Adobe CC: Great Idea or Awful Attempt?

Adobe officially announced their release of Adobe Creative Cloud yesterday at Adobe Max. This will affect many mobile application developers in some form since most artwork for apps is created using Photoshop, Flash, and/or Illustrator. Some of you may even use Dreamweaver or Flash to directly develop apps.

What does this mean for Adobe users? Well, the most noticeable difference is that you’ll no longer own their software. Buying Adobe Photoshop CC isn’t an option, you can only rent it from them. Adobe claims this model is great because using their cloud service, it will remember your tool preferences across multiple devices, you can save files to the cloud, collaborate more easily and share your work with a growing community of other creative individuals. That sounds like a lot of positive features, but let’s break it down.

Personally, saving my tool preferences across multiple devices isn’t an selling point. I do all of my work on one computer and only use my iPad for jotting down ideas or light sketching. This may be great for some people who will really appreciate it, though.

Saving your files to the cloud so you can collaborate is a nice feature. Unless you’re already using DropBox, a network, or other file sharing service. Since I own webspace and have 4 gigs of free DropBox space, Adobe’s Cloud service doesn’t interest me personally.

Finally, letting other members of the Adobe community see your works in progress for feedback. I’m very hesitant about that feature. I have rarely ever seen constructive criticism posted on the internet about anything. People tend to hide behind a user name to post derogatory comments, so I’m hoping this would be heavily moderated. Plus, when collaborating, you often sign non-disclosure agreements so you wouldn’t be sharing works in progress anyway for fear the idea might be stolen.

Adobe didn’t demonstrate too many new features to their products for mobile app development. They showed how Photoshop CC can make it easier to make mobile websites and I watched a video on showing how Flash CC can be turned to HTML5, but that doesn’t actually have anything to do with app development. Between Toon Boom starting to take over the animation world and Flash having to cater to HTML5, I’m actually surprised they bothered releasing a new version. I’d also be concerned about creating a .fla file in Flash CC, not renewing your monthly subscription and then not being able to edit the file until you resubscribe.

Overall, I haven’t seen anything innovative or interesting enough to make me drop CS6 and pay monthly to use CC. It feels like their new business model leans more towards their best interests rather than to consumer’s. The idea of a cloud isn’t new, renting software is obviously just to prevent piracy, and sharing files is also old news. I think I’m going to be a life-long CS6 user until the next best thing comes out, but right now, CC isn’t it.

What are your thoughts on Adobe’s new CC?

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