Adobe Unveils New Acrobat “DC” (ver. 12) – with Document Cloud
It’s been quite some time since the last release of Adobe Acrobat – it’s Acrobat XI, which shipped in October 2012 – so we’ve been eagerly awaiting to see what the next major version of this core product line would bring…
The Adobe “Document Cloud”? What does that mean? Is this the same brand of Acrobat toolset that we know and love, and use daily? Are there still Pro and Standard desktop tools, and perpetual licenses? Or is this a new type of web-based application or service that we can only use online, or via subscription?
Not to worry. Everything is as you want, only better. It looks like this long wait for Acrobat DC was actually worth it… This is Acrobat XII or 12, only raised to the next level.
The “Document Cloud” part just means there’s a place we can now store online the key PDF documents that we’re working with – and easily share with others for collaboration or digital signatures, or take with us anywhere for seamless access and use on mobile devices. It’s optional, of course. But essentially, it’s a set of integrated online tools and services that will help people and businesses better manage important documents. At the heart of Document Cloud will be Adobe Acrobat, the gold standard for creating, sharing and editing PDFs.
Adobe already offers a Creative Cloud and a Marketing Cloud – so a Document Cloud makes sense. Recent studies indicate that, despite your being able to move past printed books and photos and discs and instead consume the majority of your media content digitally, with most paper it’s just not the same. Incredibly, more than 80% of document work is still not digital, with documents often making one or more transitions into and out of paper, especially when signatures are involved.
The Document Cloud combines a completely reimagined Acrobat (Pro, Standard and Reader, plus mobile apps) with the power of free e-signatures for the first time. Using this set of tools, soon you’ll be able to create, edit, read, review, scan, sign, send, and track digital documents securely wherever you are — across desktops, mobile, and web. Adobe Reader DC users will receive 5 GB of free online storage space in the Document Cloud, while Acrobat DC subscribers will get 20 GB.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures – so check out this one-minute video for a quick demo of what the Document Cloud will do:
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Acrobat DC Products, Features, Licenses, Upgrades, Availability and Pricing
Our readers have been asking for the practical details on Acrobat DC, so here they are…
Acrobat is available today with either a one-time payment serial key (standalone or “perpetual” license) or monthly/annual payment plan (“subscription” license). The new Acrobat DC will continue to offer the option of either perpetual or subscription licensing – it’s your choice. Subscription (“Continuous”) customers will be entitled new features on an ongoing basis along with the regular product issues fixes, security fixes and platform support enhancements. Perpetual (“Classic”) customers will receive only bug/security fixes and platform support enhancements, and won’t have access to all the Acrobat DC web, mobile, and cloud-based workflows.
And just to be clear: With either model, the main Acrobat DC program does not run online in the cloud (it’s on your desktop like before), it can work when your computer is not connected to the Internet, and users are not required to store their PDF files online in the Document Cloud… Just like with the Creative Cloud, all three of these myths are false.
Both Pro and Standard editions will continue to be the two choices for the premium desktop applications. The free Adobe Reader will be renamed Acrobat Reader (DC) for Windows and Mac OS. There will also be two free mobile apps for everyone: Acrobat DC mobile and the very cool new Fill & Sign app.
What’s new in Acrobat DC Pro and Standard? We’re still finding out, but Adobe gives some of the major new features here: “All-new Acrobat DC, with its intuitive touch-enabled interface, delivers powerful new functionality to get work done anywhere. The new Tool Center offers simplified and quick access to the tools you use most. And, Acrobat DC uses Photoshop imaging magic to convert any paper document into a digital, editable file that can be sent for free e-signature.”
[UPDATE – See: What Are the Differences Between Acrobat DC vs. XI vs. X?]
Adobe is also moving to a yearly versioning model. When they release Acrobat DC this year, it will be called the “2015 Release,” or Acrobat DC 2015… Then next year would be Acrobat DC 2016. So there won’t ever be an Acrobat XIII or 13 – rather the release names will move forward with the years, just like the Creative Cloud (where the latest version is CC 2014, which will upgrade to CC 2015 later this year). And as with all their other products, keeping to tradition, free trials will be available when the software comes out.
[UPDATE – It’s here! We now have the new Acrobat DC Direct Download Links.]
Finally, regarding pricing – all full, upgrade, education, and subscription prices for Acrobat DC will be the same as current Acrobat XI pricing. And if you subscribe to or buy Acrobat XI direct from Adobe now, then you will be entitled to a free upgrade to Acrobat DC when it ships, under Adobe’s grace period policy.
All subscribers to the complete Creative Cloud will also receive a free upgrade from the current Acrobat XI to the new Acrobat DC – as well as full access to the Document Cloud – as soon as the products are out. In other words, DC is automatically included with CC.
For more information and answers, see the Adobe Document Cloud FAQ.
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