App Name: Adobe Photoshop Touch for Phone
Available Platforms: iPhone 4s and 5, iPod Touch (5th generation) and Android (4.0)
What does this app do?: It was just about a year ago that Adobe, the maker of digital content tools such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, released its popular Photoshop Touch application for the iPad. This week, the California-based company made the application available for mobile users taking the functionality of the photo editing application and packing it into an app for a smaller screen.
Photoshop’s product manager, Stephen Nielson, says part of the impetus for developing the app for the phone stems from the way photography has changed with the proliferation of smartphones. Take, for example, the recent emergence of iPhotography. With many people now snapping images with their mobile devices, Neilson said it made sense to offer the advanced tools of Photoshop in an app tailored to the small screen of a phone.
“My phone is the device I always have on me,” he said. “I can be creative anywhere, even when I don’t have my tablet with me.”
The app allows users to create and edit a project, add layers and filters, and share across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and Dropbox, depending on the type of file. The veteran Photoshop user will find many of the same editing features already available to them in the desktop software, such as the ability to crop and extract images, add warps and lens flares, and adjust colors and blending. A row of buttons across the top allows users to add adjustments, such as curves and effects. From the bottom of the screen, select and swipe to apply tools, such as paint and camera fill. The app’s Scribble Selection feature allows users to etch out selections and to continue to refine as they go.
The app also syncs with Adobe Creative Cloud, a monthly fee-based service that allows users to create, store and share projects across the Web. Users can access and sync up to 2 GB of content to the cloud for free.
Is it easy to install: Yes. You’ll find the 32.2 MB file easy to download and install.
Should I try it?: Adobe Photoshop Touch for phone manages to cram in most of the features available in the desktop version while still giving users enough screen real estate to play. To accomplish this, however, Adobe sacrificed the help and tutorial content, hiding some basic how-to information under the menu button leaving out the rest.
This shouldn’t stop experienced Photoshop users. In fact, the app seems better suited to someone who is already accustomed to the software. For the uninitiated, you might try learning the application on a desktop first, or sticking to a simpler photo editing app, such as Adobe’s Photoshop Express or Instagram.