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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Photoshop CC heads for the iPad

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Ahead of its Adobe MAX trade show, the company announced that its premiere product, Photoshop, is bound for the iPad. The company stresses that this is “real” Photoshop, not a watered down iOS-only product:

The app is being unveiled to the public for the first time at the Adobe Max conference today, but it won’t actually be available until next year. It’ll be part of the Creative Cloud subscription, so if you’re already paying for Photoshop on desktop, you’ll be able to use it on an iPad. There’s no word on standalone pricing, and Adobe hasn’t made a decision yet on whether Photoshop for the iPad will have a one-time purchase fee or require a subscription of some kind.

Verge reporter and artist Dami Lee took it for a spin:

I’ve been using Photoshop for the iPad for the past week, and it feels distinctly like Photoshop with a few design choices optimized for a touchscreen. It doesn’t have every tool available in desktop Photoshop; in fact, it’s missing the entire upper task bar with the drop-down menu. Instead, you’ll find tools like adjustment layers in the collapsible right-side toolbar.

One of the biggest aspects of this new version is the addition of “Cloud PSD”, an online-based version of Photoshop’s longstanding PSD format. The company likens it to a Google Docs-esque experience, where the truth of your file is stored in the cloud, and loaded into Photoshop wherever you open it. (Naturally, changes are also cached on your local device so you can work offline.)

Photoshop on the platform is certainly a big coup for iOS; in the big debate over whether the iPad can be used for “real work,” it’s long been one of the apps that’s been pointed to as missing. It’ll be interesting to see if and how this will change the workflows of creative professionals who rely on the program. Certainly the ability to directly interact with photos using the Apple Pencil would open up a lot of power for them.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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