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Adobe Photoshop Touch for Android – Does It Live Up to the Desktop Version?

Adobe’s excellent Photoshop software has been the industry-standard picture editing application for so long, it’s almost impossible to think of using anything else. Naturally, the increased popularity of mobile platforms, gave rise to accompanying demand for a mobile version of Photoshop. Adobe has finally met this demand, releasing a range of apps specifically designed to be used with Android tablets. Adobe boasts that they offer ‘easy, precise control for a variety of creative tasks’.  The leading title among the six released apps is Photoshop Touch. But how well does Adobe’s flagship software translate to a mobile format, does it live to the desktop and laptop version and can it still handle all the tasks that a professional image editor needs?
The first thing to note about Photoshop Touch is its low price point. At £6.99, it’s significantly cheaper than the desktop equivalent. While it may be relatively expensive in an app store that rarely charges more than £1 per app, Adobe’s reputation for quality image software means it will probably still be a hit. It’s a fair price to pay, even if the app is a scaled-down version of the full software.
Yes, it’s scaled down, but that’s not to say that Photoshop Touch is useless: far from it. In fact, Adobe has done a great job adapting its software to a touch-screen format. A large number of changes have been made to the interface: buttons and menus have been adjusted to accommodate less precise fingertips, and have been moved to the edges of the screen to leave more room for the editing space. Most actions can now be carried out by tapping or dragging your finger, and many of the desktop version’s main functions can also be found here. Transformations, filters, area selection, and layers can all be manipulated through the touch-screen and there’s a surprising amount of control of these, thanks to the way that Photoshop Touch takes advantage of ‘active digitizer technology’ to judge how much pressure you are exerting. A whole range of tutorials are included to help you get used to the new interface, meaning you quickly be able to figure out how to accomplish tasks on a tablet as easily as you would on a PC. So, while Photoshop Touch may not offer the full range of functionality found in the desktop version, it’s still a remarkably versatile piece of mobile image editing software.
If your job involves a lot of image editing, there is bound to come a point when you’ll want to switch from working remotely in Photoshop Touch to an office-bound desktop PC. Adobe has thought of this and has endeavoured to provide cross-platform compatibility with Photoshop Touch. You can sync projects instantly via the Adobe Creative Cloud, an incredibly useful feature that only loses points because it requires you to register for the service before you can use it. Sadly, Photoshop Touch resolution is limited to 1600×1600 pixels though, which means you can’t really use it for remote work on larger projects.
Photoshop Touch is very much designed for web work, which means that these flaws are forgivable in the grand scheme of things. The existence of an integrated Google Image search only serves to reinforce this point. Photoshop Touch is to be used more as a creative springboard when you’re on the moved when inspiration strikes, rather than as a mobile substitute for the full desktop package. In this regard it succeeds thanks to intuitive, easy-to-learn controls, a low price, and cross-platform compatibility. In fact, it is the best mobile image editing software available today.

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