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Adobe bringing the full power of Photoshop to the iPad in 2019

Adobe Photoshop on Mac
Adobe Photoshop on Mac (Image credit: iMore)

Adobe is planning to launch the full version of Photoshop, it's photo editing app, for the iPad. The app will be cross-platform, allowing customers to get a similar experience on mobile devices, laptops, and desktops.

According to Bloomberg, the new version of Photoshop will let you start edits on one device and continue them on another. The app will reportedly make its debut in October at Adobe's annual MAX conference, with a launch planned for 2019:

The software developer is planning to unveil the new app at its annual MAX creative conference in October, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The app is slated to hit the market in 2019, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private product plans. Engineering delays could still alter that timeline.

Additionally, a new version of Adobe's Illustrator app is said to be in the works, though a much longer way off than the update to Photoshop and details are still scarce. However, if Adobe is bringing the full Photoshop experience to the iPad, it's hard to imagine that they wouldn't do the same to the rest of the Creative Cloud suite, including Illustrator.

Adobe previously launched brand new versions of Lightroom CC for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Windows, which offer feature parity across mobile and desktop platforms. Those apps sync their libraries across devices, and, with recent updates, also sync editing presets, giving you a consistent editing experience no matter what platform you use.

Adobe's quasi-announcement of Photoshop for iPad comes one the heels of the release of Serif's Affinity Designer for iPad, which brings all of the tools that designers are familiar with in the Affinity Designer desktop app to the iPad. Serif previously released Affinity Photo for iPad as well, a full-featured photo editing application that matches up well against any mobile app, as well as some desktop apps. We can't say for certain if these apps have played into Adobe's decision to more aggressively target the mobile market with full-featured apps, but it's great to finally see some competition in pro-oriented apps on the iPad.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

4 Comments
  • Haha, Adobe finally realising that their software is being trounced by worthy competitors like Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Pro. If Adobe's iPad version of Photoshop is only available via subscription model, I doubt many people will go for it.
  • Photoshop definitely isn't being "trounced" by Affinity Photo - which is probably the best "Alternative" to Photoshop on macOS and Windows. Pixelmator Pro isn't even really in that discussion. It frankly isn't even as good as PaintShop Pro or Photo-Paint on Windows, and those aren't as good as Affinity Photo (on Windows)... Not sure why anyone would get Pixelmator Pro over Affinity, frankly... It even costs more, which is hilarious. I am also quite surprised they took this long to take it to iPad, but I think they are taking these things more seriously (see "new" Lightroom CC, Project Rush, etc.). I think the nature of their code bases (Cross Platform, Windows/macOS) makes it harder for them to port. Also, their apps are a lot deeper and functional than many of their "competitors," which adds to the complexity. I'd expect this to be more comparable to Project Rush, but for Photos, than "full Photoshop" for iPad. I don't think it's possible to do a clean port of Photoshop to iOS in the timespan quoted by the author. It's literally impossible, unless they've been working on this, already, for years. Many people will go for it, because Adobe's Photography Plan is actually dirt cheap considering what you get with it. I think you are completely underestimating the massive amount of people subscribed for Photoshop/Lightroom for $9.99/mo. In fact, I'm almost positive that you are.
  • "Photoshop definitely isn't being "trounced" by Affinity Photo - which is probably the best "Alternative" to Photoshop on macOS and Windows." Adobe have no reason to bring Photoshop to the iPad, the majority of people using Adobe products prefer working on a desktop or laptop computer, so this is clearly a response that competitor products are starting to take a toll on Adobe. Maybe they're not being "trounced", but they're feeling the effect of people switching to another product. "Pixelmator Pro isn't even really in that discussion. It frankly isn't even as good as PaintShop Pro or Photo-Paint on Windows, and those aren't as good as Affinity Photo (on Windows)... Not sure why anyone would get Pixelmator Pro over Affinity, frankly... It even costs more, which is hilarious." I've used Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Pro. They're both great software, so yes it's still in the discussion. Pixelmator Pro, being designed specifically for macOS, has a much more Mac/Apple feel to it, so you're partly paying for that, and it also costs more since they're only getting macOS sales as opposed to getting Windows sales as well (and Windows has much larger usage than macOS). "I think you are completely underestimating the massive amount of people subscribed for Photoshop/Lightroom for $9.99/mo. In fact, I'm almost positive that you are." Maybe I am, but that doesn't change the fact that an increasing number of people are jumping ship from Adobe products, hence why this iPad version of Photoshop is being made. Adobe still have a strong hold on the market, but it's slowly diminishing with no signs of stopping.
  • If I will be able to load all my plugins, this might be the shove that will get me to buy a large iPad Pro. Retouching on the iPad Pro could be a great experience if Apple gives us a way to color calibrate the screen.