Today, on the 30th anniversary of Adobe Photoshop launching, Adobe has released an update for its desktop and iPad app, bringing substantial improvements to a few key features, as noted in its announcement blog post.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2020 (Desktop)

Adobe kicked off the updates with an impressive improvement to its desktop iteration of Photoshop with an improved Content-Aware Fill workspace, updates to the Lens Blur tool, a slightly updated UI and a number of bug fixes. We’ll take a look at the details of the updates in the sections below.

Content-Aware Fill

Previously, if you needed to make multiple Content-Aware Fill edits, Photoshop required you to make the edits one at a time. Now, with this new update, you can make multiple selections and apply multiple fills within the Content-Aware Fill workspace without needing to exit every time. This not only reduces the number of clicks, it also allows you to preview edits in real-time when more complicated scenes require multiple edits at once.

Lens Blur

Another major improvement in this update is to the Lens Blur tool, which now relies on the GPU of your computer, rather than the CPU. As seen in the comparison images below, offloading the processing of the Lens Blur tool to the GPU dramatically improves the realism of the edit through more refined edges, more accurate bokeh (thanks to specular highlights) and an overall sharper image that looks more pleasing than edits process with the CPU.

Lens Blur tool processed using CPU Lens Blur tool processed using GPU

‘The results are created by an algorithm the [Photoshop engineering] team built by studying first the principles of physics and how light interacts with objects in the real world,’ says Photoshop Project Manager Pam Clark in the announcement post. ‘It is carefully tuned to simulate a 3D environment to create the most realistic results possible, while also consuming the least amount of computing power so you don’t burn up your machine.’

UI and Performance

Adobe has also added support for the new dark mode in macOS Catalina, with all of the new system dialogs matching the light/dark mode settings you have turned on at the system level.

Other improvements throughout Photoshop CC 2020 include improved mouse control, with better responsiveness when panning and zooming across an image, particularly with larger documents.

Photoshop for iPad

Moving onto the more mobile version of Photoshop, Adobe has brought its Object Selection tool and improved Text settings to Photoshop for iPad. Above is a quick promo video shared by Adobe alongside the update.

Object Selection

The Object Selection tool, which was first released for the desktop version of Photoshop, makes it easier to select multiple objects within an image to isolate them. Unlike the Select Subject tool, which is meant for images where there is a single, large subject, Object Selection is refined for more precise edits where multiple, smaller objects need to be isolated.

Type settings

Adobe has also updated the Type settings within Photoshop for iPad, bringing a number of controls over from the desktop version. Specifically, Adobe has added type layer, character and options properties within the Type settings. ‘This includes tracking, leading, scaling, and formatting things like all/small caps, super/subscript,’ reads the announcement. Adobe says Kerning will ship in a future update.

The updated versions of Photoshop should be live for Creative Cloud subscribers. If you’re not seeing the updates, try restarting your device and checking for updates again within the Creative Cloud app or iOS App Store.