There is a new version of Lightroom and Photoshop. Should I update?
This question pops up throughout the year. Mostly it happens around October coinciding with the Adobe Max conference. This is when Adobe drops new versions of their software (ready or not). Now I will say they do try and make sure that there are as few bugs as possible in their production releases, but with the variety of hardware, operating systems, peripherals and plug-ins available, I think it's virtually impossible for ANY software to be 100% bug free. There is just no way any company can test for every possible amalgamation of gear out there. Let alone things that users do. Many times the issues we see aren't really bugs, but user error. To be more precise it's not even error so much as users not understanding their own software and systems and trying to do things that you shouldn't do.
Let's talk about just a couple things. Recently there was a report of Lightroom Classic CC (v8) not being able to open a Lightroom catalog on Windows 10. Turns out the user was trying to open a zip file of a catalog backup. Not a Lightroom bug. The fundamental understanding of how Lightroom works and where it does and does not store files is critical. Sure you can open it and use it without knowing these details, but what happens when things don't work or go missing? That's when I get calls and e-mails and Facebook messages asking for help. 99% of the time it was user error (even if they won't ever admit it).
One of the biggest points of confusion for Lightroom users has been the name change which happened over a year ago. Yes that's right October of 2017 Adobe changed Lightroom CC to Lightroom Classic CC and launched the product originally known as Nimbus with the new name Lightroom CC. Got it? Lightroom CC is the CLOUD version. it REQUIRES storage space on Creative Cloud. It will store files locally on a desktop computer using the Lightroom CC desktop version. Lightroom Classic CC is the original desktop software that you are used to. The icons look very similar:
Yes they are different but it's very subtle and quickly glancing to open a program it's easy to confuse them.
If you never plan to use the mobile version or sync with your mobile devices, my advice is do not install Lightroom CC at all. When it comes time to update you have to also be careful when selecting the updates:
They do have descriptions that should alert you to the proper one to install. I mean we all read everything that pops up right?
I will leave you with a little decision flow chart that will help you decide when the time is right for you to update. You can apply this to almost any update whether it's Microsoft Windows (although they force updates on you), Apple OSX, Adobe or any other software vendor.
If you have questions let me know.