Adobe takes first steps to fix Photoshop for iPad

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Apple Pencil 2
Adobe promises changes to Photoshop on iPad very soon.
Photo: Apple

Adobe says it will soon deliver features and updates to its iPad version of Photoshop.

The announcement comes after a buildup of user frustration over the launch earlier this month of Photoshop for iPad, a highly anticipated release after the imaging software giant promised a full-power version for the tablet computer.

Instead, Adobe launched software that fell short of expectations.

Basic features, like Canvas Rotation and Brush Sensitivity, were absent. Some complained of problems with copy and paste. Others could not make sense of the user interface. There were complaints of crashes. One- and two-star reviews in the App Store began to pile up.

iPad Photoshop updates on the way

Adobe promised to respond with powerful features with frequent updates. Today’s update schedule announced by Photoshop product manager Pam Clark on the Adobe blog is the first wave.

“With the introduction of Photoshop on the iPad, we started to scratch the surface of what’s possible and began our journey to build the best mobile application for all of you,” Clark wrote. “Your experience, your feedback and your point of view have always been a critical part of our process, and we take that very seriously as we chart a path forward with the iPad.”

By the end of the year, Photoshop for iPad will have the AI-powered subject selection tool that generated excitement when it was previewed for desktop in 2017. A single click selects the subject instead of using tools like Lasso, Magic Wand or Quick Selection.

Photoshop for iPad can now access all Adobe fonts. Cloud documents will work faster when syncing files between iPad and Desktop versions. The Refine Edge brush, Curves adjustment layer, Canvas Rotation and Brush Senstitivy will be added in early 2020.

Users will also get integration of workflows between Lightroom and Photoshop on the iPad.

Adobe Creative Cloud Product Chief Scott Belsky said the company needed to do a slow rollout of Photoshop’s powers.

Features will be added incrementally and eventually, the iPad will run something close to what photographers and artists get from the Desktop.

“Thirty years of features dropped on our customers on day one is a recipe for failure,” Belsky told the photography website PetaPixel in early November. “We spend a lot of time getting those foundations right.

“Now, did we ship every single feature that will ever come onto that foundation on day one? No, I mean we couldn’t and it would take years to do so. But the foundation is there (now). So the sky is the limit on the modern Photoshop.”