Adobe Photoshop for iPad is Finally Here, Along with Much More

Nearly a year after it was first announced, Adobe unveils Photoshop for iPad at its annual Adobe MAX conference this week, and it has published a blog post celebrating the launch of version 1.0.

The world’s best imaging and graphic design software is at the core of just about every creative project from photo editing and compositing to digital painting, animation, and graphic design. And now you can harness the power of Photoshop on your iPad to create anything you can imagine, wherever you’re inspired.

As Adobe said right from the start, this initial version of Photoshop for the iPad isn’t at feature parity with its desktop editing software. It does, however, support Apple Pencil for iPad Pro and more recent iPad models, and it allows editing of PSD files. Work done in the iPad app is automatically saved to the cloud through a new “cloud documents” system Adobe is rolling out.

The app has been redesigned for the context of a mobile device and includes many of desktop Photoshop’s core tools, particularly around compositing, retouching, and masking. Not everything is here, but “this is the beginning,” writes Photoshop product manager Pam Clark.

“Over time, we’ll add more capabilities and workflows as we learn more about how customers use Photoshop on a mobile device.”
Tools and features you’ll find in v1.0 include basic adjustments (e.g. brightness, contrast, hue, saturation), layer masks, brushes, sophisticated selections, blend modes, clone stamp, spot healing, crop, gradients, paint bucket, eyedropper, and color picker.

The company is planning to follow a rapid-fire schedule of releases that will add new features and capabilities to the app. Features coming soon include the ability to rotate the canvas, Refine Edge, Select Subject, and more brushing options.

Because it’s a mobile app, Photoshop product manager Jenny Lyell says Adobe plans to update Photoshop for the iPad at a much more aggressive pace than it has with its current Creative Cloud apps for the desktop, so that gives the team more time to get feedback from users and add new features gradually.

“We’re not going to try to get 30 years of features and unload them on a brand new customer, on a brand new platform, from day one,” Belsky says. “Instead, we’re going to rethink the evolution of some of these features.” Photoshop on the iPad may not be “full” Photoshop yet, but it is real.

Cloud PSDs signify Adobe’s commitment to its new generation of tablet apps, including Fresco and Aero, which both support the new file format. When a PSD is in the cloud, its extension will be changed to PSDC, “C” for cloud. PSDCs will auto-save as users work and can be saved in other cloud storage locations other than the Creative Cloud. Users can use Photoshop on their iPads or desktops offline, with edits being cached on the device until they connect back to the internet.

Photoshop for iPad stole the show today at Adobe MAX, but photographers will be glad to hear that Adobe hasn’t forgotten about Lightroom.
All of Adobe’s Lightroom apps (CC, Classic, and Mobile) got some useful updates today.
Today’s “2019 Photography Releases” include a slew of minor updates for all of Adobe’s apps, and you can read about them in detail on the Adobe Blog.

And besides that, they announced many other new Adobe products like Illustrator 2020, Aero, Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc.

You’ll need to be running at least iPadOS 13.1 for Photoshop, and supported iPad versions include the Pro (Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi + Cellular), Pro 12.9-inch (and 2nd generation), Pro 10.5-inch, Pro 9.7-inch, 5th generation, mini 4, and Air 2.

Here’s how pricing works for the new Photoshop on iPad app: if you’re already subscribed to the Photography plan (for Photoshop and Lightroom) for $10 a month before January 31st, 2020, you’ll have the iPad app bundled into your plan. Otherwise, you’ll need to at least subscribe to the Photoshop plan that gives you access to the desktop and iPad app (as well as 100GB of cloud storage) for $21 per month.

More info on Adobe’s website.

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