular Photoshop tools from tablet devices.



The applications are a part of the Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit, which allows developers to create mobile and tablet applications that interact with Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended software. The Photoshop Touch SDK and new scripting engine will allow Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS applications to drive and interact with Photoshop on the desktop.



"Our research shows that creatives are adopting tablets faster than any other group and we heard loud and clear that they want to use their devices to interact with Photoshop, the tool they depend on most of all," said John Loiacono, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media Solutions, Adobe. "The apps that we announced today show some of the creative ways tablets can work with Photoshop and over the next few months Photoshop?s vibrant developer community is going to dazzle us with innovative apps that further integrate tablet devices into creative workflows."







Adobe Color Lava, allows creative professionals to use their fingertips to mix colors on the iPad, creating custom color swatches and themes to transfer back into Photoshop.



Adobe Eazel, which takes advantage of cutting-edge painting technology, lets digital artists create rich realistic paintings with their fingertips and introduces a new kind of interaction between "wet" and "dry" paints. These paintings can then be sent directly to Photoshop CS5 for compositing or for taking the artwork further.



Lastly, Adobe Nav increases workflow efficiency by letting users select and control Photoshop tools using the iPad as the input surface, customize the toolbar, browse and zoom in on up to 200 open Photoshop files or easily create new files.



All three applications take advantage of the iPad tablet?s touch screen for a truly immersive, tactile, on-the-go experience. While the first applications available are for the Apple iPad and the iOS, the Photoshop Touch SDK makes development possible on other devices, including Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.



The Adobe Color Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav applications for Photoshop are expected to be available in early May 2011, ranging in price from US$1.99-$4.99, on the iTunes App Store.



Beyond the new tablet-centric features, Creative Suite 5.5 also includes:



Access Latest Advances in Digital Publishing



Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium Suite builds upon Adobe's recent product innovations in digital publishing, already deployed by some of the world?s leading magazine and business publishers to create stunning digital editions for tablet devices. Using Adobe InDesign CS5.5, in combination with the integrated Folio Producer toolset, designers can add new levels of interactivity to their page layouts targeted to tablet devices.



Documents can include video, audio, panoramic views, 360-degree object rotation, pan and zoom of images, integration of HTML and HTML5 content and other interactive overlays, leading to a much more robust and engaging reading experience. Creative Suite 5.5 complements Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to support publication, sale and analysis of content on an array of tablet devices.



Powerful New Video Capabilities



For video and audio professionals, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium Suite delivers breakthrough performance, workflow improvements, creative innovations and powerful new audio editing capabilities that build upon the huge customer momentum Production Premium is experiencing with broadcasters, filmmakers and video professionals worldwide.



In just one of the innovations, the powerful Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, introduced in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, broadens its graphics processing unit hardware support to include laptops and more supported cards, allowing users to open projects faster, get real-time feedback and work more smoothly at higher resolutions.



Accelerate and Optimize Creative Workflows



Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products integrate with Adobe CS Live, a set of online services that accelerate key aspects of the creative workflow and enable designers to focus on creating their best work. CS Live online services include: Adobe BrowserLab; Adobe CS Review; Acrobat.com; Adobe Story; and Adobe SiteCatalyst NetAverages.



The new Creative Suite product lineup is headlined by Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection, which includes, in a single package, all of Adobe?s creative tools, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat®, Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. These products are available separately or as components of one or more of the five Creative Suite editions. The complete Creative Suite 5 lineup includes Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection, Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium, Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium and Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard.



Pricing and Availability



Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products are scheduled to ship within 30 days, with availability through Adobe Authorized Resellers, the Adobe Store at adobe.com/store in North America and Adobe Direct Sales. Estimated street price for the suites is expected to be US $2,599 for CS5.5 Master Collection, US $1,899 for CS5.5 Design Premium, US $1,799 for CS5.5 Web Premium, US $1,699 for CS5.5 Production Premium and US $1,299 for CS5.5 Design Standard. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available.



By subscribing to Creative Suite, customers can choose a one-year subscription plan for lower payments or a month-to-month subscription for greater flexibility. For more information about Subscription Editions, visit: adobe.com/go/cssubscription.



Education pricing for students, faculty and staff in K-12 and higher education is available from Adobe Authorized Education Resellers and the Adobe Education Store at adobe.com/education/purchasing/education_pricing.html. More information regarding education volume licensing for higher education and K-12 institutions can be viewed at adobe.com/aboutadobe/volumelicensing/education.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 705member
    i sure hope there's an upgrade price for existing users, because $1140 for the CSP is a shit-load of money when, in the past, i'd pay $660 and change for an entire upgrade.



    serious fail as far as i'm concerned.



    and, to add insult to injury, they probably haven't even fixed bugs in their current suite.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    mguymguy Posts: 5member
    Whatever company releases a *real* competitor to Photoshop is going to make a lot of money.
  • Reply 3 of 55
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,453member
    Many good ideas but it's starting to look ever more complicated if that is even possible. I can't keep up with all the Adobe products and what they do any more and I've used them since all Adobe had was PostScript. As mguy said, another company needs to come out with a professional level competitor that starts afresh with the whole concept rather than bolting more and more and more on.



    If Adobe had the guts to cannibalize their own sales (often said to being the key to survival) they could do this themselves. I doubt they will ever do that and like MS clinging to Office or Kodak to silver halides they will ultimately pay the price I suspect.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    No matter how they spin it, this is just an attempt to get more money. Subscription=need to be online=won't be able to add the old 'activate.adobe.com' entry to your hosts file anymore.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    Nice video. Looks like Adobe is on the rebound.



    J.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    rfrmacrfrmac Posts: 88member
    Continues to be to rich for my blood. I will look at the upgrade pricing but for now, to rich.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    I applaud Adobe for not letting its spat with Apple over Flash stop it developing for the Mac platform. That's a good move. Apps on iPad from Adobe will be a natural.



    And InDesign is a really beautiful piece of work, which for me has become the gold standard for my interest in book layout.



    BUT... but... the product portfolio remains utterly confusing.. you need to buy so many bits to do anything useful.. Photoshop for your imaging work except you can't draw complex shapes so now you need Illustrator too, Oh! and animation? You need Flash. Or is it Fireworks?? On and on it goes. It's all too confusing, and that's without even thinking about what all this would cost. For the average guy, kitting yourself up with Adobe products to be able to do a range of tasks is simply too damn expensive.



    So what do the marketing masterminds come up with to deal with this? These geniuses go for subscription pricing. Great idea! I'm on for that. Hang on though, what's the cost going to be? Well, wouldn't you know it, these guys just can't get off the goose that laid their golden eggs! They want you to rent at rates so you'll shell out the entire normal retail price in a little over a year!!??!!



    Talk about dumb. Talk about greedy. This is a non-starter in my view. Now if they put a rental price so that you paid the purchase price over, say 3 or 4 years even, NOW you might have an attractive model.



    They are just shooting themselves in the foot. There's past experience to look at in this regard. Apple's Aperture at $79 is a great selection over Adobe's Lightroom at around $300. And of course Apple's Final Cut has knocked out Premiere, on price, functionality and performance. Pixelmator at $30 does a VERY serviceable job at replacing quite a bit of Photoshop's capability at $600.



    On their current pricing model my belief is Adobe is simply building up pressure for competitors to come eat their lunch.
  • Reply 8 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mguy View Post


    Whatever company releases a *real* competitor to Photoshop is going to make a lot of money.



    I bought Pixelmator, which certainly does the Photoshop basics rather well, and in addition it has some neat facilities that it can do very easily which I was just never able to grasp in the much more complex Photoshop. Pixelmator is still a work in progress and bugs are annoyingly still to be found, BUT at $30 it has to be considered a brilliant buy, in my view. I've done some spectacular work I would not even know how to start in Photoshop, so I'm a happy camper.
  • Reply 9 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post


    i sure hope there's an upgrade price for existing users, because $1140 for the CSP is a shit-load of money when, in the past, i'd pay $660 and change for an entire upgrade.



    serious fail as far as i'm concerned.



    and, to add insult to injury, they probably haven't even fixed bugs in their current suite.



    No kidding. A Photoshop upgrade sets you back $199 and the initial purchase would be $699.



    So even if one didn't already own a copy, if one bought the program and then upgraded annually, the total cost for the first three years would be $1,097 compared to subscribing for three years costing $1,260. If instead of upgrading annually, you did it every two years, the savings would be even more dramatic.



    Surely there has been some sort of misunderstanding because I can't believe that Adobe is offering a subscription model that is substantially more expensive than owning the software outright. Then again, this is Adobe we're talking about.



    I suppose if you just needed the software for a few months or were starting a business and didn't know if it would last, there could be some logic in a subscription but how many of us fall into that category. I suspect Adobe will have a hard time convincing anyone to sign up for the subscription if we are talking $35 a month for Photoshop.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Adobe comes out with 2 iPad only apps, I got a feeling that there is something up with the Adobe/Apple. Like Flash on the iPad 2 and iPhone 5. Don't beat me up, I'm wildly speculating here.



    But better HTML 5 tools will definitely be a welcome addition. We have a site contract with Adobe so we get this update for free. Our interactive creatives and developers will certainly make use of these tools.
  • Reply 11 of 55
    I agree with the previous posts and have felt this way for a long time -- Adobe's products have gotten far too complicated and expensive.



    Way over-engineered: when I try to explain to someone trying to learn Photoshop or other program in the Suite that in order to get a simple menu to perform a task you have to first find a tiny little area of a drop-down box that is perhaps only about 5 pixels in width, they look at me like I'm crazy. It's sort of like the "Where's Waldo?" of the software world.



    I had hoped that Apple's Pages layout ability would develop color management, and if it did, it could replace 80 or 90% of basic layout tasks for most folks. Unfortunately they haven't even come out with Pages '11 yet.



    But... Adobe won't continue on this path successfully forever. The comments here are spot-on -- it leaves the door wide open for someone to re-think how to accomplish these tasks and to make it available for 1/4 the price. Sales volumes would be huge.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    Adobe comes out with 2 iPad only apps, I got a feeling that there is something up with the Adobe/Apple. Like Flash on the iPad 2 and iPhone 5. Don't beat me up, I'm wildly speculating here.



    But better HTML 5 tools will definitely be a welcome addition. We have a site contract with Adobe so we get this update for free. Our interactive creatives and developers will certainly make use of these tools.



    I never got that impression. Adobe is just trying to make money here and the iPad will have an installed base of 50-70 million by the end of this year. Note that Adobe has also announced or released (I forget which) a few HTML5 authoring convert/export tools so they might have finally seen the light.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Many good ideas but it's starting to look ever more complicated if that is even possible. I can't keep up with all the Adobe products and what they do any more and I've used them since all Adobe had was PostScript. As mguy said, another company needs to come out with a professional level competitor that starts afresh with the whole concept rather than bolting more and more and more on.



    If Adobe had the guts to cannibalize their own sales (often said to being the key to survival) they could do this themselves. I doubt they will ever do that and like MS clinging to Office or Kodak to silver halides they will ultimately pay the price I suspect.



    Pixelmator has been out for quite some time but has failed to create much of a following among professionals. I bought it and it works fine but I much prefer Photoshop. I realize that PS is complicated but I've been using it everyday since version 1 so I never really had to deal with the learning curve.



    Overall I like the announcement. It looks like Adobe took Steve's "lazy" remark personally as It appears they have been rather busy lately. I'm looking forward to the new HTML5 tools.
  • Reply 14 of 55
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,583member
    Here's to sticking with CS3 for another 4 years! Terrible value proposition for the mid-market folks like myself that appreciate the value of the proper software (mainly Illustrator and InDesign), but really see limited value from most of these upgrades.



    BTW, the term "subscription" is used like Autodesk; your subscription gives you free updates while you keep it active; if you stop subscribing, you have to buy the full version the next time.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    No kidding. A Photoshop upgrade sets you back $199 and the initial purchase would be $699.



    So even if one didn't already own a copy, if one bought the program and then upgraded annually, the total cost for the first three years would be $1,097 compared to subscribing for three years costing $1,260. If instead of upgrading annually, you did it every two years, the savings would be even more dramatic.



    I didn't get the impression that you couldn't still buy it. You don't have to use the subscriptions. People who complain about the price of Photoshop are not professional users. You can make back the cost of the whole suite in just two or three projects. If you think CS is expensive take a look at AutoCad subscriptions. Or just go pirate it like you usually do.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    i rarely use photoshop now. nearly all my post processing needs are accomplished in either aperture or lightroom. the only feature that i miss seeing in both applications is perspective crop. this feature is so helpful when i take pictures of my paintings, because no matter how much fuss i put into making sure that the x, y, and z plains are level (called keystone?), the final is always off by a little but still noticeable. i wish perspective crop would find its way into aperture and lightroom, and photoshop app for the ipad and iphone.



    anyway, i think $35 per month is a bit much. i think the chances of getting more subscriptions and more income at $5 per month is greater than the 35-dollar-per-month plan. perhaps the following plans would work better for most users and adobe: $5 per month granting basic feature access, and $35 per month granting "professional" access. perspective crop should be included in the basic feature access.



    ps: since adobe's creative suite has become so large (big gigabytes) and "cluttered" with features, it could not fit in Apple App store to make an easy sale, perhaps adobe should redesign their collection. for example, they could create a basic photoshop app to sell through the app store. if a user finds that he or she needs another set of features, he or she has the option to purchase the additional module for X-dollars.
  • Reply 17 of 55
    Back when the iPad was first released I imagined it being used as an extension to desktop apps in a more meaningful way than has been done up until now. Adobe creating a Photoshop specifically for this type of interaction is awesome and something I expected from Apple in a more widely available fashion. Adobe beat Apple to the punch here.



    As for pricing, the "rental" thing is a fine alternative. There have been times where it could have helped me out. I don't use that many Adobe programs and don't need most of the newer features, but if I can use a couple of the newer features for a month for a price like offered I can see it useful. It's always going to be more cost effective to buy it outright IF you will be using it consistently and will be using all the apps in a suite, for instance.



    I'm siding with Adobe getting woken up out of a little slumber when Apple outright attacked Adobe's handling of Flash and slow uptake on the mobile space. Adobe is gaining my respect in its reaction. Let's see Flash transition 100% to a creation tool for multimedia via the tech formerly known as HTML 5. That will be something. Going to be rough going as the standards settle, however.



    Overall, very cool progress on Adobe's part and I'm no Adobe apologist.
  • Reply 18 of 55
    gmhutgmhut Posts: 242member
    Upgrade previously for Design premium = $599.



    Subscription per year at $95 per month = $1,140



    Why would anyone do that? Hardly a bargain.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    Here's to sticking with CS3 for another 4 years! Terrible value proposition for the mid-market folks like myself that appreciate the value of the proper software (mainly Illustrator and InDesign), but really see limited value from most of these upgrades.



    BTW, the term "subscription" is used like Autodesk; your subscription gives you free updates while you keep it active; if you stop subscribing, you have to buy the full version the next time.



    Pure FUD
  • Reply 20 of 55
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GMHut View Post


    Upgrade previously for Design premium = $599.



    Subscription per year at $95 per month = $1,140



    Why would anyone do that? Hardly a bargain.



    Possibly as Adobe has described:

    Quote:

    Subscribing is a great option to consider if:
    • You use an individual Creative Suite tool, like Photoshop, and would like access to everything offered by a Creative Suite edition, such as Design Premium, at an affordable monthly cost

    • You haven’t upgraded your software in years and want to move up to the current version at an affordable monthly cost

    • You have never used Creative Suite software and want an alternative way to try it for the first time

    • Also, the month-to-month plan is a terrific option if you work on a freelance basis or are a small business owner and have only an occasional need for Creative Suite software, or want to move your staff to Creative Suite with a smaller initial financial outlay.




    Just like businesses that leases their office equipment, vehicles, premises, etc. Your accountant, auditor, tax consultant (or your wife) could better explain it.



    BTW, Upgrade price for Design Premium is $399. Obviously, you would have to be an idiot if you were considering subscribing for something you already own and is upgradeable.
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