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Adobe wants to take over the stock image world

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Adobe Stock launches alongside CC 2015

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Adobe is releasing a wide range of updates to its Creative Cloud apps this morning, but the biggest release isn't an update — it isn't even an app — it's an entirely new service. Today marks the launch of Adobe Stock, a stock image service that Adobe hopes will quickly become the dominant place to go when you need a photo. Adobe has good reason to believe that that can happen: it claims that 85 percent of people who buy stock images use its apps, and Stock is going to increasingly be built right into them.

Stock starts with 40 million photos, illustrations, and graphics

Adobe is also offering Creative Cloud subscribers a discounted stock image plan, which should encourage them to choose Stock over similar services, like Getty or Shutterstock. Of course, that all depends on the quality of Adobe Stock's photos, but Adobe has taken a shortcut to give itself a strong start: it purchased the stock photo service Fotolia earlier this year, so it'll include 40 million pieces of content — photos, illustrations, and graphics (with videos arriving "soon") — that were up on Fotolia to start. (Fotolia will continue to operate on its own as well. Adobe says that its name is strong in Europe.)

Stock is starting out with integration into the Adobe "library." That means you won't have to download images to your computer and then import them into an Adobe app, you'll just select the images on Stock and then they'll appear in the little library window within Adobe's apps. You'll also be able to work on low-res versions of an image before committing to purchasing the full version, and Adobe will automatically apply all edits once you upgrade.

Images can be purchased from Stock for $9.99 a piece, or you can subscribe to one of two plans: 10 images per month for $49.99 or 750 images per month for $199.99. If you're a Creative Cloud subscriber (even to the cheaper photography plan), you can get the 10 image per month plan at a discount, for $29.99. Adobe thinks that its aggressive pricing will help Stock rise to the top, but its model relies on people regularly needing images — other popular services focus more on per-image purchases. Unused images on smaller plan will rollover for an entire year, however, which should help subscribers make use of what they're paying for.

Creative Cloud apps are coming to Android

Adobe is also renewing its focus on Android today, with the release of its first Creative Cloud-integrated apps for the platform. That includes Photoshop MixColor CCBrush CC, and Shape CC, all of which have been on iOS for a little while now. An additional mobile app, Hue CC, is also being introduced on the iPhone — it's able to detect colors in a photo and turn them into a video filter that can then be used in Premiere, which is pretty cool.

That ties into Adobe's other big series of releases today. Premiere Pro is getting those wonderful color correction tools that Adobe previewed in April. Photoshop is also getting new features, including a photo haze reduction tool, improved blur effects, and content-aware fill for panoramas. And other major apps, like Illustrator, Lightroom, and After Effects, are also getting updates. With them, Adobe is bringing the name of its CC apps up to CC 2015. That alone doesn't have a meaningful impact for most subscribers — Adobe releases updates throughout the year, not just when it updates the version number — but the name update is meant to help people using old files or apps keep track of compatibility across the years.