Adobe chief defends Photoshop for iPad following poor reviews


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

It’s no secret that Photoshop for iPad is unfinished. A lot of fans have accepted that and are enjoying it for what it is. But others are not, and they’ve forced one Adobe chief to defend its current state.

Scott Belsky, the company’s chief product officer, took to Twitter this week to explain Adobe’s process — and to promise that Photoshop for iPad will get better.

We were warned this version of Photoshop for iPad would be somewhat of a rough draft before it made its debut. We knew that certain key features would be missing from its early releases.

That hasn’t stopped many Photoshop fans from singing its praises and appreciating that it’s a great tool that’s going to get even better. Sadly for Adobe, not everyone feels that way.

Photoshop for iPad panned by reviewers

Photoshop for iPad has a 2.3-star rating on the U.S. App Store, and a 1.7-star rating on the U.K. App Store, as I write this post. Fans complain that it’s not the full-featured editor we were promised.

“This is not a full blown version of Photoshop. Not even close,” one reviewer writes. “It is way behind what others have developed.”

That might be the case for now. And the hype built up by Adobe and Apple prior to Photoshop’s launch certainly hasn’t helped fans accept that we’ll have to wait for every promise to be fulfilled.

But what we have is a great start. If you can enjoy the app for what it is, and remember that it’s only going to get better, it’s a joy to use for photo editing.

It’s also the only way Adobe could deliver a brand-new, do-it-all version of Photoshop for iPad, Belsky says.

Photoshop ‘will be painful at first’

“You’ve gotta ship an MVP [minimum viable product] to start the journey, but it will be painful at first,” Belsky tweeted. “By definition, it won’t please everyone.”

“And if it’s a reimagination of a 30-year-old popular/global product, will displease many.”

Belsky explains Adobe made the decision to nail some fundamentals, like “perfect PSD support” and a user interface that works on a tablet, before tackling other things.

Adobe had no intention of porting a desktop app — with all its “baggage” — straight to iPad, he adds.

Belsky does admit, however, that Adobe didn’t do a good enough job of distinguishing between “real” and “full” Photoshop. The iPad version has the same foundations, but not the same features … yet.


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