The Adobe Max Keynote just ended, and my mind is in full meltdown from all of the incredible information they laid out. First and foremost is their mission and vision for everything new that they launched today:

Their goal is to “…accelerate creativity with new products and feature improvements. This includes new and improved tools that help you create anywhere and collaborate efficiently, and products and services that help you master new mediums and techniques.” – quote source

What really excites me is when Scott Belsky talked about empowering all voices and making rich media available to everyone. This inclusive initiative is an incredible example of how creative media products – like Photoshop – allow people all over the world access to a tool that brings their creativity and passion for imagination to life.

They went on to highlight how their newly released tools and software allow users to:

  • Reimagine their creativity and their projects
  • Accelerate productivity and streamline workflow
  • Create and collaborate whenever and wherever creativity strikes

The highlight of the keynote? I honestly couldn’t narrow it down to just one thing. However, personally, getting Photoshop for the iPad makes this just about the greatest day of my life.

Photoshop for the iPad was hardly the only exciting thing unveiled at the multi-hour keynote event, but it is definitely one that has been long awaited by designers everywhere. While Adobe subtly hinted at their plans to make Photoshop eventually available on other devices as well, the launch of Version 1.0 for the iPad is an incredible step forward for designers.

The software includes access to Photoshop’s most-used workflows, including fan favorites like compositing, masking, and retouching, with more likely to roll out over time.

It is important to note: this is not the traditional Photoshop you’re used to… it has been re-invented for mobile and touch-friendly usage, which brings with it both a limited tool set (for now) as well as an entirely fresh layer of possibilities.

As if this weren’t enough, Adobe’s newly re-launched integrated cloud documents system seamlessly connects whatever you create on your iPad with your desktop, so you never miss a beat.

So what are some of the incredible benefits you can expect to enjoy once you download Photoshop on your iPad?

Photoshop for iPad Features

You can interact with your Layer stack and Toolbar tools in the same way you would on your desktop, just in a much more up close and personal way. You can use the touch features on the iPad to swipe, tap pinch, and slide your way to flawless designs. This hands-on capability is definitely a game-changer, and will likely become a staple in my personal graphic design workflow.

Here is a rendering of what the program layout looks like, taken from the Adobe Photoshop website:

Like I mentioned previously, the Photoshop Version 1.0 for iPads release focuses primarily on features like compositing and workflows. Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of what is currently available:

  • Layers – You can use both a compact and detailed view (just like you can on your desktop) to move between layers as you design, and you’re not limited on how many layers you can utilize, either.
  • Compositing – the program allows you to mix together elements to create gorgeous designs, while using masks and brushes, just like you would on a desktop computer or laptop – but now you are using either your finger or an Apple Pencil.
  • Selections – You can quickly and dependably select, move, and duplicate images to use within your workflow, all with just the touch of a fingertip.
  • Retouching – the iPad version allows you to easily edit and enhance images; you can also quickly remove elements you don’t want, using popular features like the clone stamp and spot healing tool.
  • Lasso extend selection, Gaussian blur, blend modes, and more – the best way to learn everything available is to download the program and start playing around with everything that is possible.

Workflow efficiency is something we’re all continually trying to improve, and the mobile component to designing on an iPad definitely helps with this. Likewise, the ability to get in there with your hands and truly manipulate the images you are creating with gives high potential for increased speed and efficiency as you work to bring the vision in your head into living color on the screen.

I mentioned before that Adobe would continue to roll out new features and options in the months to come. A few things they already have slated to become available include:

  • The Refine Edge Tool
  • The Rotate Canvas Tool
  • The Select Subject Tool
  • Additional Brushes and Options

According to an article recently published on The Verge, Photoshop product manager Jenny Lyell says Adobe plans to update Photoshop for the iPad at an incredibly aggressive pace. Their hope is that users will provide valuable feedback in the early weeks and months of the rollout so that the team can best determine what features to make available next.

“We’re not going to try to get 30 years of features and unload them on a brand new customer, on a brand new platform, from day one,” Belsky says. “Instead, we’re going to rethink the evolution of some of these features.”

So while the entire functionality and power of the traditional Photoshop software may not be at your fingertips yet, you can plan on it continuing to amp up dramatically sooner rather than later.

Don’t have Photoshop for the iPad yet? Snag your free trial here.

Cloud Documents

Save Photoshop .PSD files to the Creative Cloud to sync across all devices, or to your desktop.

Today Adobe also unveiled a sizeable expansion to their cloud documents (launched at last year’s Adobe XD event) so it is now capable of supporting the PSD format. The updated version allows you to effortlessly save your PSDs among your Photoshop apps (and even Adobe Fresco). It also enables many other features and support options, including options for the new Creative Cloud desktop app.

In terms of Photoshop usage on your iPad, this means that you can access and edit the same document across multiple devices without having to constantly import or convert files – which in the past could lead to diminished file quality or even pixel destruction.

If you’re like me and you work a lot while on the go or traveling, this file-sharing and storage feature is going to speed up your workflow and give you peace of mind as you navigate back and forth between your devices or even between your work and home office.

Ok – enough details for now. I am headed to go design something – anything – on my iPad. The future of Photoshop is here – and it is pretty stinking great.

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