There are a lot of questions surrounding Adobe’s new Creative Cloud service. It’s been very popular and has surpassed expectations, yet many still wonder what it is and how it works. Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding Creative Cloud.
• Are the applications streamed from the cloud? No, each application is installed on your computer just like before. The install process is much easier as is the licensing, as it all runs much more seamlessly in the background. But the actual program is on your computer.
• Are the applications streamed to my computer over the internet? No. They are downloaded from the internet and installed with ease using one program called Application Manager. They then reside on your computer and can be used even if you’re not online.
• Do I have to be continually connected to use the applications? No. However because you can license software on a month-to-month basis, then at least once a month your computer has to be connected to the internet so that Adobe’s Application Manager can check in to make sure your license is still good and that your credit card is in good standing. If you live in a cave and don’t get online at least once a month, then you’ll be prompted to do so when needed. For everyone else that seems to live online, you’ll never notice a thing as it all happens in the background.
• How many computers does my license cover? You can use your applications on 2 computers with your Creative Cloud license. The idea is that it’s good for one main computer and one backup computer (like a laptop). Keep in mind that with Creative Cloud one can be a Mac and one can be a Windows machine as you get both install versions with your program.
• Is Creative Cloud like Dropbox? Sort of, but not really. In both cases you get some online storage, (20 Gigs with Creative Cloud), but there are some big differences too. Creative Cloud shows you thumbnails and previews in your browser, you can change layer states of PSD files and PDF files right in your browser, you can share files for review, you can determine what your recipient can and can’t do with a file that your sharing, and you can convert files to PDF for sharing, right in Creative Cloud.
• Is there a Free version? Yes, you can try Creative Cloud for free. You’ll get 2 Gigs of space instead of 20, and you’ll get 30 days to download and try the applications. After 30 days the applications will stop working and require a paid membership, but your 2 Gigs of space will remain.
• Do the Adobe iPad (and Android) apps come with Creative Cloud? Adobe wanted them to come with, but because of restrictions with the various app stores where you get download them, they couldn’t do it, so they instead cost extra. To make up for it, if you buy three iPad or Android apps and sync them with your Creative Cloud account, Adobe will give you a free month of Creative Cloud. This offer does not expire.
• Why should I do Creative Cloud instead of buying just the applications I want? With Creative Cloud you get the newest updates and features once they become available instead of waiting for the next version to come out. Some features will even be released before shrink-wrapped retail versions are released. You’ll get both Mac and PC versions (install one version on your Mac at home and one on your PC at work for instance), 20 Gigs of online storage, a great workflow for sharing and syncing files especially if you do commercial work or need images reviewed by a client, and syncing and access with iPads and other devices. Creative Cloud gives you the ability to pay month-to-month or go with a annual plan.
If you add up the costs of even 2 applications, you’re probably much better off with the entire Creative Cloud suite of applications. Some photographers only have Lightroom or Photoshop, but not both –however if you’re a professional photographer than you really need both, and you really need Acrobat and sometimes InDesign too. If you shoot video, then Premier is a must, as is AfterEffects and Audition. And some photographers could use Illustrator and Muse sometimes too, though not all the time. Buying the entire Master Suite isn’t feasible for everyone, but that and more comes with Creative Cloud.
Having Lightroom and Photoshop included makes it a definite go for photographers especially.
• What are the costs? There are various month-to-month prices depending on who you are. The normal fee is $79/mo. If you’re already some kind of Adobe client (CS3 or newer), you can try Creative Cloud for one year at only $29/mo. That offer expires soon. If you’re not eligible for the $29/mo plan and are a new Adobe client, you can do it for $49/mo right now if you sign up for a year.
There is special pricing for classrooms (which don’t apply to pros), and anyone can buy prepaid cards too, currently only available from Amazon and Staples right now. They give some businesses who can’t do subscriptions, the ability to pre-pay for 3 months or a year membership.
Any more Questions?
I’ve covered most of the big questions I get. However, if you still have a question, feel free to leave me it in the comment box below or go to Adobe’s new Creative Cloud FAQ page here. http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/faq.html