Photoshop Touch gets axed on iOS as Adobe preps new retouching app

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Bye-bye, Photoshop Touch.
Bye-bye, Photoshop Touch.
Photo: Adobe

Adobe is killing off its mobile version of Photoshop, doubling down on its strategy of creating simpler photo apps focused on specific tasks rather than all-in-one photo-editing software.

In a blog post detailing its strategy for mobile apps, Adobe said Photoshop Touch will be taken off the App Store on May 28. A new retouching app codenamed “Project Rigel” is in the works and will be released later this year.

The reason behind Photoshop Touch’s demise? Too much bloat. “When we introduced Photoshop Touch several years ago, it was an all-in-one solution that mirrored the desktop version of Photoshop,” explained Adobe. “But today, we believe that our new mobile solutions, when connected together and to the desktop, vastly expand creative possibilities.”

Adobe has been quietly crushing the app game recently with the truly excellent Shape, Brush, Color and Photoshop Mix. Color, for example, lets you get the color palette of anything you’re looking at through the iPhone’s camera. It’s simple, well-designed and works beautifully.

Touch was starting to feel pretty outdated in light of the trimmed-down apps Adobe has been putting out lately, so the decision to ax it makes sense. It looks like Adobe’s next app will focus solely on photo retouching on mobile; based on a preview demo, it looks quite impressive:

Adobe has been doing quite well for itself with its Creative Cloud business model (all of the aforementioned apps can hook into a cloud account and pull in photos from other devices), and Apple is even pointing Aperture users to Lightroom on the desktop.

The bottom line: If you were on the fence about buying Photoshop Touch on the iPhone or iPad, it would be wise to hold off and wait for what’s next.