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Adobe Photoshop Touch for Android Review

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Adobe Photoshop Touch for Android Review
Adobe recently unveiled its new productivity set of Touch Apps, designed specifically for use on Android tablets with Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, and arguably the most important piece of it is the Photoshop Touch application. Thankfully this is nothing like the limited Photoshop Express stuff that we've been treated to until now. This time, Adobe is stepping up its game seriously, introducing a full-featured program that has the potential to transform your Android tablet into a real productivity tool.


You can imagine that our biggest concerns with such an app are related to its interface. Not only should a true Photoshop app pack quite a few functions, but it's also a piece of software which involves quite a bit of drawing and painting, which, in this case, should be done using your finger.

After using Adobe Photoshop Touch on our Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for a while, we've come to the conclusion that the developer has done an overall good job with the execution of this task. All of your options and tools are neatly arranged around the sides of the screen, without taking any unnecessary space. However, they are still big enough to pick comfortably. Adobe has done some neat tricks in order to save space - for example, the names of the tools aren't visible, until you place your finger on top of them.

The interface of Adobe Photoshop Touch
The interface of Adobe Photoshop Touch
The interface of Adobe Photoshop Touch
The interface of Adobe Photoshop Touch

The interface of Adobe Photoshop Touch

With most tasks, such as applying effects, adjusting various settings and so on, we had absolutely no problems. As we said, keys are big enough, the GUI (graphical user interface) feels pretty straightforward after a few minutes with the app, so overall, we can say that Photoshop Touch is indeed an app made with easy touch use in mind (as it should be). Now, the more problematic part is of course related to the act of drawing. As you can imagine, drawing with your finger can be a daunting task, but you can't really go without it, as you'll certainly need to draw here and there, whether it is to do a custom selection, or paint over a certain area. Not that you can't achieve decent results, however – be ready for quite a bit of zooming in and out, panning around, changing brush sizes and so on.


Now, the other crucial aspect of an app, which is designed around the idea of being highly productive, is the feature-set. For an app like Photoshop Touch, where users will expect to find a very large selection of tools, this is very important. Thankfully, Adobe has delivered.

Adobe Photoshop Touch is designed around the idea of being highly productive
Adobe Photoshop Touch is designed around the idea of being highly productive
Adobe Photoshop Touch is designed around the idea of being highly productive
Adobe Photoshop Touch is designed around the idea of being highly productive

Adobe Photoshop Touch is designed around the idea of being highly productive

You can do a lot of stuff with Photoshop Touch. Most importantly, you can work with multiple layers, which clears the path to quite a bit of additional functionality. We're glad to see that layer usage (showing/hiding, changing blending modes) is quite simple and intuitive too.

You can import images, manipulate them (resize, rotate), you can also use advanced tools like the Magic Wand Tool (for making complicated selections), the Clone Stamp Tool, or the Blur and Smudge tools. Naturally, you can also adjust various settings such as the color balance, saturation, brightness & contrast, curves, etc., etc. A nice touch is the Creative Cloud, which allows you to sync your projects between Photoshop Touch and your desktop Photoshop.

You can import images and manipulate them
You can import images and manipulate them
You can import images and manipulate them

You can import images and manipulate them

Of course, you shouldn't expect to find a desktop level of functionality with this $9.99 app. For example, when you create some text, it doesn't stay as a text layer, it automatically gets resterized once you finish setting it up initially. Another thing is that you're left with what's preloaded, meaning you can't purchase/install additional text fonts, effects and so on. Hopefully this will get sorted out down the road, or Adobe will be updating Photoshop Touch regularly to add new functionality.

Overall, we're happy with what Adobe Photoshop Touch is, and for $9.99, we feel that we shouldn't ask for much more. It's mostly comfortable to work with, and it offers a rich array of capabilities. What more can you want from a high-end productivity app? Right now, Photoshop Touch is only available for Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich tablets, but an iOS version is announced to be coming soon as well.

Adobe Photoshop Touch for Android Video Review:

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posted on 17 Nov 2011, 06:41 1

1. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

Desktop apps created into tablets...

Proof that we're entering the tablet age.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 11:27 2

4. Boodies (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

do you kids who say this know wt heck you're talking about? lol There are things tablets are not meant to replace. And a pc is one of them. lol tell that to a graphic designer or a web designer or anyone who uses a pc for a living.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 14:03

8. bgospo (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Nov 2012)

I disagree, I'm a graphic/web designer and could think of ways to use photoshop on a tablet. Now would I be making major edits to a file...no, but it would be nice to have.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 07:13

2. Owlet (Posts: 450; Member since: 21 Feb 2011)

I'm super excited about this because I love Photoshop and use it all the time. Won't it be sweet to have it on my Galaxy Tab? That's the first thought. But giving it a second thought, I seriously doubt I can possibly use it instead of desktop version. There's no way I can be productive with this. It probably is just a neat toy to play with a few times.
But I'm glad they are trying. Adobe FTW!

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 10:06

3. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Should be cool on the GALAXY NOTE.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 21:02

5. stealthd (unregistered)

It's kind of amazing Adobe would decide to stick it to Apple and release an Android version first, considering they're going to get way more sales from iOS.

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 00:35

6. robinrisk (unregistered)

Any way this could be used on a phone?

posted on 20 Nov 2011, 14:37 1

7. spark55155 (Posts: 4; Member since: 20 Nov 2011)

The author of the article states "Hopefully... Adobe will be updating Photoshop Touch regularly to add new functionality." Some apps, Photoshop in particular, don't really lend themselves to touch screens, so I'm surprised anyone would use a tablet for photo editing, other than for such simple things as red-eye removal or cropping, which don't require a fine degree of user input. Plus, Photoshop is a memory hog and is CPU intensive, 2 things tables aren't really intended to support. The whole point of the tablet is to get away from the complexity of the PC! And to have a more "fun" experience. For anything that requires actual work, like real photo editing, use a regular computer - that's what they're for. A tablet will never be good for photo editing, no matter what photo editor is used. Even a standard PC setup isn't sufficient for real photo editing, so photo editing on a tablet is ridiculous. Likewise, real typing requires a regular keyboard - I was reading this article on my 5-inch Galaxy Player but had to go to my PC to type this comment. Just opening an account here at Phonearena was a problem on the tablet. Tablets are basically for reading. Adobe Photoshop touch is ALREADY bloated and overly complicated, so I hope they SIMPLIFY it by REMOVING functionalities. Please, stop editing your photos, spend the time instead learning to take good photos. The belief that every app needs additional functionalities or "upgrades" is misguided and doesn't engender a healthy world view, in my opinion, it only leads to bloatware, versioning issues, and other things associated with the PC, which is what we're trying to get away from. It's cliche to say that one "hopes for frequent upgrades".

posted on 07 Jan 2013, 10:25

9. herpderp (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)

Are you somehow annoyed that tablets are becoming more powerful? Why do you think tablets come with quad-cores these days? Most of the new tablets are far more powerful than computers in the 90s, that had a faction of the RAM and computing power, and yet they worked fine for professionals.

Realize that in real life, people use their phones and tablets to take pictures. Then, if they care, they apply some stupid effect and publish on instagram. Photoshop touch on the tablet is a huge step up from this, and I find it pretty damn impressive what you can do with very little effort - and on the move!

Of course, in an ideal world, everybody should carry around a desktop computer with a real keyboard and a wacom stylus/mouse, a separate GPS, a phone with a headset, a DSLR, a stereo with speakers, a scanner, a playstation, a ninja sword, etc. but not everybody has the back muscles of Wozniak you know.

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