Adobe seems to be following through on its promise to release features to its Creative Cloud subscribers before retail customers. Today, CC subscribers have access to some new features in Illustrator – those features, as well as upcoming September releases, are detailed in the press release:

New features in this Adobe Illustrator release include:

  • Package Files – a long-requested featurethat allows designers to automatically collect all the files used in an Illustrator project, including linked graphics and fonts, into a single folder helping make handoffs and sharing of projects more efficient and error-free.
  • Unembed Images – a new capability that enables production artists to quickly unembed images that have been embedded into an Illustrator file by other designers or customers, eliminating much wasted time in day-to-day production work.
  • Links Panel Enhancements – a new feature enhancement that allows users to access and track information on any artwork placed in an Illustrator file much quicker. What used to require multiple clicks to ensure all placed graphics meet necessary requirements for output is now surfaced up front.

Coming in September will also be the addition of the Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition for publishing brochures, portfolios and highly visual books as apps for Apple iPad, as well as the exclusive delivery to Creative Cloud members of new features for Adobe Dreamweaver. Adobe plans to release even more new innovation into Creative Cloud in the coming months.

As features hit CC before retail, the value of the subscription will slowly but surely grow compared to traditional retail purchasing. But is early access to these features enough to tip the scales? And what about products like Digital Publishing Suite, which is becoming available in CC after its retail release?

I also worry about how this “early access” will impact overall software stability. Is this just a normal update that’s being released to CC customers first? Or am I applying beta patches that haven’t finished standard testing yet? My hope is the former, but who knows.

Full Press Release: Adobe Releases New Set of Features Exclusively to Creative Cloud Members.

Further reading: Is Adobe Creative Cloud Worth It?