The Real Photoshop Is Finally Coming to iPad Next Year

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in iOS with 37 Comments

Image by The Verge

It’s happening: Adobe is finally bringing the real, full Photoshop to the iPad. The company was rumoured to be working on bringing the full version of Photoshop to the iPad earlier this year as part of a major shift in strategy.

At its MAX conference today, Adobe announced it’s working on the full version of Photoshop on the iPad. The company says the app has been redesigned for a modern touch experience while offering the “power and precision of its desktop” counterpart. With the new Photoshop app for iPad, users will be able to edit PSD files on their iPad and make use of all the familiar Photoshop features.

The app will be deeply integrated into Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform, allowing users to sync their files and edits on the fly with all their devices. Adobe is currently planning to release the new iPad app in 2019.

Adobe is also launching a new video editing app for YouTubers and social media users, dubbed Premier Rush CC. The company’s new video editing app offers a cross-platform experience for easy and intuitive video editing powered by Creative Cloud. It’s available on the desktop, as well as the iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Photoshop for iPad is going to mark the beginning for a major change in Adobe’s strategy. The company is expected to introduce a modern version of Illustrator on the iPad as well, and the Photoshop release could follow the release of its other Creative Cloud apps as well. The modern apps are expected to eventually replace the desktop versions, though that will likely take years to happen.

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Comments (37)

37 responses to “The Real Photoshop Is Finally Coming to iPad Next Year”

  1. jimchamplin

    As all iOS UI is scalable, will this be only “for iPad” or will it also come to iPhone? I could see running it in a XS Max being a decent enough experience to do photo processing.

  2. lezmaka

    All I'm expecting is what they did with Lightroom. Make a brand new version that is missing lots of features of the current desktop version so they can get things to work similarly on mobile/desktop. The old/current version will stick around. Hopefully I'll be wrong but I'm not getting my hopes up until we can actually use it.

  3. randallcorn

    Power users of Photoshop in my experience wanted larger monitors to see small detail but still have a good overall view. Thus the 21" and larger monitors. In my office and several others offices users use 2 and even 3 monitors. I remember the days of using a 14" monitor for Photoshop. Painful.

    Also keyboard commands. One hand setting on the keyboard while you draw so you can maximize speed.

    One other thing is ram. Huge files and lots of layers need lots of ram. We put minimum 32 GB of ram on our computers now because the files are just that big.

    Not saying Photoshop on a tablet will not be good, just saying will not be a real replacement for most users. Or at least Power Users.

  4. ErichK

    Our industry sure is replete with these moments, isn't it, where the norms are challenged because we try to squeeze something really large into something really small. I mean, I don't know how well Photoshop is going to run on an iPad. I own an iPad, but I've never used Photoshop. But still, remember we thought a mainframe couldn't fit on a desk -- and then we thought mice were frivolous -- and then we thought we couldn't fit a computer into a five or six-inch device, etc.

  5. FalseAgent

    The Verge has a video up on about the app on the iPad, and it's...…….not really photoshop. Obviously we know it was going to be different, but the depth of the difference makes the iPad photoshop more like a "photoshop fork" rather than actual photoshop. Even the saved files are being called a "cloud psd", which I have to assume is not transferrable to local storage anywhere.

  6. skane2600

    We'll have to see how truly "full" or "real" this version turns out to be. As far as retiring desktop versions in the future, we'd have to see a massive uptick in tablet adoption and they seem to have reached a "mature" market state that took desktops decades to reach.

  7. HellcatM

    It'll be a bigger deal and more useful when it comes to ChromeOS. Then more people will buy ChromeOS devices.

  8. Yaggs

    I would be interested to see how useful this is without a more precise pointing device... I know a pen is technically precise but it just isn't the same as using a mouse for detailed selections, etc... hopefully whatever they introduce also comes as some kind of mode for the windows version. I guess there are enough folks out there that have convinced themselves they need to use an iPad as a PC... so this is happening...

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to Yaggs:

      I know a pen is technically precise but it just isn't the same as using a mouse for detailed selections, etc...

      I dunno about that. I have watched some very impressive artists draw some very impressive things all without touching a mouse.

      A “pencil” device can easily substitute for a cintique, which was what those artists used (instead of a mouse).

      Also, in most “art” apps, prescision is generally handled via zoom functionality. (Hence the Surface Dial, which is actually a brilliant device to help a mouse become more precise for “art” applications.)

      I’m very curious to see how this plays out.

      On the other hand, my wife was drooling over about 8seconds of camera time that a Surface Studio got on NCIS: LA last night, so I think a Surface Studio is probably in the cards for the near future.

      Even then, the Studio is essentially a huge, mounted iPad.

      My artist friends that (unlike my wife) love iPads, really, really want Apple to release a 27” iPad.

      The rest of them (like my wife) that hate Apple, drool over the Surface Studio and wish they could justify the purchase.

    • PeterC

      In reply to Yaggs:

      I think this looks like an up-sell cycle to all ipad owners, so its a big potential market. Theres a smart connector on the back of the ipad pro's sepcs ive seen, which sound ominously like its for a new keyboard cover. I agree about the pointer/mouse, however they solve it will define its initial success, I do wonder if you might use your iPhone as a mouse touch pad though.

  9. PeterC

    Well I think this is a big moment. Lets see what the new ipad pro models look like in a few weeks time when they're likely announced. The A12 is a very capable chip but it makes you wonder what apples chip roadmap looks like too. Either way, there stretching ahead here and in real terms people .....

  10. melinau

    To each their own.

    Personally I'd be happier if they re-wrote the existing Windows version to be faster, less buggy and more efficient. I wonder how much of the Development was funded by Apple?

  11. Bats

    I think that this is super-huge news, that has been rumored for quite some time.

    Photoshop to the iPad can be seen in a number of ways. One way, is the de-emphasis of desktop dependency for traditionally big programs like Photoshop. It stands to reason, that if Adobe can shrink the size of Photoshop to work on an iPad, then ya know they are going to do it for Chrome OS. Possibly even for the web.

    If you ask me, this is just all-around bad news for Microsoft. One of Microsoft's big selling points for Surface is that it is the only tablet that can run "big" Photoshop, because it's also a laptop that runs Windows. That argument is now gone.

    • Stooks

      In reply to Bats:

      I work for a retail company in IT. Our marketing department uses Adobe CC and all parts of it. We are mostly a Mac shop for that but recently have moved part of the shop to Windows PC's for the Premier part of it, since the Mac's were not powerful enough and we did not want to waste money on old Mac Pro's. Premier is running rather well on PC hardware and it utilizes GTX 1080's to speed up renders.

      Adobe and Apple can call this yet to be released product a "full" version but you will not be able to do more than light work on a iPad.

      Our users crush their current computers with 32-64gigs of RAM, and high end i7's with GPU support for Adobe CC enabled. There is simply no way they could run the same work load on a iPad. It would be like cramming 500lb of shate into a 5lb bag. It would be no different on a lame under powered Chromebook as well.

      • nbplopes

        In reply to Stooks:

        Clearly you have more info than Adobe itself. I mean, Adobe repeatedly said its the full Adobe Photoshop, not “full”.

        I don’t see any reason for Adobe to promote the iPad as of some kind of secret agreement between Apple and Adobe to share lies. I find this reasoning ludicrous. They have done several things for Surface Studio too.

        What I can tell you is that any serious engineer will notice how powerful the processing capabilities of an iPad are. So far out and beyond the capabilities you seam to denote the device for that kind of makes me wonder what type of tech hole you live in. Time to get out.

        For instance photo editing in Affinity Photo in the iPad Pro, in performance, it smokes Lightroom in any Surface Pro.

        • Stooks

          In reply to nbplopes:

          Read the verge article. It is photoshop light light with 1/10th the features of the desktop version.

          Yes the iPad is powerful but a high desktop CPU say 8700k or Xeon or a Ryzen 2700x or Threadripper with a high end GPU is way way more powerful. Given a heavy photoshop workload/job the PC will do a way better job compared to a IPad. Not to mention the PC can utilize multiple monitors, mouse input, and keyboard shortcuts.

          Also so your comparison of Affinity Photo and Lightroom is off. Affinity is an editor plain and simple. Lightroom is an organizer with a DB, that can do light editing. In fact in Lightroom you designate an editor like photoshop or affinity so than we you edit a photo it will open up in those editors and once done come back to Lightroom for organization. Affinity is rumored to be making their own organizer/Lightroom clone.

          • nbplopes

            In reply to Stooks:

            The Verge review is over an early release aka alpha for a product that will be liunched next year. The verge also said that is not an exact copy. That is to be expected as the UI will be different.

            The Verge also mentioned some missing features that they expected either to be implemented or assumed it will not be present in the first version.

            Again, this is early release. Not even beta.

            Nothing they said we can conclude that it’s a dumb down or light version as you may call it. Those are your own qualifiers.

            It will the full Photoshop experience, meaning all the features, that is the Adobe objective.

            Yes I know that LR it’s not just a digital dark room, but as an engineer you probably understand that the performance toe is not in managing a photo database with a bunch of fields and blobs. But it is in the imaging tech.

            Of course there will be desktops with the hardware you mentioned and other that is way more powerful. I just don’t how is that relevant. You know that there are GPU that cost almost as much as an iPad Pro if not more.

            I believe that this is more to complement those so called high performant desktops for designers on the go. Or for someone that is not happy with the performance of the likes of Surface Pro for the task ... or those that are happy until they actually see what this combination is all about in terms of performance. Because I doubt that Adobe as failed to make a market research that includes people that use the likes of Surface Pro for on the go tasks before they turned the green light on for the project.


  12. lvthunder

    It's odd that they put the press release out and the updates three hours before the Max keynote where they will be showing this stuff off.

  13. wright_is

    I now see why there is a 512GB iPhone, er, wait...

    Is there an iPad with enough RAM? You can't really do much with less than 16GB RAM in Photoshop at the moment and the program alone would take over half of the storage on an 128GB iPad, then there is the scratch disk.

    Something somewhere doesn't make sense.

  14. MikeGalos

    Interesting. A more touch-centric version will work even better on the Surface line than the current versions. Now the question is whether this will be a "real version" meaning it will replace the full Photoshop or will it be a lighter (yet, officially "full") version like the second version of Lightroom that was introduced last year with the real full version kept going as "Classic".

    • PeteB

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Just because they're making an iPad version doesn't mean they're going to waste time doing a "touch centric" for PC.

      Touch is dead on Windows, no matter how relevent a handful of fanboys think Surface really is. Nobody uses them for touch stuff anyway - just as a glorified ultralight laptop.

      • spoonman

        In reply to PeteB:

        Why generalise like that and make inaccurate statements simply because you don't like and/or use Windows through touch? I don't think your word has any more weight then any other random person on the internet, you're not steering the general opinion.

        I use my SP4 mainly with touch, and I really can't understand why people really bitch so much about the 'tablet' interface. Works quite well for me.

      • cayo

        In reply to PeteB:

        You obviously have no idea about what you are talking about.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      I have no problem with the current version on my Surface Book. I flip it around and just use the pen for everything.

  15. dontbe evil

    I'm curious to see how much FULL and FAST will be photoshop on ipad