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Adobe bringing quote-unquote real Photoshop to iPad

Adobe is bringing Photoshop to iPad. Not baby Photoshop. Not Photoshop Jr. Not Photoshop: The brush tool experience. 'Real' Photoshop. But the difference between 'real' and 'full' is still important to understand.

Adobe (opens in new tab)

Photoshop CC on the iPad is the newest piece of the system, bringing real Photoshop to mobile devices with an approachable user experience and the power and precision needed for image compositing. People can use the mobile version of Photoshop on its own or as a partner to Photoshop on the desktop. Preview today. Ships in the future.

The future being, for now, 2019.

  • It shares the same code base as its desktop counterpart, so there's no compromises on power and performance or editing results.
  • Creative work you do in Photoshop on the desktop you can also do on your iPad, with the exact same PSD files with the edits right where you left off. We will release a smaller set of features on the >- >- iPad first so we can ship the 1.0 version to you quickly, and gradually add the rest over time.
  • When you open it, you'll find a toolbar with the core iconic tools and powerful layer system for advanced control. You'll also find selections and masking, filters, adjustments, and much more.
  • But we're completely rethinking the user experience for a modern touch device. You'll find it familiar, but also adapted in smart ways for the device.
  • We've designed Photoshop on iPad with natural touch gestures in mind to speed up workflows.

Dami Lee shared a week's worth of hands-on time at The Verge:

I've been using Photoshop for the iPad for the past week, and it feels distinctly like Photoshop with a few design choices optimized for a touchscreen. It doesn't have every tool available in desktop Photoshop; in fact, it's missing the entire upper task bar with the drop-down menu. Instead, you'll find tools like adjustment layers in the collapsible right-side toolbar."The features we're bringing in first really focus on compositing workflows — bringing in images, combining and manipulating pixels to blend together," says senior product manager Jenny Lyell. "The features we have in the app right now are around layers, transforming, selections, masking, brushing." Video-oriented features like the Timeline panel have been left out for now, so this first version of Photoshop for iPad can't be used for animation or quick video editing.

I've been using traditional Photoshop forever. It's muscle memory for me on the Mac. Here's hoping it translates well enough to iPad that, while I'll still have to learn the new experience, I'll have the best flow to date for moving between devices. Especially when the tablet device has something as cabals as an A12(X) Bionic processor and as beautiful as Apple's current big screen, DCI-P3 LCD tech.

That's always the beautiful dream at least.

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Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

4 Comments
  • I'm guessing just like the real Photoshop it will be subscription-priced as well. I'll stick with Affinity Photo
  • Reading between the lines from Adobe's press release; - It shares the same code base as its desktop counterpart
    Basically means its got a funk-ton of useless legacy code and X86 remnants. - with the exact same PSD files with the edits right where you left off.
    So basically, they've got down file compatibility - not hard when it's the same format they're holding the entire industry hostage with - but you'll still need the desktop version to print/publish, meaning it's NOT a standalone product, at least not initially. How's that any different from almost every other Adobe product released for iOS so far? - We will release a smaller set of features... and gradually add the rest over time.
    Man, I wish Adobe had a bug bounty program. I could get filthy rich during this period. - But we're completely rethinking the user experience for a modern touch device.
    No, you're basically throwing all your [redacted] on the wall and seeing what sticks. How inspired. - We've designed Photoshop on iPad with natural touch gestures in mind...
    WTF are "natural touch gestures" supposed to be?
  • I have moved on years ago from anything adobe. I use polarr as a pro user now. Their program, team, and business are all great. I was going to move to affinity, but Polarr does anything I want to a photo and across all my devices. I have it on my iPhone, ipad and my dell computers. Check em out!
  • YMMV, but I pulled the plug on Photoshop and never looked back. Procreate + Apple pencil on the iPad pro wins for painting and drawing, and Pixelmator + Affinity Photo handle the rest. On the Mac I have also used Clip Studio Paint, Acorn, and even Photoshop Elements, which still has normal non-subscription pricing (unfortunately Clip Studio is a subscription on the iPad.)