Adobe recently unveiled huge updates to its Creative Cloud Photography Plan – a $10 per month subscription to Lightroom, Photoshop, and other similar apps. Hogging the spotlight of the update is the sixth major release of Lightroom, now known as Lightroom CC (unless you buy the software separately). The release includes facial recognition support, GPU enhancements, new filter brush, new HDR, panorama features, and slideshow improvements.In addition to the heavily updated desktop app, Lightroom for Android received a hefty update as well. Support for Android tablets was added along with the ability to edit and save photos and microSD cards, (yes, they still exist) and support for DNG files. iOS wasn’t left out of the update either but the features are less enticing than the desktop and Android updates: ability to sign up in-app, better crop, copy and paste adjustments, and a presentation mode were gifted to iOS users.
Android, desktop, and iOS users will all discover that with the update, Lightroom now integrates with newly-launched media filing service Voice and Slate. Adobe says this will make it easier for users of Aperture, iPhoto, and Photoshop elements to import their media libraries into Lightroom and ditch their old photo manager.
It’s hard to believe that any photo editing software fans will be disappointed in this solid update by Adobe, even though Photoshop wasn’t included in the overhaul this time around. As for Adobe, this update reflects a huge shift in company ideology from point products to the Creative Cloud (a subscription launched in 2012).
As of right now, Lightroom CC is available as Lightroom 6 for $149, but Adobe’s decision to align Lightroom with the CC banner reinforces the company’s commitment to the Creative Cloud subscription. It’s not the right time to kill a standalone (non-subscription) app yet, but don’t be surprised if Adobe moves to do so in the future.
The Lightroom updates were designed for Creative Cloud subscribers. Regardless of what anyone else says, that subscription model seems to work pretty well for Adobe.