Adobe is without question the place to go for image editing on the desktop. On mobile, it's closer to an afterthought. Adobe has been trying to change that over the past couple years as it rolls out more and more free mobile apps that break out some of its most impressive desktop features. Now, it's taking another crack at bringing a single powerful editing tool to mobile.
Adobe intends to make it powerful but easy to use
According to CNET, Adobe is working on a new Photoshop-branded app for the iPhone and iPad that'll be introduced as a free app this October, with an Android version coming later. The app should include many powerful and commonly used features from desktop Photoshop — like content-aware fill and spot healing — but it's supposed to make them much more accessible, so that people just getting into image editing can start to use them. In part, that's about figuring out how to bring these tools to a touch interface, but it's also as simple as renaming tools like "dodge" and "burn" to "lighten" and "darken." Adobe actually previewed some of these tools back in May:
There will also be a lot going on under the hood. CNET reports that Adobe is bringing a face recognition tool to this mobile app — something that isn't in desktop Photoshop — that'll allow people to quickly adjust different facial features. And while the app may treat edited photos like a flat image, it'll apparently be saving edits into separate layers that can be synced back to the desktop. That could let existing Photoshop users do a bit of work on the go, while giving people who get hooked on this new app a reason to subscribe to Creative Cloud.
Adobe has tried its hand at a mobile Photoshop before, with Photoshop Touch, but that app was recently discontinued. CNET's report makes it sound like this new tool could take its place as Adobe's mobile star. That said, Adobe has acknowledged that most people use focused, single-purpose apps on mobile — it's much easier to pop into an app dedicated to applying filters or framing photos than digging for those tools in a giant editor — so this app may still be positioned as a step up for people who are looking to do a bit more with photo editing than they're used to.