Adobe Photoshop Touch App For Android

Adobe Photoshop Touch: $9.99
(Android 3.1 and up, requires 8.9-inch screen with 1280x800 min resolution) 

This is the finished photo from one of the built-in tutorials, of which one step is shown as a grab below. Making selections is quick and easy with the new Scribble Selection tool but using the Refine Edge tool to tidy up requires some practice with a fingertip

Following Adobe’s capable but somewhat underpowered Photoshop Express app, Photoshop Touch provides some insights into Adobe's vision of the future of image manipulation on tablets. For the time being Photoshop Touch is available for Android only, and only powerful Honeycomb models at that, but there are plans afoot for an iOS version compatible with Apple's iPad. At $9.99, Photoshop Touch is one of the more expensive apps in the Market but for that price it offers some interesting and unique capabilities. 

One of Photoshop Touch's most interesting features is the Scribble Selection tool, which allows you to make selections by dragging your finger, as you would a mouse in the full-strength desktop version of Photoshop. Scribble Selection is very versatile but complex backgrounds can trip it up. 

Unsurprisingly, Photoshop Touch doesn't offer the same level of flexibility as the full desktop version, but its feature set is impressively 'deep' nonetheless, and includes  support for layers, a decent array of familiar Photoshop selection tools, effects and filters. Also available is a range of image acquisition options including synching to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Facebook and Google Images.

When images are opened they are converted in the app to a psdx layer format. When exported to Facebook, saved to the tablet, or emailed they're converted to the JPEG file format, at a maximum output resolution of 1600 pixels (along the longest edge). When exported to Adobe's Creative Cloud, the file remains a psdx file and can be opened in Photoshop CS5 using a free plugin, and then saved in any format (although the 1600 pixel limit still applies).

The 1600 pixel limit is disappointing, but at least - unlike the earlier Photoshop Express app - zooming to 100% is possible, and very easy using the now-standard 'pinch apart' gesture. With a restricted workspace Adobe has done well to keep the UI as streamlined as possible - a familiar tool palette arranged vertically down the left-hand side can be minimized to make best use of the screen’s real estate while a menu bar along the top features more tools and drop-down windows for adjustments and effects. 

An uncluttered UI makes good use of your tablet's screen real estate - panels on the left and on the right can be minimized. Keep in mind though that this image shows Photoshop Touch running on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which boasts a generous (10.1-inch) screen.

Applying adjustments is easy - you simply select the effect from a series of thumbnails and then drag your finger horizontally on the slider to increase or decrease the strength. Painting or making selections is more tricky, however, if only because your fingertip obscures the view. The new Scribble Selection tool helps overcome this to a point, although complex backgrounds can be problematic.

We would still recommend a stylus (such as the Bamboo from Wacom) but there’s a handy offset pointer option that works well, but it’s odd that you must have a second finger touching the screen to activate it – lift either finger off for a second and the process is interrupted. At times though, some of the actions such as zooming, processing and others, can feel a bit laggy on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. In spite of its limitations, Photoshop Touch feels accomplished and its mix of power, flexibility and ease of use is impressive.

What we like: Easy selections using a fingertip, support for layers and many familiar Photoshop functions

What we don't like: Somewhat laggy operation (tested on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1), low resolution limit of 1600 x 1600 pixels

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 32
caidonhjk
By caidonhjk (Jun 11, 2012)

Save your money, time, and your images in high resolution.

Get Photo Enhance Pro and Pic Say Pro.

1 upvote
maxxjr
By maxxjr (Jan 3, 2012)

I wouldn't consider this or any other Android app a replacement for PC software, at least as things stand today. My thought is that this is a way to do some basic things, "quick and dirty" in the field (or on vacation).

Today I use a Netbook for this...and there probably needs to be better RAW support with Android before I really consider leaving the Netbook or laptop at home, and going anywhere with just tablet + camera.

0 upvotes
AquiCursoPontoCom
By AquiCursoPontoCom (Mar 4, 2012)

actually, there is no way to replace the PC for any other equipment to work on graphic desing, but only for small tasks such as software for android.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Dec 30, 2011)

I tried it on a friends tablet, dont know which one ^^but if the performance, AND the way the app handles everything, is the same on the future iOS release, then i stay with filterstorm ^^

i dont know if filterstorm is available for android, but on iOS it simply ROCKS, in fact i would use filterstorm on my mac instead of PS for photos if it would exist for OSX

I dont understand what adobes plan is for touch devices anyway, to me all productivity apps they released so far are crap, adobe ideas, adobe PS express, PS touch.

especially adobe ideas, for 5 € you get 1! pencil, thats it ..^^

i think the only major company that really invests time and ideas for tablets is Autodesk. if they bring out sketchbook design for iOS i will try to marry the boss of this comany hehe

0 upvotes
fatspoon
By fatspoon (Jan 3, 2012)

When you say 'Filterstorm' are you talking about the app that's been universally panned in the App Store? Average rating of 1.5 out of 5?

1 upvote
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Dec 29, 2011)

What this article does not reveal is that android has a 25MB limit to any image adjustment program.
Meaning that whatever number of versions are reuired to get from your original image to your final touched-up image, all these vesions can not exceede a total of 25MB.

This is an Android Limitation.

There is a very good solution to this problem and it is the app 'Photo Enhance Pro'. It gets around the 25MB limitation by working each image one line of pixels at a time.
It is ingenious and works very, very well. I use it for my photo journalism on a daily basis.

Be aware that once you mke adjustments the displayed, unsaved result is a bit soft.
But when you save the image and view it with 'Quick Pic' you will be amazed at how good the clarity, sharpness, color of Photo Enhance Pro works.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
E Dinkla
By E Dinkla (Dec 29, 2011)

Not a word about Android tablet screen color calibration and Touch color management. Sure they hardly exist but should that not be mentioned?

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Dec 30, 2011)

if its not in photoshop touch, i guess not, as this is a photoshop touch review ^^

1 upvote
jesslo07
By jesslo07 (Jan 1, 2012)

If nothing else it's note worthy that if you use this on a Galaxy Tablet or anything with an AMOLED display, your color accuracy is completely lost.

0 upvotes
Michael D.
By Michael D. (Jan 3, 2012)

Samsung tablets do not have AMOLED displays with the exception of galaxy note (which is not really a tablet). Only phones do.

0 upvotes
Ryan Crognale
By Ryan Crognale (Jan 6, 2012)

Voodoo Control offers color control with adjustments in gamma, color temp and perceived contrast. It's not a bad start.

0 upvotes
Robert Koren
By Robert Koren (Dec 29, 2011)

I have takef time to to test it on some work I do. the image was 1200*800. I was using two layers. and after two hours I just erse the project. in desktop photoshop it takes 10min to do the job.
whta was the bigest problems I have :
in first it was wery bad performance.
in second wery strange work with layers
in third , theagic selection is useless and manual selection is preaty hard by finger
and at last I was wery disapointed about the brush and look of the brush, it was always to hard at the edges so it was unable to do soft transitions

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Dec 30, 2011)

could you explain what you tried to do and show us the picture you tried to work on ?

two hours instead of 10 min is tough ^^

0 upvotes
Robert Koren
By Robert Koren (Dec 31, 2011)

i can not send you the picture (company isues)but basicali it was a photo from inside of helicopter. and the main think it was replacement of the vysual of the terrain with another one and then color and light corrections.

0 upvotes
Robert Koren
By Robert Koren (Dec 31, 2011)

and to be correct one hour it take to learn how the thinks and workflow goes in touch version.

0 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Dec 29, 2011)

Rather get a Samsung series 7 Slate, which comes with a Wacom digitiser, and can run full versions of Lightroom and Photoshop (or any other PC software you normally run)

3 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Dec 29, 2011)

Does it allow adjustment of curves, colour balance and saturation, as per full photoshop?

Edit: I see it does indeed, under 'Adjustments'. Looks pretty worthwhile.

Still, I'd rather invest in a proper Windows 8 tablet with a Wacom pen that can run full Photoshop (and lightroom too, as a bonus).

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
daMatrix
By daMatrix (Dec 29, 2011)

This example just proofs that tablets are nowhere near laptop /desktop photo editing.

0 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Dec 29, 2011)

No, it proves that tablets using mobile OSes are nowhere near laptops/desktop editing. An x86 tablet running Windows and full PS can easily be better than desktop/laptop simply because it comes with a Wacom digitiser. Take a look at the Samsung Series 7 Slate and the Asus EP121. We'll see more and better examples as W8 and 22nm processors start rolling out.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Dec 30, 2011)

no it proves that

1) its hard to develop for android, because you cant be sure what tablet/OS version the user uses

2)that adobe doesnt care about tablet users, beccause they sell their normal software for around 100x of what they charge for their mobile softwar

3)that adobe thinks its enough to just be adobe and call their product photoshop to attract buyers

4)that often there are way better apps from small developers than from a major studios

5)sorry for that, but that apple rules the tablet market, i mean ok ps is not out for iOS so far, but we all know, if apple says it runs fluently on an iOS device, it just does ^^

6) and last but not least, i use a d700 and a d3, and i can connect my camera to my ipad2, download the RAWs, edit them with filterstorm and upload them from anywhere on the go, and since i have an ipad i dont take my laptop with me, and customers get their pictures available online before they are at home. sometimes before they leave the location^^

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jesslo07
By jesslo07 (Jan 1, 2012)

@ 2) The truth of it is that Adobe is losing money on this, much the same with a lot of the photo editing software available on iOS. This is largely due to market saturation and the supply and demand on mobile applications. These apps are meant to support those who use their vastly more expensive PC programs. If they sold Photoshop Touch at the price it would take to make money, nobody would buy it.

Even if tablet hardware was powerful enough to leverage apps as powerful as Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, or Photoshop, until market saturation is some how contained, devs like Adobe, Nik, or Apple will not cannibalize their PC market.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Dec 29, 2011)

Five inch prints at 300 dpi. Fun for small prints only. Great for web email, facebook, etc.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Dec 30, 2011)

and if it would support 50Mpixel, would you use a 10" screen and a 1cm^2 mouse arrow to do you professional work ? ^^

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Dec 31, 2011)

"...small prints only. Great for web email, facebook, etc."

So, great only for 98% of image uses today. Too bad...

0 upvotes
James Van Artsdalen
By James Van Artsdalen (Dec 29, 2011)

Since when is 1600 x 1600 "real high resolution"? I have never owned a digital camera with resolution that low! Maybe a camera-phone years ago; I no longer remember.

I did try to use it with a Toshiba Thrive but I was not able to pan after zooming the image. There are no tutorials or instructions on *using* the app, only on how to make various edits, and nothing on how to view or inspect the picture to decide what, if anything, to do.

Everything is driven by unlabeled icons. You won't get anywhere unless you're already proficient with Photoshop/desktop.

0 upvotes
Rupert Bottomsworth
By Rupert Bottomsworth (Dec 29, 2011)

Where does it say 1600 x 1600 is "real high resolution"?

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Dec 30, 2011)

.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Dec 28, 2011)

if you want real high resolutuon images get Photo Enhance Pro for android.

Supplement this with Pic Say Pro and you have all you need to adjust your images.

Save your money, time, and your images in high resolution.

Get Photo Enhance Pro and Pic Say Pro.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Visage Photography
By Visage Photography (Dec 28, 2011)

Eeek!.. looks very rough around the edges, you can't be serious about editing an image on a screen this size surely?

0 upvotes
Rickard Hansson
By Rickard Hansson (Dec 29, 2011)

zooming...

0 upvotes
srados
By srados (Dec 31, 2011)

All this technology is made for serous AMATEURS.If I am going to rely on the thickness of my FINGER to pick a PIXEL. Makers of this are smoking some serous hallucinogens substance...not to mention SIZE of the screen no matter how much you can zoom in.I am pretty skeptical about miniaturization of something that need to be big.Also processor power is something that is NOT POWERFUL enough to manage 20 megapixel RAW image...which is again not available in these smart devices.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Dec 28, 2011)

More like Photoshop Touched.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 32