[UPDATE (May 6th, 2013) – Major news out: Adobe Unveils New “CC” Release (CS7)…]
Six months ago today, Adobe released Creative Suite 6… While that wasn’t long ago, this is usually around the time customers start asking when the next release might be coming out, and what new features and improvements will be included in it. We’ve covered this topic before for CS6, ahead of its original launch date, so let’s take a look at the future…
What should we expect going forward? Will the next version out be CS7, and when will that be? Or will we instead see a mid-cycle release like CS6.5 available first? Fortunately Adobe has already answered all these questions, and in fact they answered them last year.
Back when CS5.5 began shipping in May 2011, the company for the very first time shared a great deal of information about their future Creative Suite product release schedule. Previously the cycle had been for a new version of the CS software coming every 18 months or so. But beginning with CS5.5, Adobe rolled out a new plan in response to accelerating creative needs:
This launch marks a major change to Adobe’s product release strategy for Creative Suite, the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow across print, video, mobile and online media. Adobe now plans to have milestone Creative Suite product introductions at 24-month intervals and – starting with Creative Suite 5.5 – significant mid-cycle releases designed to keep the worldwide creative community ahead of the latest advances in content authoring.
And further to that:
Adobe plays an important role here, and we have realized that our historical 18-month release cycles are not going to be sufficient to address these rapidly-evolving trends. So Adobe decided to ship major milestone releases of Adobe Creative Suite software approximately every two years, with mid-cycle releases that incorporate the most critical features customers need in the interim years. The first mid-cycle release is Creative Suite 5.5, and it addresses these challenges.
So add it up and what does it mean, how does the future look? It means we might expect Adobe CS7 to be released in the spring of 2014, with an interim CS6.5 release coming out in between, probably in May of 2013… As with CS5.5, we may not see all Creative Suite applications upgraded for CS6.5 – for example, there wasn’t a CS5.5 version for Photoshop or Illustrator.
[UPDATE (May 6th) – The next release is announced! Learn more about new Adobe CC.]
Here is what the big picture looks like – and see further below for new product features that are expected:
|Creative Suite 3||Spring 2007|
|Creative Suite 4||Fall 2008|
|Creative Suite 5||Spring 2010|
|Creative Suite 5.5||May 2011|
|Creative Suite 6||May 2012|
|Creative Suite 6.5||Mid-2013 (est.)|
|Creative Suite 7||Mid-2014 (est.)|
|Creative Suite 7.5||Mid-2015 (est.)|
Any beta versions of CS6.5 or CS7 applications should be anticipated 1-2 months ahead of their final releases.
[UPDATE – Wondering about LR5? See: When Is Adobe Lightroom 5 Coming Out?]
What New Features Will Be In Adobe CS6.5 – or CS7?
We actually know some of the new product features that will be in the next formal release of Creative Suite… We know this because of the Creative Cloud, where some of these additions since CS6 have already been released early to Cloud members.
Here are some we expect would be included in the next version (click each for more details):
- Photoshop: Copy CSS support, Image Deblurring, Conditional Actions, plus lots more.
- Illustrator: Package Files and “Unembed” Images functions, Links Panel enhancements.
- InDesign: Retina Display and native 64-bit/Cocoa support with dark UI, plus QR Codes.
- Dreamweaver: Improved HTML5 support, new CSS Designer tools, better FTP transfers.
- Flash Professional: 64-bit architecture, native cocoa, faster, more reliable, + new UI.
- Premiere Pro: Too many to list – see the “NAB Reveal” sneak peek videos.
- After Effects: Incredible new “Refine Edge” Rotoscoping and much, much more.
- Audition: Sound Remover, Preview Editor, Native 64-Bit Performance, Favorites Panel.
- Prelude, SpeedGrade, Media Encoder: See the first looks.
- Inclusion into the suite editions of new Acrobat XI Pro, which is already in the Cloud.
- Stay tuned as we will keep this list updated going forward…
In addition, by 2013 all major Adobe tools should natively support the new MacBook Retina and HiDPI displays, for which Adobe says free updates will be coming for all current users before the next release. The list includes Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Lightroom. InDesign is more uncertain… Adobe says it’s its most complex software product, so InDesign support for Mac Retina may not be available until the next major release is shipping. The same goes for Flash Pro. Meanwhile, other applications like After Effects are said to be already compatible with Retina displays.
If you would like early access (now) to some of the new features listed above, consider checking out the Creative Cloud via either a free membership or paid subscription… Adobe says Cloud members will always have the latest versions available to use, which in a nutshell means that all product upgrades are included in the program.
Wondering which path is best for you? Don’t miss:
Creative Suite vs. Creative Cloud – Which Should You Choose?
Wondering why Cloud subscribers get exclusive updates that CS6 doesn’t? See:
Why Creative Cloud Gets Free Upgrades but Adobe CS6 Doesn’t
- Download free Adobe books (choose over 30 titles)
- What are the differences between Adobe CC vs. CS6?
- The 10 most common myths about Creative Cloud
- How to save 60% with the Adobe education editions
- Free Adobe CS6 Tutorials – 30 hours of video training
- Creative Cloud team and group licensing available
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