It’s a wonderful world out there for mobile photographers. We’ve come a long way from the days of film photography, with digital cameras and instant results changing the way we capture photos. Over the years this has continued to evolve and the process of photography has become even faster with the advent of smart phones.
The idea to put a camera in a portable device was probably one of the most significant technological advances there has ever been.
Nowadays, mobile photography is such a prominent art form that there are even magazines and publications dedicated to it. Phones are capable of housing cameras that possess flash, zoom features and contain up to 48 megapixels, rivalling that of professional cameras by longstanding companies such as Canon or Nikon.
The one thing that hasn’t been available for mobile shooters however, is the editing giant that is Photoshop. Until recently, that is.
Photoshop for iPad
Photoshop for iPad has long been talked about, but has finally hit the market… to divisive reception. Launching a mobile version of a decades old computer app was always going to split opinion, but it can’t be denied that Photoshop for the iPad lacks many of the features we’ve come to know in our desktop counterpart.
It’s been marketed as “Real Photoshop” but not “Full Photoshop”; Adobe is releasing a limited version 1.0 to kick things off before the full package in 2020.
That’s all well and good, but users are going to assess what they’ve paid for now, not what they’ll have next year.
The iPad Photoshop sticks to the traditional format of having a toolbar, but quite a few tools are missing, such as the pen tool and the animation line. Being on a smaller screen without the same options, users will have to find different ways of applying familiar features such filters, layers and image adjustments which are all located at the top in Adobe’s desktop version.
Still, there are plenty of interesting and convenient features that the iPad version has to offer.
Photoshop for iPad Creative Cloud
Adobe has been making sure all their content is streamlined towards compatibility with their “Creative Cloud” (CC), and the mobile version of this app has huge potential for this. When you create a PSD file on the iPad version, you have the option to save it as a PSDC (cloud version) which is then auto saved onto your creative cloud account.
Through this, you can save your work and open it onto another desktop device with CC enabled and work on it there, or even more impressively, work on a file live across multiple devices via the Creative Cloud. The future is now!
As is the nature of touch screen devices, a lot of the work happens via, well, touch. The cursor has no power here. Instead, Photoshop for iPad makes the most of us having 10 opposable fingers and thumbs and lets us carry out all actions through the touch screen.
While it may take some getting used to, this can be very convenient in terms of retouching and fine editing, where the graphics tablet is cut out completely and we can use our hands or specialised pens to do our detailed work, instead of the clumsy, unnatural feeling of a cursor or track pad (something I still haven’t quite mastered myself).
Multi tasking is not only available but encouraged, with one particular feature letting you hold down to enable the eraser, while at the same time drawing with the brush tool. It’s as if they want us to be productive!
Photoshop for iPad Conclusion
So where does this leave our beloved desktop Photoshop? Well, right where we left it. (Most likely on a table.) It should remain un-phased for now though, as iPad CC currently doesn’t have anywhere near the same amount of tools and features as its predecessor.
Even if the day comes where that changes, Adobe will still be smart enough to champion its flagship product as long as it’s the preferred version of Photoshop. However long it will remain the most popular version for, it’s hard to say.
People are stubborn and prefer what they’re used to, no doubt; but the rise in popularity of mobile photography and the sheer handiness of being able to edit your photos instantly instead of going home to upload them onto your computer is almost too tempting to resist.
The world is becoming increasingly digital and therefore everything is more immediate. Should mobile photography become the most dominant area of the art form, it would be expected that the mobile version of Photoshop would take its place as the most used version of the app.
Unless, of course, it sucks. In which case, we’ll apply the age old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, or rather, if it ain’t broke, don’t make a handheld version of it that just isn’t up to par.