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adobe

For every Microsoft Word, there’s a Pages — a lightweight option that dispels with a couple of professional features, but still manages to find users because of what’s often described as a superior user interface and compelling ease-of-use. In the case of Photoshop, those options are Acorn and Pixelmator (with Pixelmator being my weapon of choice).

Apps like these aren’t necessarily matching Photoshop feature-for-feature, but they do capture enough of those tools at bargain-bin prices to make them valuable assets to anybody’s digital arsenal. When compared to Adobe Illustrator, iDraw is the Mac-exclusive beautiful-but-bargain-bin competition — especially compared to the often-despised steep subscription fee for Creative Cloud. Read on to find out if iDraw wows me in the same way Pixelmator and Pages do.

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It’d be hard to be a creative professional and not have heard the drama around Adobe’s move to subscriptions with Creative Cloud‘s release. We’ve covered the good and bad of the move to subscriptions, and even wrote an Open Letter to Adobe about the changes. Creative Cloud has many good things — it’s even cheaper than buying Master Collection and upgrading every time — and the upgraded apps have a lot of nice new features. There’s even the value-add of font and file sync. But, if you want to own your apps, or not have to pay for upgrades and new features you don’t want, though, it’s hard to see the upside to Adobe’s new move to a subscription-only system.

The good thing is, Adobe’s got more competition for its apps than ever before, especially on the Mac. There’s an embarrassment of riches on the App Store and beyond for everything from photo editing to web design to animation. We’ve rounded up the best alternate apps to everything Adobe sells, from Acrobat to Premiere and everything in-between, so if you’re not so excited about shelling out $50/month to Adobe, here’s your chance to jump ship with great new apps.

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Adobe promised with their move to Creative Cloud subscriptions that they’d be updating their apps quicker and adding more value with services. The quicker updates have already been coming, with new editing features coming to Premiere Pro only a month after the new CC version had been released, but the services part hadn’t come along quite as quickly. We’ve been waiting for the originally promised file and Typekit font sync ever since the new Creative Cloud’s release. Just when it seemed that it’d never come, though, Adobe finally opened early access to syncing that’s been rolling out this week.

Apparently good things still come to those who wait, because Creative Cloud file and font syncing works very nicely. Here’s what you can expect when your Creative Cloud — or standalone Typekit Portfolio — plan gets desktop sync enabled.

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Lightroom 4 was the gigantic leap in image development that really set Lightroom ahead of the Aperture curve for many Mac users. It was a tremendous update, and just over a month ago, Adobe followed up with Lightroom 5 and is jumping ahead of the curve again.

I still use Aperture, which I find fits better into my workflow, but I always want to try the latest and greatest to see if it’s worth switching. And Lightroom 5 is tremendously tempting — check out a sample list of the new features. Let’s take a look at it to see what extra power under the hood it brings both seasoned pros and hobbyists. (more…)

Back at the end of June, I received a press release from Toronto-based developers Marketcircle, the team behind the acclaimed Mac business app Daylite (which I recently reviewed right here on Mac.AppStorm), stating that Billings would be discontinued and that Billings Pro would be offered in its place. It took me a while (and a couple of reads through the e-mail) to actually process what was going on and, more importantly, what it would mean for me seeing as I was a keen Billings user.

For those of you who don’t know, Billings is a great time-tracking and invoicing application aimed towards freelancers. Not only can you keep track of all your clients (and bill them for your services) but you’ve also got access to some pretty powerful reporting tools (these are especially useful when it comes to filling out your tax return) and the app will also keep track of all your unpaid invoices, reminding you when any are overdue.

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Dear Adobe,

You’ve done a great job with your Creative Cloud apps. We love the new features, and the new Creative Cloud installation process is worlds better than the old Creative Suite installer. We’re excited about your new direction with training videos, versioned backup, and Typekit font sync. It’s great.

But that hasn’t kept everyone happy. Every time we write about Creative Cloud, our readers let us know how the new subscriptions plans don’t work out for them. Even if they like the new features, they’re not planning to upgrade because of price, or because they want to know that they’ll be able to keep their programs forever. They’re frustrated enough that they’re signing petitions to get you to change back to the old Creative Suite style.

That’s why we’re writing this letter. We think you’re onto something good with Creative Cloud — but you need to go just a bit further to make everyone happy. We think there’s a way to make everyone happy, or at least almost everyone, so here’s the idea. (more…)

Adobe released their latest version of Creative Suite — what would have been Creative Suite 7 — earlier today. Only this time, Creative Suite is no more, superseded by Adobe’s new subscription offering, Creative Cloud.

Creative Cloud is a controversial release, since longtime Adobe customers want a way to buy a permanent license, or at least wish for more subscription options so they don’t have to get everything. But for now, Creative Cloud is what it is — and it’s a big upgrade to all of Adobe’s main apps.

Here’s how Creative Cloud will work for you, if you’ve already got a copy of Creative Suite and want to upgrade and get the latest features.

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At this week’s Adobe MAX event, the firm behind the leading creative apps for Macs and PCs announced that Creative Suite is now dead. Its replacement? Creative Cloud, the new subscription version of Adobe’s apps. They’re still native Mac (or Windows) apps, like you’ve used for years, only this time, you buy them via a $50/month subscription instead of paying hundreds or thousands upfront for a full suite.

That’s not all bad news; if you used to upgrade every year or so to the latest Master Collection, you’ll likely save money with Creative Cloud. But if you used the same version of Photoshop for years without upgrading, it’ll be much more expensive (over time, at least) to upgrade in the future.

Then, though, on the Mac, it’s rather easy to skip Creative Suite these days. There’s amazing image editors like Pixelmator and Acorn, vector apps like Artboard and Sketch, Apple’s own Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for video and Audio, PDFpen and Preview for PDF documents, and more. There’s even Adobe’s own more affordable Photoshop and Premiere Elements if you need just the basics of what Adobe offers.

If you’ve switched, we’d love to hear what apps you’re using instead of Adobe’s staple apps in the comments below!

Ever needed to quickly convert a video or audio file into a different format, and searched around for an app to do it quickly? Perhaps you found an app, but wanted one with more options or that could handle the job better. If you own Adobe Creative Suite or have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – as nearly 70% of our readers said they do in our poll this week – then you’ve got a great media converter ready to use: Adobe Media Encoder.

Let’s take a quick look at one of the least well-know members of Adobe’s Creative Suite family of apps, one that’s included in ever single edition of Creative Suite but that’s never usually mentioned alongside the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator. It just might be the best media tool you never knew you had.

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Last year, Adobe launched their Creative Cloud subscription service along with the newly released Creative Suite 6. Creative Cloud lets you download every one of the full apps from Creative Suite Master Collection to your Mac or PC, and share creative files online for $49/month. That’s still pricey over time, but a huge savings over the initial cost of buying Creative Suite Master Collection outright for $2,599.

If you already have a copy of Creative Suite, though, upgrading to the latest version often still works out cheaper if you have a smaller edition. I had Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard, and upgraded to CS6 Design Standard for far less than a Creative Cloud subscription would have cost me. Another option is buying a one-app version of Creative Cloud, which is one way, say, to get Photoshop for $19/month.

Creative Cloud apps get updates more often than their traditional Creative Suite counterparts, so Photoshop users especially already have new features over those of use with Creative Suite. It’s one of the many ways Adobe is trying to push us all over to the subscription side.

About 15% of you said you plan to get Creative Cloud in our poll last year, and more said you’d consider it. That’s why we’re wondering how many of you actually use Creative Cloud. Has it worked out good for you, or are traditional upgrades still your preferred way of getting Adobe apps?

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