One of the most common upgrade questions we see out there is asking what’s new, what’s different, what’s better, what’s changed between Adobe’s just-launched CC 2019 release and the previous CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.5, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC 2013, or 2012’s Creative Suite 6? Or more fundamentally, what are the key new features and advancements in CC 2019 versus prior versions?
Now that the new CC 2019 milestone release is shipping worldwide, everyone is entitled to either a free upgrade or a new free trial for 7 days. Ongoing access to these tools requires a Creative Cloud membership (either for one app or for all of them), with discounts available for education customers. Adobe says that if you look at all of the changes since CS6 to the current CC 2019 release, there have been thousands of significant updates – meaning new and enhanced features, added capabilities, and performance improvements – to the key creative applications.
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There are now 21 desktop applications included in Creative Cloud. Nineteen of them received full upgrades: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, InCopy, Acrobat DC, Adobe XD, Dimension, Animate, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, Media Encoder, Prelude, Bridge, Camera Raw, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. In addition, there’s a brand new 1.0 product in Premiere Rush CC, Adobe’s new cross-device, all-in-one video editing software to easily create high-quality online videos. Please see the table below for what’s new in each tool.
The company also unveiled tantalizing previews of three upcoming apps: Project Gemini for lifelike drawing and realistic painting across all surfaces, Project Aero for creating immersive AR (augmented reality) experiences, and the surprisingly-impressive Photoshop CC on the iPad (a real version which actually opens and saves PSD files). All three of these new tools are expected to be available in 2019.
There are also big changes for Adobe’s type assets. Typekit is now Adobe Fonts. Effective immediately, all Creative Cloud subscription plans include a complete library of over 22,000(!) fonts. CC users no longer have to pay for premium fonts and services; they all come automatically with your subscription (a $100/year value). All limits have been abolished for both personal and commercial use: you can now sync an unlimited number of fonts to your computer, have an unlimited number of page views for web fonts, and use the fonts on an unlimited number of domains. And finally, all fonts are able to be used on both the web and the desktop.
Other top tools and services continue to be included in Creative Cloud 2019 as well, such as Behance to showcase your work, your own Adobe Portfolio website, thousands of royalty-free icons, graphics and patterns for no cost in the Creative Cloud Market, over 1,000 brushes from award-winning illustrator Kyle T. Webster, and the acclaimed Adobe Spark with Premium Features (worth $9.99/month). Plus you can still get 10 free high-quality images or illustrations via the fast-growing Adobe Stock, now with over 320 million assets available.
A variety of free mobile apps have also been updated for both iOS and Android, which work together with the cloud and the desktop programs. The company also continues to embed machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities across the entire suite of tools and services with Adobe Sensei, enabling you to work smarter and faster through technology. 74% of creative professionals say they spend over 50% of their time on repetitive, non-creative tasks – and Sensei’s job is to reduce this drudgery and help you spend more time actually being creative.
If you want to try any of the CC apps out, then just sign up for a free level of Creative Cloud membership to gain access. For learning how to best use the products, there are plenty of free tutorial videos, and even dozens of completely free books that you can download for all of the most popular applications. And don’t forget that all CC products include ongoing upgrades at no extra cost, so you can always be running the latest and greatest version available.
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Finally, it’s important to know that the system requirements have changed meaningfully… The CC 2019 release requires macOS X 10.12 (Sierra) or higher. If you’re not running that yet, then you can get a free upgrade from Apple to the latest version: macOS Mojave (v. 10.14). On PC, either Windows 10 (version 1703 or higher) or Windows 7 will work for most Creative Cloud applications. But note that Windows 7 is no longer supported for the CC video and audio tools, and Windows 8.1 is not supported at all.
Feature Comparison: Creative Cloud 2019 vs. Previous Releases
So here they are, the feature breakouts by individual product – what’s new (at-a-glance or in depth), as well as the version comparisons and differences between Adobe CC 2019 vs. the CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC 2013, and CS6 releases:
For more details on the essentials and differences, don’t miss our CC 2019 Review Guide.
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