Adobe Creative Cloud review

23 Apr 2012

A different way of paying for and accessing the applications of CS6, it shows huge promise

Creative Suite 6 offers a new way to access the software. Rather than purchasing one of the four main bundles, you can now access what you need via a monthly subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which also offers some major benefits over a traditional purchase.

For a start, the £38 exc VAT monthly fee (on an annual contract, £57 exc VAT a month without) gives access to everything in the Master Collection and more. The Business Catalyst hosting service, Typekit for web fonts, the Digital Publishing Suite for pushing content to tablets, the Edge Preview and Muse for web development – they’re all included, along with Adobe’s touch apps for tablets.

Adobe Creative Cloud

The key is that, although applications are downloaded and installed locally, the cloud is at the heart of everything. An account can have Windows and Mac versions installed on two machines, and you’ll get software updates as and when they’re ready, rather than waiting for the next full release. An internet connection is only really required every so often to check you’re still paying, but with one your files are kept in sync via the 20GB of included online storage, and you also open up CS6’s collaborative potential.

Adobe’s goal with Creative Cloud is to join up and simplify more complex development processes: create on a tablet, edit on a Mac and push to a smartphone, all synced and shared via the cloud. It allows you to share files with other users, who can view and comment in a browser even if they don’t have the associated application installed.

Adobe Creative Cloud

At £38 per month, or £22 if you own any suite from CS3 onwards, Creative Cloud won’t be for everyone. But for new users a monthly fee lowers the entry barrier to CS6 dramatically. Add in the flexibility of the multiple development platforms linked together by the cloud, not to mention the possibility of effectively renting the entire suite for a short-term project, and Creative Cloud looks an exciting alternative for smaller teams and freelancers.

Click here to return to the full Adobe Creative Suite 6 review.