Adobe launches Photoshop for the iPad, with Illustrator coming soon
In Apple's ongoing mission to convince consumers that the iPad works as a laptop replacement, a full version of Photoshop for the tablet has long been one of its key promises. Having teased the launch back in October 2018, Adobe has now pushed out version 1.0 of Photoshop for the iPad.
Despite earlier talk of a fully-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop, not everything has been ported over from Windows and macOS... at least, not yet. A number of animation and selection tools, as well as extra brushes, are being added later, Adobe says.
Still, there's plenty to explore in this first version, including the key retouching and painting tools, plus support for layer and mask manipulations.
"We are launching the first version on the iPad, starting with Photoshop’s top workflows, compositing, masking and retouching, with more to come," wrote Adobe's Pam Clark in a blog post. "Over time, we’ll add more capabilities and workflows as we learn more about how customers use Photoshop on a mobile device."
Adobe is emphasizing that the code base for the new iPad app is the same as it is for the desktop version, bringing with it the same level of power, and even without certain features it's certainly one of the most sophisticated apps to make it to Apple's tablet to date.
The new photo editing app is tightly integrated with Adobe's developing cloud platform, so users will be able to seamlessly switch between computer and iPad when working on projects (that's the theory, anyway). There's a new cloud PSD format too, which means changes to an image are instantly backed up to the web.
Anyone can download Photoshop for the iPad, and use it for free for 30 days. After that, an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is required, as it is for the desktop version of Photoshop – prices start at US$10 a month for Photoshop and Lightroom, without any of the other CC applications.
The tablet app was launched as part of Adobe's annual MAX design conference, where it also revealed that the vector graphics program Illustrator will be joining Photoshop on the iPad at some point in 2020.
Also coming next year is a Photoshop Camera app for Android and iOS, which uses built-in artificial intelligence to apply filters, tweak photo settings, and drop lenses on top of images. The idea is that you're able to get some eye-catching effects or professional-looking fixes applied to your mobile snaps, without any heavy duty apps or time-consuming editing.