App of the week: Photoshop Touch

For this week’s app, we’ve decided to take a look at Adobe Photoshop Touch. Because this was featured in the Apple App Store’s best apps of 2012 list, we thought it would be a good idea to have a look at it and see whether it’s a genuinely useful tool for mobile image editing that could help designers, or more a fun app for touching up pics on the go.

Everyone knows Adobe Photoshop – whether that’s because you spend 9 to 5:30 creating image masks and amending the lighting levels of corporate photos or because your second cousin twice-removed edited all of last years’ holiday snaps so that it looked like they had two weeks of sun rather than torrential rain. But how well does a program that has more functions and shortcuts than you can shake a Wacom pen at translate into a tablet application?

How different is it from the desktop version?

Very much so! The interface has been completely redesigned to include big buttons and finger-friendly sliders, and many of the features that you’d find in the desktop version aren’t present – but that’s to be expected. If you buy this expecting to be able to get into the nitty gritty of image editing like you can in the full version, you’ll be disappointed. This is about making quick edits to images and sharing them.

So what can you do? According to its App Store listing, the top features are let you:

–     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.

–     Work on high-resolution images while maintaining the highest image quality. Supports images up to 12 megapixels.

Who is it aimed at?

Anyone who wants to quickly make edits to photos on the move. It’d be particularly useful, for example, if you’ve used your iPad to take a photo and want to get it looking spot on before sharing to Facebook or Twitter. You have everything you need if you want to add effects, alter colour levels, and add and remove backgrounds and titles.

It’s also great for making minor edits to photos that you want to include in a presentation that you’re putting together on your iPad.

What do our design team make of it?

To give it a real test, I asked our designer Xenia to take a look at the app to find out how she would feel about using it for work purposes:

“On the whole it’s a really great way to make quick edits to photos. There’s enough in here to get photos looking really good if you know the ins and outs of the app. The promo screenshots from Adobe are a good example of what can be achieved, but I wouldn’t go into it expecting to be able to do that kind of thing straight away. There’s still a bit of a learning curve – even if it is far more simplistic than Photoshop on my Mac.

“In terms of how easy it is to pick up, it’s very intuitive but there are certain functions that you’d really benefit from knowing how the desktop version works first. That being said, some tools have been altered to work on a tablet and didn’t work how I was expecting them to. I initially found it difficult to edit text boxes, for example, and used the ‘Back’ button as a workaround.

It is an amazing step in the right direction though. There are few apps out there that give you this level of freedom in editing imagery. Many are far more prescriptive in having preset effects (I’m thinking of Instagram and the numerous copycats out there) that you can’t manipulate and create something unique. To summarise, what has been included in Photoshop Touch is really good. I just found myself wishing there was more.”

How much does Adobe Photoshop Touch cost?

Adobe Photoshop Touch is available from the App Store for £6.99. You will also need to be using an iPad 2 or more recent (iPad mini is also supported) and be running iOS 5 or later.

It’s worth pointing out that there’s also a “Free” version out there – Photoshop Express. This has been completely slimmed down to cover the bare essentials of photo editing (basic effects, cropping, red eye reduction etc.) unless you want to pay for additional effects from within the app.

Looking for the whole caboodle? We are an Adobe Platinum Reseller and can provide the full range of Adobe Creative Suite applications. To find out more about Adobe Photoshop CS6 or for the latest pricing, take a look at our Photoshop page or get in touch on the details below.

Want to find out more about Apple’s iPad? Visit, call us on 03332 409 306 or email

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