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Adobe Photoshop Touch for Phone review:

More than quick filters and fixes for photos

Marching-ant-type selection displays don't scale well down to small sizes. (Actual size)
Marching-ant-type selection displays don't scale well down to small sizes. (Actual size) Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

Furthermore, a lot of the things missing from the tablet version are still missing or insufficient. Like one-click white balance. There's a temperature slider, at least, but it doesn't preview in real-enough time, and there's no visual (for example, red to blue) or Kelvin reference -- what the heck is a -2 percent change in color temperature? Is that warmer or cooler? This is UI design 101, folks.

And working with text is annoying. You can enter, place, resize, and rotate text using one of the handful of included fonts. But once you click apply, it rasterizes the text. And the bundled fonts? A crime against typography. Given that Adobe possesses a type foundry and decades of type-rendering experience, you'd think we'd get something better than display faces like Cottonwood and Mesquite, and otherwise nice body faces that are totally unsuited to most of what you'd be doing with the app. Plus, given the audience for the product -- advanced users -- I'm surprised there's no quick watermarking tool.

Why do the font gods hate us? Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

While I understand the necessity of drawing a line in the operating-system sand, the fact that Photoshop Touch operates only on Android 4.0 or higher is a bit of a disappointment, since as of this writing only roughly half of users are running a compatible version (very roughly, since the reported numbers are for all devices, not just phones). On the Apple side, it requires iOS 5 or later, plus an iPhone 4S/fifth-generation iPod Touch or newer.

It's a full-featured image-editing app, with modern selection tools, brushes, adjustments, effects, warps, and gradients. And though it seems nitpicky to complain about such things for what's a very neat technological achievement, Adobe's charging you $4.99 per device, on top of any subscription fees you're probably already paying for Creative Cloud. Yes, the app is cool and useful, but the interface still needs some work.

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