Adobe release Photoshop Touch

Jackie Dove, Macworld
28 February, 2012
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Adobe has announced that Photoshop Touch – the centrepiece of its suite of mobile Touch apps – is now available for the iPad from the iTunes store. Priced at $10.49, it runs on the iPad 2 and is compatible with iOS 5.

With Photoshop Touch, you can use your Apple tablet to produce and edit images, combine images, apply effects, work in layers, extract parts of an image and refine work created on the tablet with your desktop Photoshop program. Photoshop Touch also has a social networking component that lets you share your work with Facebook friends and view their comments.

Introduced last spring as part of the company’s mobile app initiative and thus far available only for the Android OS, Photoshop Touch is the second of six Touch apps to be made available for iOS devices. Of the other apps – Proto, Ideas, Debut, Collage and Kuler – only Adobe Ideas, a vector drawing and sketchbook app, has thus far been available for iOS.

Advanced image editing and compositing

Targeted to creative folk and Photoshop users of all levels, Adobe Photoshop Touch lets you create or work with images on-the-go. Just tap the screen with your finger or a stylus and a host of familiar, Photoshop tools – such as Paint, Clone and Eraser – become available. The app works with images of up to 1600 by 1600 pixels in dimension. It offers sophisticated functionality such as working with layers and live-camera fill layers, blend modes, fades and Photoshop-style methods of selecting, integrating and separating images.

Selection can be tricky no matter how or where you do it, but Photoshop Touch’s Scribble function, alongside more familiar selection choices such as the Marquee and Lasso tools, lets you select with a fingertip the parts of an image you want to keep or discard. Refine Edge, another Photoshop-derived selection feature, also makes an appearance on Photoshop Touch to assist with difficult selections like hair, grass and fur.

Photoshop would not be Photoshop – even in Touch form – if it did not include a library of special effects and filters, which you can apply to parts of an image, layer or selection. Using a finger tap, you can move between different sets of effects and easily apply them. The Filter Brush feature lets you paint effects onto your image with your fingertip. Either by layer or selection, you can also apply tone and colour curve adjustments to your artwork. Edge-aware painting, another option, automatically detects where paint should stop on an image. The app also features text functionality, complete with strokes, drop shadows and fades.

Gathering and sharing images

The application makes it easy to obtain raw material. You can choose images from various sources such as your camera roll, shooting your own image from the iPad and from online sources such as Facebook and Google. With the Google search, you can even search by colour. For the design crowd, the app makes it possible to search for images that are properly licensed for reuse and modification.

Firing up Photoshop Touch does not leave you wondering what to do next. Within the app, there are a number of tutorials that walk you step-by-step through getting started with major features. If you’re a Photoshop user, you’ll get the picture pretty quickly. While the main menu is icon driven, a tap will reveal what and where everything is.

Eventually, Photoshop Touch will operate in conjunction with Creative Cloud when that service gets up and running this summer. Meantime, you can still use the app as you would any other app on the iPad and email, post or sync your creation with your Mac for further tweaking.

Other Touch apps

Regarding the rest of the Touch apps – Adobe Collage for moodboards; Adobe Debut for presenting and reviewing creative work; Adobe Kuler for colours; and Adobe Proto for website and mobile app prototyping – the company has not given exact release dates for their debut on the iPad, but says only that they will be available in the coming months.

Adobe Photoshop Touch features include:

  • Use popular Photoshop features designed for the tablet such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create mind-blowing images.
  • Use your iPad camera to fill an area on a layer with the unique camera fill feature.
  • Select part of an image to extract by scribbling with the Scribble Selection tool. With Refine Edge, use your fingertip to capture     even hard-to-select image elements, like hair, with ease.
  •  Search and acquire images with the integrated Google Image Search.
  • Share images on Facebook and view comments right within the app.
  • Browse an inspirational gallery for the styles and results you’d like to achieve. Then follow step-by-step tutorials to easily learn techniques the pros use for great-looking results.
  • Use AirPrint for wireless printing of Photoshop Touch projects.
  • Upload projects to Adobe Creative Cloud* and open layered files from Adobe Photoshop Touch in Photoshop CS5.
  • Maximum image resolution: 1600 x 1600 pixels

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