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Photoshop Touch brings hardcore image editing to iOS and Android

Jackie Dove | Aug. 5, 2013
Photoshop Touch 1.4.1 brings the power of Photoshop image editing to mobile devices.

Room for improvement
While generally quite impressive, a number of issues prevent this version of Photoshop Touch from being stellar. First, the interface. There are various parts of the app where icons are unlabeled and you have to search Adobe online documentation to find out what they mean.

Often while using the app (on all devices), menus on the bottom obscured parts of the image, forcing you to move the image around in order to edit it. This isn't that much of an inconvenience, but during testing, images often changed size as they moved.

Then there's the incompatibility between files generated by Photoshop Touch—large, uncompressed PSDX files designed to be opened in the desktop program. As of this writing, there are still some glitches in the operation requiring a complex manual install of the Photoshop desktop plug-in that opens the PSDX file. Adobe is aware of the issue and is working on a fix.

Beware those PSDX files. In saving a composite of high-resolution JPEGs on my iPad, a total of some 10MB ballooned into 45MB.

Bottom line
Photoshop Touch, a complex app with advanced functionality, is still in the formative stages of its development. Despite that, it was stable on all the devices I used, and its performance was more than respectable. And Photoshop users will vastly appreciate being able to do compositing work, selective adjustments, retouching, and color correction with high resolution images.

Because of its complexity, a more comprehensive context-sensitive or searchable help system should be developed. Syncing and format compatibility problems should be resolved.

I'm of two minds concerning separate app purchases for smartphones and tablets. It would be great if Photoshop Touch were a universal app where a single purchase buys both versions. That said, I can see why Adobe tried to give smartphone-only users a price break.

Adobe has done a good job of bringing the power of Photoshop to mobile apps. The current version of Photoshop Touch is just the starting point, and I look forward to vast improvements in interface and interoperability in future versions. Photoshop Touch isn't for everyone. Photoshop users will likely want to have Photoshop Touch as part of their editing toolset, but non-Photoshop users looking for mobile photo editing for social networking will want to go with something easier and more intuitive.


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