Spoiler alert! It's Photoshop. Even a stripped down tablet version will still be one of the slickest apps in the App Store. And at 10 percent of the original Photoshop price ($10), it's a steal. It can only get better. Best Buy of best buys.
The good news in this sorry election season is that Adobe finally released Photoshop Touch for iPad. That's right, the mother of all graphic applications finally made it to tablet format.
Did Apple promote it, or feature it in the App Store? Not that I recall. I only figured it out because the Android commercials kept showing it off. I wondered if Adobe would really only develop an Android version in spite of the huge iPad market, so I searched and there it was.
This isn't the full-featured Photoshop you know from your computer. But it's a far step from the Photoshop 1 I bought for a hundred dollars more than twenty years ago. And it's a hell of a lot better than those rinky dink apps Adobe has been holding us off with.
I love a number of the art apps on the iPad. Procreate and Sketchbook Pro have evolved into first rate apps, and Sketchbook is almost as rich as Painter on the Mac. But they remain art programs. Photoshop has always been about photo manipulation, with a few art tools thrown it.
The masking tools do a marvelous job a finding selection edges and you can refine to your heart's content. It is similar to Photoshop's extraction tool, so it should be familiar to long-term users.
Until now Photogene has led the way for photo manipulation, but every app has limitations and Photoshop finally broke through those limitations. It offers the ability to make selections and rotate and resize them without copying and pasting first. More importantly, it offers the first truly effective and usable masking features I've encountered on a tablet.
The Photoshop Touch interface only remotely resembles its older sibling, but it's easy to figure out, and a number of tutorials get you up to speed. You can find most of the standard adjustments and filters, with custom controls and settings. These can't be applied as layer styles, as they can in the adult version, but the app is still in its infancy.
PS Touch has some of the best selection manipulation features I've seen on the iPad, with and they are very easy to work with.
File management is a little non-standard for the iPad, but you can create folders and move files between them as with other apps that take advantage of iOS 6. You can't manage files with Apple's iCloud, however. You have to use Adobe's own cloud system, but if you have Photoshop CS5 or 6, the automatic updates work essentially the same as with Pages.
I expect PS Touch to improve substantially with time. In fact, I'm surprised Adobe didn't charge more (as have programs like Final Draft Pro) to fund even more development. Perhaps they have an even more robust Photoshop app for professionals on the drawing board. Or maybe they intend to charge for in-app modules.
For a product this good, I'd be willing to pay.
Jenny Manytoes 1 rates PS Touch
Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over PS Touch. It's purr-fect.
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