I spent a couple of days trying out Photoshop Touch on my iPhone 5. My experience was a mix between quietly adjusting levels, tweaking layers or applying effects and loudly exclaiming “Good Lord I’m doing this on a phone”.
Of course phone editing software is nothing new. Most Android phones and iOS have basic editing options built in and you can’t walk (metaphorically) through the app store without bumping into some retro filters.
But Photoshop aren’t just anybody and they are in many ways synonymous with image manipulation. Indeed “Photoshop” long ago entered the vernacular as a verb meaning “to make things work better”. So what could the Touch app bring to that others (including with PS express) haven’t up until this point.
One of the stand out features for me was the Scribble Selection Tool. You waggle your finger over the rough area you want to outline and then can hone your selection with the Refine Edges tool. It’s not perfect – I found hair to be a nightmare but that’s the same for regular Photoshop … and not on a phone.
Image manipulation is pretty sophisticated – things like brightness, contrast and saturation are endlessly tweakable and you can play with levels and curves. There are also the ability to add text and fiddle with 3D. You can layer images, tweak opacity, composite to your heart’s content and basically most things you’d expect from a desktop image-editing software package. Just on a phone.
And of course there are a range of off-the-shelf effects that you can apply but most of these have been overused over the past 10 years and are probably best avoided.
If you’re a casual user, you could get quite a lot done off this platform without ever having to open a desktop app. That’s pretty incredible for a phone and downright amazing for the £3 they’re charging. If you do need to get something a bit more serious done I could easily see using this for a quick mock up and then opening the PSDX file up on a computer for fine tuning. You can connect all your machines together via Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Personally, I’d rather use Dropbox, or at least have the option but I see the point of tying you in to their ecosystem.