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Adobe tweaks Photoshop Express site, Android app

Adobe updates both its Web app, and Android app with new features including snazzy slideshows and better performance. On top of that, users no longer need to register with the site in order to use it.

Photoshop Express on a PC
Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Adobe Systems pushed out updates Wednesday to both its Photoshop Express online photo tool and photo-editing app for Android devices that bring some noteworthy improvements.

The biggest change, besides an increase in overall speed on the Web version of Photoshop Express, is that the site no longer requires users to register in order to use it. Unregistered users can now upload their photo, make edits, then download it without any administrative barriers. Adobe has also separated each tool into its own unit, similar to what it does with the library and develop modules of its Photoshop Lightroom software.

As part of the re-organization, Adobe has given its slideshow tool a dramatic facelift, with the inclusion of customizable themes. By default, users get only one, called "midnight," which is a simple one-color background for your photos to sit atop. There are 40 other themes available for subscriber's of Adobe's Plus subscription plans. Besides these, Plus subscribers get a few other extras like dedicated storage space and extra photo editing effects.

Other tweaks to the site include a more thorough look at a photo's EXIF metadata, a way to post your photos to Facebook and Twitter, the inclusion of user ratings and comments that users can see within the photo organizer, and a simpler way to find the company's tutorials.

On the mobile side, Adobe has updated the Android version of its Photo Express application to include support for user videos. If a user has uploaded videos to their Photoshop Express library--either from their phone, or back on their computer--they can now be played and shared from within the app. Adobe also says it has tweaked how efficient the app is at uploading photos to Facebook.

Though not a part of Wednesday's news, Adobe has been broadening its mobile application coverage, as well as pushing out cross-platform updates in closer succession. When the company first released its Photoshop app for the iPhone, it was about a month before an Android version was made available, though even then it was missing a handful of features. With this latest version, the Android and iPhone updates were just a little more than a week apart and at parity. Not to mention, in the case of the iPhone update, Adobe made its app universal, so that iPad users could partake.

Adobe continues to compete with a handful of other online photo editors, including Picnik, which was acquired by Google earlier this year, Fotoflexer, and Aviary. Behind the scenes, all of these sites make use of Adobe's Flash technology, though few have ventured into the mobile space as well.

Related: 15 online photo editors compared