In its continuing transition beyond licensed software to cloud-based apps for creatives, Adobe on Tuesday rolled out a major update to its photo and imaging suite of products. Its Creative Cloud Photography plan now features a new Photoshop Lightroom CC application with tools for facial recognition, slideshow creation, and editing and manipulating images.
The new Adobe plan also supports a wide range of mobile capabilities and can automatically sync photos across the desktop, iPad, iPhones, tablets and Android smartphones. That syncing enables users to organize, edit and share photos from their catalogs no matter what devices those collections are located on.
Included with the release of Lightroom CC is a major update for Android users with the latest version of Google's mobile operating software, Android 5.0 Lollipop. The update provides users with support for raw file post-processing on compatible Android devices.
Photo Needs 'Increasingly Complex'
Adobe's latest photo offerings arrive just two weeks after the company unveiled a new tool for converting images into visual stories. Slate, a free iPad app, is aimed at users who want to create high-impact reading experiences on tablets, smartphones or computers.
"There's no doubt about it -- the roles of phones and tablets are growing, and your photography needs are getting increasingly more complex," said Tom Hogarty, Adobe's Director of Product Management, in a blog post. He added that Adobe's new Lightroom offering was developed in response to feedback from users looking for cross-device imaging tools.
Lightroom is available as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography subscription, which is priced at $9.99 per month. It can also be purchased for $149 via a traditional software license, which doesn't include access to the mobile or Web-based tools.
Cloud Enables Downstream Markets
Arianna Valentini, a senior research analyst with IDC's Hardcopy Industry Transformation and Page Volume Analysis research team, told us that cloud has enabled companies like Adobe to reach new audiences via more affordable subscription pricing. Products once designed only for enterprise users can now be moved downstream to smaller businesses via the cloud, she said.
Photo hobbyists are also benefitting from the availability of once-pricey tools like Photoshop via lower-cost cloud subscriptions, Valentini said.
Among the features available through Adobe's new Lightroom CC update are HDR Merge, which lets users combine multiple shots into a single image; Panorama Merge; facial recognition for photo organizing and searches; and faster graphics processing. The new offering also enables advanced slideshow capabilities like panning, zooming and combining still images with music and video.
Lightroom's mobile capabilities now also support syncing across Android tablets as well as smartphones and improved cropping on iOS. The app also integrates easily with other Adobe apps like Slate and the Adobe Voice video tool.