Adobe unveils new version of Photoshop

Since its launch in 2003, the different versions of Adobe's flagship photo editing tool have been named Photoshop CS1 through to CS6 ('CS' standing for 'Creative Suite). But Adobe announced today that there will never be a Photoshop CS7.

Instead the new version of Photoshop, available from June 17th, will be called Photoshop CC (for 'Creative Cloud'). The same will apply to the rest of the suite, so we'll see also Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Dreamweaver CC and Premiere Pro CC.

Fundamental shift

This marks a fundamental shift in Adobe's approach to making money from its software. Rather than the traditional 'buy the box' business model, the Creative Cloud is an existing subscription-based service, where you essentially rent the whole range of creative software from Adobe.

Photoshop CC will ONLY be available through this service. There will be no boxed copy, nor will you be able to download it for a one-off payment. Photoshop CS6 will still be made available to buy for anyone who doesn't want to sign up for the Creative Cloud - but none of the new updates are going to be added to it.

Why Creative Cloud?

The benefit for the consumer of the Creative Cloud is that they can take advantage of new features Adobe develops immediately, rather than having to wait 12 months for the next boxed version to hit the shops. The benefit for Adobe is that they can enjoy a constant stream of revenue and provide a service that software pirates and peer-to-peer networks will find difficult to replicate for free.

There are currently around half a million paying customers of Creative Cloud, with pricing starting at $50/£46.88 for a monthly subscription for US users. Update: There's also a Photoshop-only option for $19.95/£17.58 a month.

New features

So what will the new Photoshop include? Here are some of the most important updates:

  • Camera shake reduction - a feature which, as we revealed last month, helps to reduce motion blur in your photos.
  • Smart Sharpen - analyses images to produce the best possible sharpening, while minimising halos and noises. With 'intelligent upsampling', Adobe says users will be able to increase the size of an image, large enough for a billboard, without pixelation.
  • Adobe Camera Raw 8 support - edits can be applied as a filter to any layer or file.
  • Advanced Healing brush - enables you to 'heal' or 'patch' images with a brush stroke instead of a circular area.
  • Radial Gradient - powerful controls to draw attention to the focus of an image without applying a standard vignette
  • Upright tool - automatically straightens horizons and applies perspective corrections without distorting the image.
  • The ability to edit rounded rectangles - includes the ability to adjust corner radii at any time.
  • The ability to select multiple paths, shapes and vectors at once
  • The 3D features and high-end image analysis tools of Photoshop Extended - an existing, pricier version of Photoshop CS6 - will be included in Photoshop CC
  • The Behance creative pro social network, as we revealed in March, will be built into all the major CC applications, enabling you to post your projects instantly to Behance for feedback from colleagues and clients.
  • A new workflow from Photoshop CC to Edge Reflow CC, promised for this summer, that will enable you to build web designs in Photoshop that can easily be turned into responsive websites.
  • Photoshop now lets you generate CSS code for specific design elements to copy and paste into your web editor.
  • Conditional Actions means you can put routine processing jobs on autopilot. These commands use if/then statements to automatically choose between different actions based on rules you set up.
  • Workflow time-savers: Drag a layer to a tabbed document, create paths more easily with new modifier keys, move a path with the spacebar and include ICC profiles.
  • Color import from web files - import colour swatches directly from HTML, CSS, or SVG files.
  • System anti-aliasing for type - Adobe promises a realistic preview of how your type will look on the web with an option that closely matches the anti-aliasing of your desktop operating system

In total, Adobe promises "literally hundreds" of updates and new features to its Creative Suite tools. So keep your eye on Creative Bloq over the coming weeks, and we'll bring you details of each and every one of them...

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What do you think of the Creative Cloud? Are you willing to pay a subscription for Photoshop and other Adobe tools? Share your views in the comments below!

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