You may or may not know that Adobe released some new updates this past week. They’ve updated just about every app they have, but I’m specially going to be covering the photography related questions for Lightroom and Photoshop here.

Q. What version of Photoshop should I install?

The easy answer is always the biggest number. But right now (Nov 2019), the version you want is listed as v21 in the Adobe updater.

Q. Why is the Photoshop icon now rounded instead of square?

My guess is that because “apps” on tablet or phone devices are rounded. So any Adobe desktop app, that also has a counterpart on the tablet and phone, also gets rounded. There’s no official word on this, but this answer sounded as good as any 😉

Q. What version of Lightroom Classic should I install?

Same with Photoshop. Choose the biggest number. Right now (Nov 2019) the version you want is listed as v9 (or 9.something) in the Adobe updater.

Q. What version of Lightroom CC should I install?

First, it’s not called Lightroom CC anymore. It’s just Lightroom (more on that in a minute). Next, I probably sound like a broken record right now. But it’s the same. Choose the biggest number. Right now (Nov 2019) the version you want is listed as v3 (or 3.something) in the Adobe updater.

Q. I have opened Photoshop and/or Lightroom but I don’t see the new features?

That’s because every fall (at Adobe Max), Adobe updates their version number (like most other software companies do once a year). When they do this, they actually release a whole new version of the application, rather than simply updating the existing version that’s already on your computer.

This means that you may still have Photoshop 2019 or Lightroom 8 on your computer and you’re opening that by accident.

This is especially true if you’re using app icons in your dock or some shortcut. Those shortcuts still point to the old versions, so you’ll need to go in and delete them and add the shortcut or dock items to the newer Photoshop 2020 / Lightroom Classic 9 versions.

Q. Is it safe to delete the old versions of Photoshop or Lightroom?

You may be wondering if you have to keep old versions or if it’s safe to keep old versions of Photoshop or Lightroom. Once you’ve updated and you’re satisfied everything is working well, you can remove the old versions. Just open your Adobe Creative Cloud updater (yes, they still call the updater Creative Cloud) and click the three dots (…) next to the older version and choose “Uninstall”.

Q. Why is Lightroom asking me to update my Catalog? Is it okay?

Adobe constantly tweaks and enhances the database that runs Lightroom to make it faster and perform better. At some point, a major “tweak” is needed which is why this upgrade happens. They usually keep it to once per year with the new version. And yes it’s safe. But, I always recommend to backup your catalog (or your whole computer for that matter) before updating anything.

Q. Will all of my presets and stuff transfer to the newer versions automatically?

Your presets and extra stuff you’ve added to Photoshop and Lightroom should move over automatically. As always, you should check this first. However, plug-ins aren’t always that easy. It’s up to the plug-in developer to make sure their stuff is compatible with the new version so if there’s a plug-in you use, check with them to see what to do to make it work with the newer versions of PS and LR.

Q. Are the latest Adobe updates compatible with Mac OS Catalina?

A. Please check out this link to see any compatibility issues (click here)? I personally haven’t updated to Catalina yet so I can’t speak to it.

Q. I noticed that Adobe dropped the CC after Photoshop and Lightroom?

Yes, it appears they did. I don’t have any official news on this other than my guess, which is that the term “cloud” is not fashionable anymore. Remember back in the early 2000’s when every software company had a “Suite”. Wall Street and consumers loved “suites” of products. It made them feel like they were getting a lot. Adobe even moved to CS (Creative Suite).

Well, eventually in the early 2010’s the word “cloud” was very fashionable. Everyone was talking about the cloud, including Wall St. So Adobe named their products Creative Cloud (CC).

Now the word “cloud” is no longer fashionable. It seems like AI is the “in” thing right now. But thankfully Adobe realized that Photoshop AI would be dumb, so it seems like they’re just pulling back and naming everything in a simple way now – just Photoshop and just Lightroom.

So you have Photoshop, Lightroom Classic (the same Lightroom that we’re all used to), and Lightroom (the newer cloud-based version). Again, this is my guess. I could totally be wrong, and according to my wife and kids I usually am.

Q. Is this move to call “Lightroom CC”, just “Lightroom” really a move by Adobe to force us in to the new cloud version of Lightroom, and stop all support and development for Lightroom classic?

All I can say is that I attend 5-6 online and in-person meetings with the Lightroom team each year. And the thing that usually precedes every meeting is a statement from the product managers that they are actively still working on Lightroom Classic and that Classic is still a very important part of their software development efforts. They make sure to tell us this each and every time.

I can’t predict the future but if I had to take a stab at it I’d say this. Right now, for most DSLR/Mirrorless based shooters that shooting many gigabytes (if not terabytes) of photos each year, Lightroom Classic is still the application for you.

You’ll notice that every non-internety-cloud-based feature that Adobe adds gets added to both LR Classic and Lightroom these days. The new Lightroom (cloud one) doesn’t get any new and fancy editing features that Classic doesn’t get as well. You do see better online integration happening though. If I had to guess why it would be because it was built in the modern day.

Remember, LR Classic first came out in Jan of 2006. Where were we back then?

  • That’s 18 months before the first iPhone and well before the first tablet came out.
  • Nobody even knew the word “cloud” then and the thought of backing up to the cloud wasn’t even something any of us imaged.
  • Facebook had been out for 2 years, but only college students were using it. Most of us weren’t yet.
  • Instagram wasn’t even out yet.
  • Most of us didn’t have photo websites either.
  • Sharing or viewing photos with a device other than a laptop or desktop, was essentially non-existent as a form of photography expression. Everything we did was either viewed by us on your computer or printed.

What I’m getting at is that when Lightroom came out, the world we live in today wasn’t even imagined yet. If I had to guess, Lightroom Classic just wasn’t prepared or built for the online-ness and connected nature of today’s world.

Could Adobe try to rig it to make it work. Of course, and I’m sure they did. You may not notice this, but Classic does work with your iPhone and Tablet. But like many of us see, sometimes there’s syncing issues. You know when I NEVER have a syncing issue? When I use the new Lightroom. Everything syncs perfectly.

So my guess is Adobe realized they needed a product for the future. Heck… So did every other software company. Name me one software app that was used back then, that hasn’t totally gone back to the drawing board and totally reinvented itself (if they have an online strategy that is).

That’s why I think we have the new version of Lightroom. Is it for everyone? No. Plenty of people are happy just being hard drive based and emailing themselves copies of their photos to their phone or tablet. And Adobe has shown ZERO signs that they’re shutting down classic. We got over 20 new features this past year and some great updates to performance, noise reaction, and the new texture slider.

So if I get back to my crystal ball, I would say this. In the next few years, not much will change. LR Classic users will still be Classic users. But… I think the non-Classic version of LR will get better. They’ll get the features of Classic that everyone loves in to it. Cloud storage will get cheaper. And we’ll have a clear migration path from LR Classic to Lightroom. And many of us that are holding out today will WANT to switch. We won’t have to and Adobe won’t make us. But we’ll want to.

Our photos will still be on our hard drives if we want to, just like always. We’ll be able to back them up just like today to 10 hard drives if we choose. But we’ll also be backed up in the cloud automatically and everything will be available everywhere, on the device we want it. Adobe won’t own our photos (remember, they’re your photos and you can put them on drives just like always). Just like Backblaze or Amazon or whatever cloud service you use doesn’t “own” your photos. You can always access them as long as you pay to keep your service active. If you no longer pay to use their service, guess what. You eventually won’t be able to access your stuff.

That’s my prediction. Like I said… I’m usually wrong, but who knows 🙂

Also, let me know if you have any more questions about the new update and I’ll do my best to get them in to this list.

Have a good one!


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