Photoshop is the undisputed king of professional-grade photo-editing on the desktop. Now, Adobe has brought over a host of the most popular features of its desktop photo-editing application to smartphones with Photoshop Touch for both iPhone and Android. Check out our hands-on look at it after the jump.
First, a little background history: Photoshop Touch was initially released for the iPad around a year ago. It received overwhelmingly positive reviews for successfully bringing the Photoshop experience to tablet-form; it made Photoshop accessible without significantly dumbing down features.
You’ll be happy to know that Photoshop Touch’s transition from a tablet app to a smartphone app is surprisingly smooth. This writer’s only big gripe with it has more to do with smartphones’, especially the iPhone’s, limiting display size than anything else.
New projects can be created from images stored in your Photo Gallery, Camera, Clipboard or started with a completely empty document, or you can load already created projects from your Creative Cloud – which comes with 2GB of free online storage for effortlessly syncing projects between iOS, Android and the desktop. Images of resolution up to 12 megapixels can be loaded and edited on Photoshop Touch!
As we’ve mentioned before, Photoshop Touch comes with the usual features you would expect from a desktop-class photo-editing application. You have your Cloning tool, Brush, Selection tools, nine different adjustment options as well as a set of 36 customizable filters, the ability to add text (a dozen fonts pre-included), layer support, the ability to transform, warp, crop, resize, rotate elements and a whole lot more.
Scribble Selection (left). Zooming in up to 400% (right).
But that’s not all. Photoshop Touch has unique features that you won’t find in your $600 Photoshop CS6.
First up is “Camera Fill”, which allows you to fill out a selected area in your image using your camera. Although, of course, you can use it more wisely, I could only come up with this in my testing:
Because selection is such a pain in the neck on smaller displays, Photoshop Touch, like it’s desktop counterpart, comes with a Refine Edge feature that allows you to smooth out the edges of your selection or make it more precise. On the flipside, you can also use Scribble Selection to roughly choose areas to keep/remove; Photoshop will automatically detect distinct items from your image that you can then quickly cut/copy or apply different adjustments and filters on.
The sheer amount of features that Photoshop Touch comes with is truly mind-boggling. No photo-editing app on smartphones comes as close to bringing powerful Photoshop-like features to mobile devices as, well, Photoshop Touch itself.
This doesn’t mean it is absolutely perfect for everyone, of course. With its dozens of features, and resource-intensive nature (I quickly lost 10-15% of my charge while testing), Photoshop Touch is overkill for anyone looking for basic editing. Additionally, the lack of tutorials (Note: Photoshop Touch for iPad does come with tutorials) and at times choppy performance on iPhone 4S and iPod touch 5G will leave a bad impression on some.
For people who just want basic photo-editing, camera apps like Camera+ or KitCam with their built-in photo-editing tools and even photo-editing focused apps like Snapseed will be more than enough. These apps also support older devices like iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and older firmware (read: iOS 5). With that in mind, be sure to check out our list of best free photo-editing apps for iOS. Android users should read our list of favorite photo-editing and sharing Android apps.
However, if you use Photoshop on the desktop and would like to have a similar image-editing capabilities on the go, look no further than Photoshop Touch.
Photoshop Touch works on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, iPod touch (fifth generation), as well as Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and later. It is available for $4.99 on both stores.