With over 30 million customers having already signed up in the eleven years since it launched, Adobe’s Creative Cloud product line has been a success exceeding even the company’s own expectations. Still, there are a few misconceptions we see from time to time, or that some folks may believe… Here below we dispel and debunk the top 10 most common myths we’ve heard – and hopefully even if you already know the answers or use Creative Cloud, you’ll still pick something up… read on!
Myth #1: “‘Creative Cloud’ sounds like cloud storage only – which is just a way to store your files, and I already have Dropbox which is free.”
Some say the name can be misleading – but the Creative Cloud is actually a comprehensive collection of creative tools and services built around the new CC 2024 release of desktop products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Animate, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, Dreamweaver, and more – the full working versions… You do also get 20-100 gigabytes of online storage space for syncing and sharing your files, but that is only one piece of the big picture.
Myth #2: “I don’t want to be constantly connected to the Internet to start and run my creative apps; what happens when I’m on a plane?”
You do not have to be continually connected to the Internet. After the CC applications are installed and running on your desktop, online access is only required once every 3-4 months for revalidation of your annual membership. Plus there are solutions in place if you’ll be offline for an extended period – like traveling for six months without web access… just contact Customer Service.
Myth #3: “The applications can’t be very powerful if they are running in a browser – trying to run Photoshop over the web could be slow.”
None of the the tools mentioned above are hosted or web-based versions… These are the complete desktop products that you download and install right on your computers, and work just like usual – these are not web applications, it’s not “software as a service” (SaaS), and your CC programs like Photoshop will run as normal. The Creative Cloud does also include web and mobile versions of some tools – but these supplement rather than replace the desktop versions.
Myth #4: “The subscription model for the new versions sounds like it might be more expensive than the previous perpetual licensing, so maybe it’s not worth it?”
When you add up the price tags of all the individual products you can use in the Creative Cloud, the total value is over US$10,000. The Master Suite by itself historically sold for $2,600, and that’s just part of what you get with the much newer CC 2024 release… All ongoing upgrades are included, as well as free professional training. You can access these leading products for $10-$60 a month, one year at a time, so CC’s upfront cost is far less than CS6. And you can install and run the apps on two of your computers (including both PC + Mac).
Myth #5: “So I can have the entire latest Master Collection and more for $1-2/day, and do anything with it – it must be too good to be true, no?”
There’s no catch. It works exactly as described; you can imagine and create without boundaries using all of the world’s best tools for photo, image, video, audio, graphics, illustration, web, print, mobile, publishing, gaming, animation, development and design. As one prominent customer said, “As someone who’s been using Creative Cloud now for a little over five years, I can tell you that this is the best service that Adobe has ever offered, and I would never switch back to a perpetual license even if I was given the option.”
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Myth #6: “Well, then Adobe is going to entice everyone to the Cloud – and once we are all hooked, they are going to jack up the prices.”
Adobe has offered subscription-based creative products since 2010, and over that time their prices (inflation-adjusted) have only fallen, never risen… You’ve got elasticity of the demand curve – the lower the monthly rate, the more people sign up, the greater the cost is spread out, and repeat. It’s a virtuous cycle in our view – and we think the real cost will continue to drop as the Cloud and its “network effect” grow… One indication is Adobe’s introduction of the lower-cost $9.99/month plans. The bottom line is raising to unaffordable rates would be counterproductive. But if you’re still worried, then you can always choose to lock in your pricing in advance, or get a discount.
Myth #7: “If my friend or client or colleague isn’t a Creative Cloud member, I can’t share my files with them.” …or… “But I don’t want to share all my work publicly/online.”
If you’re concerned about sharing files with people using older versions of the CS tools, check out our CC File Compatibility Guide. And using the cloud storage is not required. For any files you choose to store online in Adobe’s Cloud, you can easily set different levels of sharing – from keeping them fully private to sharing them publicly with anyone at all. Viewers will be able to do many things like see thumbnails and larger previews, change layer states of PSD files, step through Illustrator artboards and InDesign and PDF pages, and see file metadata all from within their web browsers [watch video demo here]. But you can also keep your files entirely offline on your local disk as normal, because saving a copy to the online Cloud storage is completely optional.
Myth #8: “The Creative Cloud isn’t free (is it?), so if I leave then I will lose all my files.”
You will never lose any files which you’ve stored locally on your own computer – and if you cancel a paid membership, then you’ll have a 30-day grace period bring any cloud storage down to the size of 2GB free (or can buy additional storage separately if you like). Without a paid membership, you may no longer be able to open some filetypes without access to the apps which created them. However, you can resubscribe at any time for as little as one month, or you can download and run a free trial of a future Creative Cloud release. Many CC files can also be viewed using Adobe Bridge, which is permanently free and part of the free level of Creative Cloud membership, giving you over a dozen terrific benefits for life.
Myth #9: “Even if I only use one or two applications, I have no choice but to buy the complete Creative Cloud membership, right?”
No, this is untrue. Just like it was with the previous suites and point products, you still have the option to buy either the discounted bundle of everything or just a single program if you prefer. If you only want to use an individual tool or two, then you can sign up for a Single-App Membership at a lower price ($10-$23). For example, Adobe offers a special Photography Plan worldwide that gives both Photoshop + Lightroom (the full desktop and mobile releases) for only $9.99 a month.
Myth #10: “With the Cloud you can’t ever stay on or run previous versions if you want to, you are always forced to update to the latest release, right? I might not always be ready to do that, plus some plug-ins might not yet work with the newer version.”
No, in fact it’s optional – and your call. Creative Cloud makes updates available for those who want to install them, but the application manager will not automatically update your tools without your go-ahead… You can continue using the versions you have already downloaded, and then choose if and when to install the new releases, whenever is convenient and best for you. On average for each CC tool, the pacing of available upgrades has been every 3-4 months. And IT administrators can use the powerful Admin Console to fully control all aspects of deployment on any group of computers.
How to Get Started with Creative Cloud
- What are the differences between Adobe CC vs. CS6?
- Download free Adobe books (choose over 30 titles)
- How to save 60% with the Student & Teacher Editions
- Free Adobe Stock! Download 1,000,000+ top images
- Don’t need full Cloud? Get PS + LR for $9.99/month
- How to join Adobe’s Creative Cloud for free
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