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 2015 release and the previous CC 2014, CC 2013, or 2012’s Creative Suite 6 – or even the older CS5, CS4, CS3? Or more fundamentally, what are the key new features in CC 2015 versus prior versions?
Now that the new CC 2015 milestone release is out worldwide, everyone is entitled to either a free upgrade or a free 30-day trial (possibly up to 60 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 2015 release, there have been well over 1,000 significant updates – meaning new and improved features, added capabilities, and performance improvements – to the key creative applications.
Special: Legally download dozens of free Adobe books for a limited time!
There are 20 different desktop tools included in Creative Cloud, so the easiest way to look at it is by product… For example, Photoshop CC 2015 contains all of the 3D functions that were previously only available in the PS ‘Extended’ edition – and overall is packed with new features for designers, photographers and digital artists – something for everyone. You’ll find the details on these additions in the table below.
Also rolling out this week are additional technologies like Adobe Stock, which offers over 360 million photos, images and illustrations smoothly integrated with the CC toolset – and CreativeSync, which ensures that your files, fonts, design assets, settings, and more all instantly appear in your workflow wherever you need them, so you can start your creative work on any device and seamlessly pick it up on another.
A variety of free new mobile apps have also been released for iOS and Android, which work together with the cloud and the desktop applications. And other top tools and services like Lightroom 6/CC (desktop & mobile), Typekit, Behance ProSite, Creative Cloud Market, and Acrobat DC Pro continue to be included in Creative Cloud 2015 as well.
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. Alternatively, all of the free trials are also available for immediate direct download. For learning how to best use the products, there are plenty of free PDF manuals available as well as free tutorial videos to get you going. There are even dozens of completely free books that you can download for all of the most popular applications.
Typically you can install and use the CC software on up to two computers, including both a PC and a Mac. Further, CC programs generally can read and save or export back to the older CS6 file formats in most cases (or even CS5, CS4, or CS3). Also 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.
It’s also important to know that the system requirements for Mac have changed meaningfully… The CC 2015 release requires Mac OS X 10.9 (“Mavericks”) or higher. If you’re not running that yet, then you can get a free upgrade from Apple to the latest version of OS X (10.10). For Windows, there are no big changes to the specs or requirements from CC 2014.
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 2015 vs. the CC 2014, CC 2013, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, and CS3 releases:
Adobe says this is their biggest software release since CS6 in spring 2012, so for more details on the essentials and differences don’t miss our CC 2015 Review Guide.
- The 10 most common myths about Creative Cloud
- How to save 60% with the Student & Teacher Editions
- Download free Adobe books (choose over 30 titles)
- Don’t need full Cloud? Get PS + LR for $9.99/month
- Free Adobe Stock! Download 1,000,000+ top images
- How to join Adobe’s Creative Cloud for free
Do you have any questions about Creative Cloud? Just ask below and we’ll get you answers fast!
Keep up with the latest on Adobe software — follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to our RSS feed… You can also enter your email and have new articles sent directly to your Inbox. We are reader-supported; when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.