Why is the Photoshop update saying not compatible?
Running MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6
Not real savvy when it comes to OS and such.
Every year, Apple make a new Mac system version.
10.13 High Sierra was followed by 10.14 Mojave, 10.15 Catalina, and this week 11.0 Big Sur. When an app is made it often runs only on particular systems. Your system is now too old for the latest apps.
You CAN upgrade your system if your Mac is new enough. (This whole merry go round happens so Apple can sell new Macs). But bear in mind that when you upgrade your Mac system, you can expect many or all of your older apps to stop working.
Apps usually have a "system requirements" page, and it is well worth learning enough to read these detailed things. Otherwise very expensive mistakes can be made.
Upgrading is a train that never stops. If you get off, you're left behind. Then your only option is to deep-freeze your whole system and not update anything.
Apple has taken this to extremes, and made a very lucrative business model of not only introducing new technologies with every cycle - but at the same time also making sure the old technologies are incompatible with the new. So you have no choice but to keep throwing money at it. They can do this because Apple/MacOS is largely a self-contained, closed environment.
Microsoft doesn't have this deliberate incompatibility policy, so the useful life of a system is quite a bit longer. I suspect they couldn't do it even if they wanted to, with the large ecosystem of third- and fourth-party vendors. But eventually you'll get left behind here too.
The 'upgrading train' is bearable when you have the choice. I'm running a 2010 iMac which - despite being 10 years old - is a 2.9GHz Core i7 box with 16GB of memory. i.e. It's still perfectly able to hold it's own against current tin. Unfortunately Apple's dubious hardware support policy means that I am prevented from installing anything later than MacOS 10.13.6.
(And yes, I know Apple will plead dependencies on the latest graphics hardware etc. Which only cuts it so far since Microsoft manages to accommodate a fair range of hardware. But that's a different debate.)
What I don't expect is for Adobe (which, let's remember is dependent on the operating system and not the underlying hardware - that's what the operating system is there for) to suddenly decide that its latest software is "incompatible" with MacOS. Although it still magically manages to be compatible with 10.14.
I can just about follow the argument that software will only work on the latest version of an operating system because it's used sonme of the latest bells and whistles (although - as an IP professional - that's not a great approach to software development). But I fail to see why there is an apparently arbitrary differentiation between two older versions.
More importantly (Adobe support take note) if we are coerced into adopting a software subscription model, one of the biggest (possibly the only) customer benefit is ongoing access to current software. Breaking that promise fundamentally undermines the customer relationship.
"The 'upgrading train' is bearable when you have the choice."
Yes, that's my whole point. You don't. This is squarely on Apple, they are the ones constantly changing the rules and the whole playing field. Nothing Adobe can do about that, you can't expect them to go back and rewrite old versions. All they can do is make sure the current version plays by the current rules.
This is much less of a problem on Windows.
Sorry but this isn't squarely on Apple. Neither MacOS 11.13 nor MacOS 11.14 are new operating systems. Nothing has changed recently in the operating system calls used by the Adobe software. So what strange feat of Adobe's software engineering team has managed to deliver a new set of Adobe products that will run on one old MacOS but not on another?
I can (just about) see the argument if the Adobe engineers are doing something exotic with new operating system features only available in Big Sur (MacOS11.something) but that's not the case here.
The Adobe software is linked to the operating system not the hardware.
My last post on this topic!
Back in the day (when Apple scrapped Aperture) there wasn't much else on the market for MacOS and Adobe was the only viable option. I didn't like the subscription based software model then, and I still don't like it now. But there wasn't much alternative.
I understand the corporate benefits (consistent revenue streams, predictability, etc). From a personal perspective it's a slippery slope: a few quid a month here and there seems ok....until it all starts adding up to hundreds of pounds a month. (It'll get to that point!)
Anyway, times have moved on and there's now a lot more choice in the market. Yes Adobe has that 'gold stamp' of recognition (hey: "photoshop" is now a verb!) but there are plenty of options not far behind.
So having just had the only benefit of subscription software taken away from me without warning (and mid-subscription), and having spent an incredibly painful 2 hours on the Adobe support's chat service trying to explain what I thought was a pretty simple issue, I have cancelled my subscription and am ending my relationship with Adobe. I know they won't care. But it makes me feel better! And I have no regrets.
Photoshop 2021 runs on Mojave, Catalina, and Big Sur
Photoshop 2020 runs on High Sierra, Mojave, and Catalina
Keep in mind that Adobe offers downloads for the current version and one previous. Currently you have:
If you change any one of three, then you may have issues, so you might want to make sure automatic updates are turned off and you don't change anything.
If Adobe and other software companies restricted themselves to be compatible with all older operating systems, they would not be able to introduce new features.
I've used both Macs and PCs since I started, so I used MS-DOS before MS-Windows 2.0, and I've seen Macs go from OS6 to OS11. There comes a time when the software simply cannot be backwards compatible anymore. It has to move forward. And it happens a little faster now than it did then.
In the meanwhile, keep running Disk Utility and Time Machine! 😊
I wrote above, "This is much less of a problem on Windows".
Actually I need to retrace my steps here, because for this particular aspect of system compatibilies and dependencies, it's not true. Photoshop version 22 requires minimum MacOS 10.14 Mojave, and Windows 10 version 1809 respectively. Both of these were released around september 2018.
So here there's perfect congruence on the Mac and Windows sides, and this would appear to be a deliberate Adobe decision.
Of course, the rationale behind this is to fully take advantage of new OS developments. For that reason, I have no issue with it.
When it comes to how old a Photoshop version you can run on the current OS, it's a different story of course.
jonb34186355 said "Nothing has changed recently in the operating system calls used by the Adobe software"
Of course things have changed. Have you not seen the legacy compositing switches in previous versions. They were there as the compositing engine of Photoshop was updated. More and more functionality is being put onto GPUs. As well as the OS requirement mentioned by D.Fosse, there is now a requirement on PCs for the CPU to support SSE4.2. This is not put there for no reason.
Whilst it sounds like laziness not to support old hardware/operating systems, the reality is that keeping compatibility with old systems as newer systems are available either holds back the development of the new (and then we complain that Photoshop is not handling our multi GB files fast enough), or it means that dual/triple/quadruple code has to be maintained every time a new feature/driver or operating system change comes in. Then we complain when a bug arrives on an update (Adobe or OS) affecting a particular group of users.