Adobe Photoshop Touch - Get Photoshop On Your Phone

7/26/2013 9:38:48 AM

Adobe Photoshop is such a powerful and complex photo-editing program on PCs, that squeezing it onto a phone and tablet app seemed impossible. But the Photoshop Touch app for tablets, which launched last year, works surprisingly well, because Adobe did a great job designing the app’s interface for touchscreens.

Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad

Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad

However, we were sceptical whether Adobe could repeat the trick on a phone’s lower-resolution, smaller screen. The interface has its challenges, but these are likely to affect users of the desktop version of Photoshop more than newcomers because they will waste time looking for features that have been renamed or aren’t available. The iPad version gets round this by including a selection of excellent step-by-step tutorials that cover many key features. Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent on the iPhone version. The help is tucked away on the opening screen instead of where you need it, inside the app itself.

Mix colors like a painter

Mix colors like a painter

Although there are some missing features, such as masks, there are still plenty of useful tools, including support for layers and all the standard crop, rotate, re-size, fill and text controls - although they don’t have the same extensive options as their desktop counterparts. Creative effects include

lens flare, warp and transform. It takes trial and error to get the best from these effects, but if you want fast results you can use 36 FX filters (glow, chalk and so on) and 12 adjustment types (such as saturation, color balance and more) to help you perform some quick editing on the go, should inspiration strike.

When we tested it, the app almost never felt sluggish on either an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5. In theory images up to 12 megapixels can be edited, but in our experience the app slowed down when attempting to edit images this large, so we wouldn’t recommend it. However, if you have an older smartphone you may be out of luck anyway. The Android version requires version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), or later. The iPhone version requires the A5 processor so it won’t run on the older but still popular iPhone 4 which doesn’t use this chip. Photos can be shared on all the major social networks, as well as via email and on Adobe’s own subscription-based Creative Cloud service.

Editing photos on a small screen is tricky because some of the dialogue boxes take up too much space and hide what you’re working on. If you want to use this app, consider buying a 5in phone, or bigger.

Despite these problems, anyone looking for a photo­ editing app that goes beyond the basics will find Photoshop Touch a bargain at just $5.

Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPhone brings powerful image editing to the iPhone and iPod touch

Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPhone brings powerful image editing to the iPhone and iPod touch


Despite some interface problems and performance niggles with large images, this is a good replacement for the basic photo-editing features on many smartphones

Ratings: 4/5

Key points

·         Includes core Photoshop tools

·         Won’t run on older smartphones

·         Needs proper tutorials and better help

·         Missing some advanced tools and options

·         Works better on larger screens

·         Cheap

Best price online

Price: $5






Price: Free

A good free, photo-editing app, although it can be a bit slow and some features cost extra

Ratings: 5/5

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