Editor’s Note: I have not been paid to write this review or anything like that. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a development version at Adobe MAX and have also gotten a few Photoshop Touch download coupons courtesy of Adobe. Click here to enter our ‘Adobe #EdTech Giveaway’ to win!
This is one of the biggest apps to be released in 2012 for educators. I’m not just using hyperbole either. I was at Adobe MAX where CTO Kevin Lynch unveiled the plethora of new apps Adobe is releasing. The one that blew everyone in the audience (fellow geeks, educators, etc) away was Photoshop Touch. I was able to play with the app hands-on while it was in pre-release beta stage back in October and have been excited for its release ever since. Here’s why:
1) It’s not ‘Photoshop’
Let’s face it. Adobe Photoshop is one of the more robust and complex programs available today. Photoshop Touch (iTunes Link) is a boiled-down version that lets you do the most popular and necessary adjustments using your finger(s). Since it’s a touch interface (and just $9.99), you simply can’t do every single thing you could with the desktop version of Photoshop. That’s not a bad thing.
2) It’s ‘Photoshop’
While it may be the trimmed-down version of the mega-software, it’s still more robust than any other photo or image editing application available for the iPad today. I’ve played around with a few and nothing yet holds a candle to Photoshop Touch. The closest thing is Pixelmator which isn’t on the iPad…yet. That’s because Adobe kept in so many cool features and even added in new ones that you might not yet know about. More on that later.
3) It’s For Students & Teachers
Now to the education angle, of course. Photoshop Touch is a robust application that lets students / teachers of any skill level manipulate photos and images to their liking. I could see this being the almost mandatory second-step after you take a photo with the iPad. Don’t like the image but it can’t be retaken? Toss it up onto Photoshop Touch and adjust the contrast, cropping, clipping, hue, saturation, and remove some of the pesky background clutter all with the swipe of a finger. In fact, the software has been made so powerful that you can use the ‘scribble’ tool and it’ll automagically figure out what part of the image you want to work with. Whether you want to remove it, add filters, whatever.
4) It’s Affordable For School Districts
Ah, the price. This is usually the biggest stumbling block for Adobe. But not this time. Photoshop Touch is a $9.99 app in the Apple App Store right now. In fact, it went on sale this morning (despite the accidental release yesterday that was quickly withdrawn). That means you get a far simpler version of Photoshop at a fraction of the price. In fact, this is literally the cheapest version of Photoshop ever. While it’s obviously not the desktop version, it’s got enough tools to let students in an entire school district have access to the most important tools on Photoshop. That would have typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for the proper licensing, hardware, and staffing. Instead, IT admins in your district could now deploy Photoshop Touch onto hundreds of apps for a few thousand dollars.
5) The Feature List Is Huge
There’s more than a few tools that you’ll notice are brand new. For example, Photoshop Touch leverages the iPad’s mobility by letting you print using AirPrint, upload to the Adobe Creative Cloud (that’s what powers the Edudemic Magazine!) and more. Here’s the full list:
- 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
FYI: Adobe Photoshop Touch will be available for $4.99 via the education volume App Store.