Creative Cloud 2015 Emerges and Confuses

(news & commentary)

For a company that once said that one of the reasons to go to the Cloud idea was to get away from monolithic Creative Suite releases, Adobe sure still seems to be doing monolithic releases. 

Today Creative Cloud gets a “2015” appendage to the product names, with virtually everything in the Cloud Suite getting an update. 

Photoshop CC 2015 gets some key performance gains, enhancements to layer styles, a new Dehaze filter, panorama merge gets a content aware fill during the pano creation, plus a range of other Web and text changes/additions, including a new function called Artboards.  Lightroom gets many of these same non-layer based changes, plus import from Photoshop Elements information is better handled. 

As usual, a few additional new cameras are supported by Camera Raw 9.1. If I’m seeing it correctly, only last week’s announced cameras haven’t made it to the supported list yet (even the Nikon D810a is now supported). Fujifilm X-Trans processing has apparently been enhanced, though Adobe notes “we are still investigating methods to improve fine detail rendering and overall edge definition.” A number of bugs were fixed, as well.

But, ugh. Actually, two ughs.

First, Lightroom CC 2015 versus the standalone Lightroom 6: the former gets the Dehaze ability, the latter apparently does not. I have no way to tell if this is true or not because I installed CC, so if anyone with the standalone version only can tell me what they got, it would be appreciated and I’ll update this article.

Plus once again Adobe has made their installer more confusing, not less. Right up top of the updater you get the choice of “Update all my apps to CC (2015).” Uh, wait, what? I’ve got two CC apps (Photoshop and Lightroom), and lots of CS6 apps. Does this mean I’d get Illustrator CC or not? 

I couldn’t tell from the installer of the Web page it points to for more information. My choices were “Update all my apps”, “Update all” for just CC apps (including ones listed I don’t have installed and haven’t leased), or “Update all” for “Previous versions,” which includes my Photoshop/Lightroom CC and all my CS6 apps. Eventually, after the installer crashed when I tried to just install for my previous versions, I tried the global “Update all my apps” button. Here’s what happens: sure enough, Adobe installs things like SpeedGrade CC 2015 on my machine, using up precious SSD space. SpeedGrade is then listed as “Start Trial” in the installer. 

Adobe claims that they’re trying to fix some of the confusion of previous updates (e.g. the Photoshop CC to Photoshop CC 2014 update) and allow you to choose whether or not to keep the previous version of not. Uh, no, I wasn’t given that choice based upon what I clicked. Worse still, for the CC apps I don’t currently lease from Adobe, I get those “Start Trial” buttons and memory space taken up. Not exactly what I want to have happen. 

The menu bar installer for CC now is displaying 38 apps in a long scrollable list in a smallish window on my system. Someone really needs to rethink the Adobe installer and how information is presented to the user. Instead, I’m getting a lot of “Start Trial” priorities I have to sort through to even understand what’s going on via Adobe’s installer. Now I have to spend some time going through and uninstalling a bunch of things I didn’t want on my system in the first place. It appears that Adobe’s sales team is in charge of the installer these days, not their customer quality assurance team. Wait, do they have one of those? 

In short, more of the same from Adobe: incremental updates to everything amounts to monolithic update of the suite and lots of confusion in the installer. This is seriously bad form. But it’s the same bad form Adobe has shown for quite some time now. 

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