Want Photoshop but Don’t Have $700? Rent It for $35 (New Tablet Apps, too)

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Adobe rolls out subscription pricing

Adobe’s powerful-but-expensive Creative Suite of design products have just gotten a more wallet friendly pricing structure: monthly subscriptions.

Starting with the new Creative Suite 5.5 product line, you’ll have the option of buying the full or upgrade versions of various pieces of software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, and Dreamweaver, or you can pay for them month by month now.

For comparison, the full version of Photoshop CS5 costs $699 outright, or you can "subscribe" to it for $35 per month if you agree to a one-year term, or $49 per month for a month-to-month plan.

These subscription plans seem squarely aimed at people who either don’t need to have access to Adobe products all the time or those looking to get into the design world who don’t have a ton of money to spend on software right away. Industry vets looking to re-up Photoshop each time a new version comes out will likely find the $200 one-time upgrade fee manageable, though.

But for someone interested in the full version of Photoshop, $700 is a hefty bill. A $35-per-month subscription may be much more enticing, especially since you’ll have access to newly-upgraded versions as they get rolled.

Photoshop tablet features

Adobe also announced an initiative to extend Photoshop features into Apple, BlackBerry and Android tablets. Though not fully featured versions of Photoshop, these tablet apps—there will be three available next month—will allow you to manipulate certain Photoshop features on your tablet to be reflected in real time (or synched later) on the desktop version.

The "Touch SDK" (software development kit) will pave the way for future apps to integrate with Photoshop as well. Per Adobe:

"Using the Touch SDK, Adobe has developed three initial Photoshop CS5 companion apps for Apple iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. The apps are designed to enable users to create custom color swatches, paint and drive popular Photoshop tools from tablet devices."

Here’s a video demo, too:


The apps will be available in early May for between $2 and $5 each.