Last week at the annual MAX conference, Adobe launched the new 2020 release of Creative Cloud – and everyone wants to know what’s new, what’s different, and what’s changed between CC 2020 and the previous CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC 2013, or 2012’s Creative Suite 6? Or more to the point, what are the key new features and advancements in the 2020 upgrade versus prior versions?
The new 2020 release is now shipping worldwide, which means 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), with discounts available for education customers. Adobe says that if you add up all of changes since CS6 to the current 2020 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 22 desktop applications included in Creative Cloud. Twenty of them received full upgrades: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, InCopy, Acrobat DC, Adobe XD, Dimension, Animate, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, Media Encoder, Prelude, Bridge, Camera Raw, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. In addition, there’s a brand new desktop product in Adobe Fresco, as well as two new mobile apps for Photoshop on iPad and the completely free Adobe Aero. Please see the table below for what’s new in each tool.
The company also unveiled tantalizing previews of two upcoming apps: Photoshop Camera is a new, Sensei-powered mobile camera app that brings the magic of Photoshop to the point of capture, and the impressive-looking Illustrator on the iPad (a real version which opens and saves AI files). Both of these new tools are expected to be available in 2020. Here’s a preview:
Other top tools and services continue to be included in Creative Cloud 2020 as well, such as Adobe Fonts (formerly Typekit), which gives you a massive library of over 17,000 premium fonts for unlimited use (a $100/year value), Behance to showcase your work online, your own Adobe Portfolio website, 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 180 million assets available.
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.
The System Requirements Have Evolved
In addition, you should know that the minimum system requirements have changed meaningfully, both on Windows as well as on Mac, in order to take advantage of the latest operating system features and technologies… On Macs, the CC 2020 release now requires macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher. If you’re not yet running a compatible version of macOS, then you can get a free upgrade directly from Apple to High Sierra (10.13), to Mojave (10.14), or to Catalina (10.15). Be aware, however, that in Catalina – the latest release – Apple has dropped support for any older 32-bit programs that may be installed on your Mac.
On PCs, Windows 10 (version 1809 or higher) is a fully-supported platform for all Creative Cloud applications. Windows 7 SP1 will still work for some CC tools, but not key ones like the video and audio apps, and Windows 8.x is not supported at all. Furthermore, except for Acrobat DC, Creative Cloud no longer supports Windows 32-bit systems. Most CC 2019 apps already required a Windows 64-bit OS, and that requirement has now expanded to all CC 2020 apps. This means that there are no 32-bit versions of any 2020 apps.