May 23, 2012

This is *not* your father’s Adobe installer

It used to be that Adobe’s installers were… well, to be charitable, not a source of pride.  A bunch of hardworking people have been listening, engaging with customers, and cranking away–and with Creative Cloud you can see the results. To grab any CS6 app,

    1. Download & install the App Manager (less than 1MB), then log in with your Adobe ID.
    2. Click the links for the apps you want to install.
    3. “There’s no step 3!”

Right–no typing/copying/pasting serials (and potentially losing them later), no running installer after installer. Here’s a two-minute demo (though honestly you can probably try it yourself just as fast):

I’m sorry that installers were such a sore point in the past. Hats off to the installer team for buckling down & hugely improving the user experience.

PS–Engineering manager Eric Wilde says, “Please ask people to reach out to us on the forums if they have trouble. There’s lots of engineering folk reading our forums daily.”

[Update: Note that the new mechanism lets you install apps in multiple languages & across platforms, too.]

Posted by John Nack at 8:08 AM on May 23, 2012

Comments

  • Mark Jenkinson — 9:06 AM on May 23, 2012

    Agree. Huge Kudos to the Installer Team. One question tho: Once you’ve installed an app, and then quit the App Manager, where do you go to launch the App Manager to install more apps?

    [Two options: go to the apps page and click the app you want (which launches the app manager), or go into your Applications folder (on Mac, at least--haven't tried Windows) and launch "Adobe Application Manager." --J.]

    • Mark Jenkinson — 9:11 AM on May 23, 2012

      To clarify, without having to be logged in to the Creative Cloud website, and the Apps and Services page.

      • Eric Wilde — 10:43 AM on May 23, 2012

        Launch AAM (Adobe Application Manager) through the /Applications folder in the Finder or the start menu in Windows.

        • Mark Jenkinson — 5:45 AM on May 24, 2012

          Hi Eric, I know how to launch apps. :) Like I said, there’s no Application Manager in the Applications folder. I see an “Adobe Application Manager” FOLDER in the Utilities folder, but again, it’s not an app, and there’s no app inside of that folder. If I dig a little deeper, I eventually find the “Adobe Application Manager.app” located here: /Volume/Applications/Utilities/core/Adobe Application Manager.app but, as I’ve already mentioned, when I launch it, the only option it gives me is to perform an update check on the apps already installed. There’s no option to install new apps. It seems as though this is not the experience of most, so I’m sure this appears like I’m a complete noob. :) I assure you, I am not, and just relaying a bad user experience, that might want to be addressed. I suppose this is not the experience for everyone?

    • Mark Jenkinson — 12:21 PM on May 23, 2012

      There is no “Adobe Application Manager” app in the Applications folder. When you “Check for Updates” from within Photoshop (for example) the Adobe Application Manager launches, but it only allows you to check for updates. There’s no way to install new apps from it.

  • Allen Cobb — 9:07 AM on May 23, 2012

    RC’s video is both a good summary of how to do this, and a good example of how explaining something can be more complicated than doing it! I’m reminded of the old Instructional Design exercise: “Explain in writing, how to tie a shoelace.”

    Ultimately, the best help is somehow integrated into the process itself, so that just the info you need is presented, just when you need it.

    Allen

  • Andrew — 10:35 AM on May 23, 2012

    This is a great step forward, but why can’t I uninstall from the App Manager? Why is there an uninstall app for every application? Now my LaunchPad on the Mac has 10+ useless icons added to the screen that I can’t easily turn off.

    [Yeah, that's pretty deeply bogus. I've asked whether Apple offers an API that lets developers at least group apps together, but I don't remember getting an answer. I know that various improvements are planned, but I'm not sure when they're due to arrive. --J.]

  • James — 2:18 PM on May 23, 2012

    Two points.

    First, this is not exactly 2 steps. You download (1) and install (2) the app manager, then “login to the Cloud” (3) then accept the app manager EULA (4), then select a product to download a file (5), then run the installer for that app, and only then can you launch an app (6).

    This shows a process that is certainly greatly improved. But let’s not get all market-y with it.

    [I was just trying to make a cute reference to Apple's old iMac commercial. --J.]

    Second, what about the login/pass requirement being the same that you log in to your computer with? My company requires that the password be changed every 90 days. How does that affect Adobe App Manager down the road?

    [Your Adobe password is unrelated to your computer password. You'll notice that even after you log in with your Adobe password, when you go to actually install apps you'll be prompted to enter your computer password (at least on Mac). --J.]

  • helterskellter — 3:11 PM on May 23, 2012

    I see the Adobe apps in my iPad App Store, but only Lightroom on my Mac App Store. Did they make it so you have to purchase and download some of them with the downloading manager? Or maybe that is just the extra work necessary to use the trials? How can I pay woth my iTunes credit card billing account? I’ll do some Googling and see if I can’t answer my own questions. Sorry if I sound like an annoying noob :P

    [Not annoying; this stuff is a work in progress, and it can be confusing. Most Adobe desktop apps aren't available in the Mac App Store at this time. Lightroom & Photoshop Elements are there, however. --J.]

  • helterskellter — 3:17 PM on May 23, 2012

    Is every software company thinking that suddenly they have to have a cloud too? I don’t think I want to have to sign up for another cloud everytime I use apps from a different company, nor do I want to spread all of my data across all sorts of “clouds”. I’m not big on being subscriptioned to death either. Registering with every separate company and filling out a new payment shopping cart isn’t fun, but what displeases me the most is managing all of those passwords, billing cycles, and related info across so many different sources. Maybe I’m not making sense. Anyway, I am glad that I don’t have to do the Adobe Cloud to still use the apps. Thanks for that :)

  • Steiner — 5:19 AM on May 24, 2012

    Definitely great work on the installer. That being said, I had CS5.5 installed, and just upgraded to CS6. I would have liked the installer to recognize my previous version (everything was in the original, default locations) and asked me if I wanted to remove it (I realize some folks may want to keep the older version around during a transition). Now I have to de-install the old version, and hope I don’t break anything in the process.

  • Michael Long — 1:38 PM on May 24, 2012

    I upgraded to the cloud, downloaded Dreamweaver, and then was told I had an 89-year free trial.

    Can I get a refund and stick with the free trial??? (grin)

    Screenshot here: http://www.iSights.org/2012/05/adobe-creative-cloud-forecast-free.html

  • Claudius — 2:27 AM on May 26, 2012

    Does it feature a way to download once and then deploy to several machines? I’d hate to download 30 GB worth of Creative Suites at my company.

    [Not to my knowledge. There are certainly some possible optimizations they could make. --J.]

  • Paul Howson — 12:21 PM on May 27, 2012

    Hi John,
    Does the App Manager tell you the SIZE of each app download? People with monthly download quotas might need to choose carefully what they download and when. Presumably many of these apps are very big downloads?

    [It doesn't, but that's a good suggestion. I think you can safely assume they're all big. ;-p --J.]

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