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Adobe ships Photoshop for iPad 1.0

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 | Posted by Jim Thacker

 
Adobe has released Photoshop for iPad, a new version of its image-editing and digital painting software “reimagined” for use on mobile devices.

The iOS app, which includes a core set of Photoshop features adapted for touchscreen use, is subscription-only, either via Adobe’s Creative Cloud plans, or via its own in-app payments.

The release was announced at Adobe MAX 2019, along with After Effects 17.0, Character Animator 3.0, Dimension 3.0, Photoshop 21.0 and Premiere Pro 14.0, plus new iOS augmented reality authoring app Aero.

The ‘real’ Photoshop, adapted for use on mobile devices
First announced at Adobe MAX last year, Photoshop for iPad is built on the same code base as the desktop edition of Photoshop, unlike previous Adobe apps like Photoshop Express.

It’s intended to produce identical results to the desktop edition, exchanging files with it either via standard export formats like PSD, TIFF, JPG and PNG, or via a new cloud documents system.

However, it currently includes only a very restricted subset of Photoshop features: Adobe says that the initial release is “focused on compositing, basic retouching and masking”.

As well as a set of core tools, adapted for touchscreen workflows, the 1.0 release includes a limited set of selection features, and a layer stack with support for masks and blending modes.

Still a lot of key features to come in future updates
We can’t find a detailed comparison with the desktop edition in the online documentation, but there are clearly some fairly basic features still missing: the ‘coming soon’ list includes the option to rotate the canvas.

In Adobe’s official user forum, the response to the initial release has been fairly lukewarm, with one poster calling the feature set a “huge disappointment“.

In particular, users have singled out the lack of support for RAW images, curves adjustments and the lack of an option to import custom brushes as stumbling blocks to serious work.

In its blog post, Adobe describes the 1.0 release as just “the beginning” and says that it will “add more capabilities and workflows as we learn more about how customers use Photoshop on a mobile device”.

“We know we have more work to do and we encourage you to share what’s important to you after you’ve tried the product,” the company said.

Updated 22 November 2019: Adobe has published a blog post listing features coming to Photoshop for iPad later this year and in early 2020, which includes curve adjustments.

Unlike its key competitors, Photoshop for iPad is also a subscription-only product.

Via in-app purchases, it costs $9.99/month, compared to one-off payments of $9.99 for Savage Interactive’s digital painting app Procreate, or $19.99 for the mobile edition of Serif’s image editor Affinity Photo.

However, we imagine that the majority of early users will effectively be getting the app for free, since Photoshop for iPad is also bundled with subscriptions to the desktop software.

Other news: Fresco now available for Windows tablets, Illustrator for iPad due next year
In related news, Adobe has announced Illustrator for iPad: an equivalent app for vector design work, again “reimagining” the desktop application for use on a mobile device.

The firm has also released Fresco 1.1, an update to its new professional digital painting tool for mobile devices, making the app available on Windows as well as iOS.

Pricing and system requirements
Photoshop for iPad itself is available for iOS 13.1+. You can trial it for free, but you have to make in-app purchases of $9.99/month to continue using it if you don’t have another qualifying subscription.

Of those, Photography subscription plans start at $119.88/year, which gives you access to Photoshop for iPad if you buy before 31 January 2020. After that, you’ll need the plan costing $239.88/year.

Photoshop subscriptions, which also include Photoshop for iPad, start at $31.49/month. All App subscriptions start at $79.49/month.

 
Visit the Photoshop for iPad product site

Read a full list of features in Photoshop for iPad 1.0 in the online documentation

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