Photoshop Touch Review

Apple has an iPad 3 announcement coming up on Wednesday, but there’s still news out there for the iPad 2. Adobe released Photoshop Touch, a remarkable mobile version of Photoshop specifically for the 2nd generation tablet.

The amount of functionality packed into Photoshop Touch is almost shocking. Since it does have to run on the limited platform of a tablet, it doesn’t include everything you’d find in the full-featured desktop version, but that doesn’t mean it lacks functionality.

The interface is the biggest change, and it’s obvious Adobe has put a lot of effort into making this version of Photoshop really easy to use, something desktop Photoshop itself has never been known for. It’ll require a bit of a relearning curve for those who are used to the desktop software like myself, but it’s well worth it.

Photoshop Touch - The Dread Pirate Cali
One big area they’ve advanced is selections. You can basically fingerpaint your selections, and it’s as easy as scribbling over the general area you want to keep, then scribbling again over the parts you don’t need. This is something that’s easier to grasp when seen than read, so check out the video below for A. J. Wood’s demonstration for Cali and John, and see the genesis of the awesome Dread Pirate Cali photo!

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Also of note are the tutorials. They’ve included 13 detailed tutorials that will help guide you through that learning curve. They cover a variety of topics of interest to photographers and digital artists, from adding dramatic flare to an image to adding tattoos, replacing colors, making paintings out of photos and more.

There are some limitations imposed by the hardware of the iPad 2. You can’t work with images larger than 1600×1600, though there’s speculation that a version capable of handling higher res images will come out for the iPad 3 in time.

I’ve been a Photoshop enthusiast for more years than I care to remember, so I was incredibly excited to learn that the Curves tool is a big part of Photoshop Touch. Most people won’t be too excited by that, but anyone who uses Photoshop in a big way will be excited by that; Curves are the heart and soul of Photoshop.

Given all this it’s kind of remarkable that it’s all available for $9.99 on the app store. Once the hardware evolves to the point where it can handle full-res images, this starting point will likewise have evolved into an app that could entirely replace the desktop version. For many people, it’s already there.