Photoshop for iPad will ship without some key features

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Photoshop-iPad
As the great D:Ream once sang, things can only get better.
Photo: Apple

Adobe is finally close to bringing real Photoshop to iPad. But before you get too excited, you should know that the first version of the app will ship without some key features.

Early testers have described the current state of Photoshop as “rudimentary,” according to a new report. It seems it won’t be replacing its desktop counterpart anytime soon.

Adobe first previewed its new Photoshop app at an iPad event last October. It deservedly garnered a lot of attention; what we saw back then certainly looked like real Photoshop running on a tablet.

We were promised that designers and photographers would no longer be tethered to their desktops. Photoshop for iPad was supposed to do almost everything on the go.

That might still happen … one day. But when Photoshop finally lands on iPad, certain features will still require you to power up your Mac.

Photoshop for iPad a work in progress

Scott Belksy, chief product officer of Adobe’s Creative Cloud division, has confirmed Photoshop for iPad is still on track to make its debut before the end of 2019.

But Bloomberg reports that early testers are disappointed with its current state.

“Feature-wise, it feels like a beefed-up cloud-based version of their existing iPad apps and not ‘real Photoshop’ as advertised,” one said. Others have reportedly described it as “rudimentary.”

“It doesn’t feel like” it is based on desktop Photoshop code, as Adobe promised, another tester said. Third-party alternatives like Procreate and Affinity are said to be superior right now.

Not the final version

Belsky stated that the Photoshop beta doesn’t represent the final version of the app. A lot of features are “coming in hot” ahead of launch, so it will be more capable by then.

However, Belsky admits that some features will still be lacking when Photoshop for iPad makes its public debut.

“Launching every single feature that was accumulated over 25 years on the iPad on day one would not best serve our customers and the needs they have,” he said. It’s not currently clear which features are missing.

Adobe will “definitely expand the capabilities” of Photoshop on iPad in future updates.

Photoshop for iPad still ‘the best’

Belsky is adamant that even in its current state, Photoshop for iPad is “the best product in the world for specific workflows.” He also promises it will ship with brand-new tools that take advantage of iPad features, like Apple Pencil.

This is the first time we’ve been given a proper update on the Photoshop app since its first preview last October. Adobe is expected to provide another update during a creative software conference being held in San Jose in early November.