Photoshop …a Peek at What’s to Come

03 June 2015
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We’ve been very busy here at Adobe, redefining what connected mobile creativity means, both for our growing family of free mobile apps and in components for our partners that are leveraging Adobe technology via our Creative SDK. Today, I’d like to share what we’re doing to bring significant Photoshop functionality to more people in unique and powerful ways, and to extend your creative experience beyond the desktop.

Photoshop on the desktop has opened a world of unparalleled creative freedom, but as Scott Belsky, Adobe’s VP of Products, Community and Behance explained in a recent blog post of his own, bringing that kind of power to mobile presented us with some pretty daunting challenges.

One major challenge to creative freedom was, simply, access. While the phone may be your go-to for all of your daily snapshots, how do you get to those images on your tablet? And how do you access your projects or elements of your projects that reside on your desktop? This was among the first problems we set out to solve. Our new mobile apps can open files from Creative Cloud, so all of your mobile content and many of your desktop files are accessible to you on your mobile device, and the work you create while on your mobile device is accessible to you when you’re on your desktop. This means you can get to what you need, wherever you are.

Then there’s the editing challenge. We recognized that bringing core Photoshop technology to mobile would open many creative opportunities for our customers, but it had to be done right, which meant nailing the experience. To do that, we needed to distill very complex desktop workflows and features into a naturally intuitive touch environment. We’ve also sought to provide a solution that helps people achieve great results quickly. So we’ve recently focused on creating individual mobile apps that each perform core tasks, rather than provide all-in-one solutions that mirror the desktop versions of our applications.

Photoshop Mix demonstrates how we laser-focused on a traditionally complex workflow in the name of making it available to a broader group of people. With Mix, you can quickly merge multiple photos into one. What’s more, using Mix means tapping into the power of Photoshop and Adobe’s digital imaging technologies wherever you are. When you use “Auto” to adjust an image, for example, you’re leaning on Lightroom’s powerful processing engine, and when you use “Auto” in cut-out, you’re leveraging next-generation technology from our labs. And of course, you can access your files in Photoshop Mix from Creative Cloud and get the work you created with Mix back into Photoshop on your desktop, where it remains fully editable.

Photoshop Sketch was a natural for a touch-driven app as a sketching tool, but we wanted to deliver much more than a me-too illustration tool, which again, uses powerful Photoshop technology, offers access to your files, and integrates well back with Photoshop. Want to trace over a photo or translate beautiful strokes from clunky, fingertip scribbling? We’ve got you covered.

As for the access I’ve mentioned? Both Mix and Sketch stand strong on their own as tools you can use to create on your mobile devices, but opportunities increase exponentially when they communicate with their desktop partners and you can take that work further on the desktop. So Photoshop Mix passes full resolution, layered and masked PSD files to Photoshop CC and Sketch can also send PSDs to Photoshop CC or rich, scalable vectors to Illustrator CC.

One thing missing from our initial mobile offerings was a real solution for designers, especially those needing to work with type. We solved this in April with Adobe Comp CC, which couples intuitive gestures, powerful fonts from Typekit, and access to assets stored in Creative Cloud to provide an unrivaled mobile brainstorming and layout work surface. If you have Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC or InDesign CC on the desktop, Comp can send full resolution, native files to those.

We’ve also created apps we refer to as “capture apps.” These apps extend your Photoshop desktop experience by helping you capture inspiration wherever you are and easily bring it into Adobe desktop apps.

Adobe Shape CC, for example, is fast becoming one of my favorite apps. Whether you want to convert a napkin sketch into a rich illustration, a found object into a logo, or just reimagine an existing photo – it’s as easy as pressing a button.

Adobe Brush CC converts captured content into one-of-a-kind custom brushes and Adobe Color CCextracts colors themes from anything you point it at. And thanks to some new technology we cooked up, all of this content is immediately available to you on the desktop. Even better, your one-of-a-kind brush captures appear in Photoshop Sketch as soon as you capture them.

But this is only a fraction of what we’re doing when it comes to mobile. We certainly aren’t sitting still, and there are many more workflows that we still want to bring to mobile. As just one example, I’m proud to announce that we’re actively pursuing a serious retouching solution for mobile, it’s called Project Rigel and is expected to be available in late 2015.

Helping you find success quickly means giving you the right tools for the job and the very best technology and access. When we introduced Photoshop Touch several years ago, it was an all-in-one solution that mirrored the desktop version of Photoshop. But today, we believe that our new mobile solutions, when connected together and to the desktop, vastly expand creative possibilities.

Sometimes building for the future means we need to make hard choices and today I am also announcing that we are discontinuing Photoshop Touch. For those of you who have been using Photoshop Touch, thank you and please continue creating amazing work with it; while it will no longer be available in stores as of May 28th and we won’t ship further updates, it will remain completely functional on your devices for the foreseeable future.
Photoshop Touch was available across platforms and so I’d like to leave all of you on Android with some good news – we’re actively developing new mobile applications for Android and will share those with you very soon.

I couldn’t be more excited for current Creative Cloud members as well as those who are just discovering what Creative Cloud and our mobile apps can help you create. You now have more ways than ever to be creative, and your creativity is no longer tied to a desk. With a comprehensive collection of free, cloud-connected applications at your disposal, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

Author Bryan O’Neil Hughes