Adobe Photoshop Touch review:

Adobe Photoshop Touch

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Typical Price: $9.99
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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Far superior to the older Photoshop apps. Extensive amounts of creative control. Designed specifically for tablets.

The Bad No Flickr connectivity. File size limitations means working with high-res photos is not possible.

The Bottom Line While it may not be as fully fledged as its namesake, Photoshop Touch offers a robust editing experience for tablets.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall

Photoshop Touch is one of six apps initially launched in a suite by Adobe, in a range that includes Ideas for sketching, Collage for assembling moodboards and Kuler for developing colour themes. Touch is the app for photo manipulation and offers many of the same functionalities that the full-blown version does, with some limitations.

While the app is Android-only at the time of writing, an iOS version is in development for the iPad. It's also only for tablets at this stage, and to be honest it would be a particularly squashed experience on a smartphone.

All the apps are able to send and receive content from Adobe's Creative Cloud, a service that lets you share and download files to multiple devices. Creative Cloud offers 20GB of online storage.

Getting started

Loading up the Touch app presents a panel that can walk you through a tutorial or create a new project straight away. The tutorial is a great way to get to know the various parts of the touch interface and it does look quite different to the desktop version of Photoshop you may be familiar with. Never fear, though, as you will find most of the same icons and functionality here.

Photos can be imported into Touch through a variety of different channels: locally as stored on the tablet, from Adobe's Creative Cloud, the on-board camera, Google or Facebook. The Google option is particularly fun, plugging into Google's image search to find photos based on a particular keyword. You can even sort the images by colour and find content that can be modified and adapted for use in your project.

Importing images from Google according to their colour is a nice touch.
(Credit: Adobe)

There are some unique quirks to the Touch interface that may take some getting used to. Renaming a file is done by touching its existing name rather than pressing and holding the image. Pressing and dragging to move, rearrange or delete files doesn't work when viewing files in the main project menus; instead you need to select the command you want to perform first (like deleting) and then select a file.

Editing images

Touch automatically resizes photos you import to the maximum resolution it can work with: 1600x1600. We had a number of images uploaded straight from a camera to Creative Cloud at their full 10- or 12-megapixel resolution and imported them into the app, but Touch scaled them down. This is a huge limitation to photographers who want to work with full resolution files on their tablet, though understandable given the computational power needed to work with large images.

Several adjustments familiar to Photoshop users are available from the top menu bar, including common tweaks like converting to black-and-white, adjusting saturation and colour temperature, tweaking brightness and contrast, and adjusting levels and curves. There's also a range of effects ranging from basic blur tools to drop shadows, moving into some more photo-specific filters like "sunny afternoon" or "sleepy hollow", which adds a vignette and boosts the contrast.

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