Photoshop Comes to ARM on Windows and macOS

Posted on November 17, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Mac and macOS, Windows 10 with 23 Comments

Adobe this morning announced beta versions of its flagship Photoshop application that run on Windows 10 on ARM and Apple Silicon-based Macs.

“This early version of Photoshop for ARM offers many of the core Photoshop features that you’ve come to rely on for your day to day editing needs, and we’ll be adding more features in the weeks to come,” Adobe says of the Windows 10 on ARM version. The firm has a similar announcement for the Apple Silicon version.

In both cases, Adobe notes that these versions of Photoshop are not “fully functioning” as they “contain several limitations compared to the more widely available versions” of Photoshop for Windows and Mac. “Over time, more features will be made available.”

The list of missing features is quite long in both cases. On Windows 10  on ARM, some key missing features include RAW camera support, subject and object selection, various filters, Microsoft Dial support, and many more. Other features, like Lightroom importing, 3D-related functions, and others offer work in limited ways today.

Still, this is a big win for the small but vocal Windows 10 on ARM community: I’m not surprised to see Adobe jumping on Apple Silicon this quickly, but we’ve been waiting for this support on WOA for years.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Photoshop Comes to ARM on Windows and macOS”

  1. jchampeau

    I'm interested to see what the performance on each OS is like.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to jchampeau: This is going to be interesting considering there is PhotoShop on Windows, MacOS, WOA and Apple Silicon. Comparing the supported and unsupported features will be telling. I expect it will be a bit of a challenge to find some stressful process, available on all four platforms to compare 'objectively'. Would be interesting to see the variation between Macbook Pro, Air and Mini as well along with the variations (8/16G RAM)

  2. illuminated

    Photoshop on ARM is a very interesting development. Looking forward to comparisons of ARM vs Intel.

  3. paradyne

    I suspect there has been a lot of work in the last year to deal with libraries that Photoshop depends on not being available for ARM, and that work would have been needed for the Apple version too?

    Also Microsoft have had to build an OpenGL/OpenCL to DirectX12 translation layer to allow Photoshop to work.

  4. winbookxl2

    I have been using Windows on Snapdragon for a while now and finally they announce support for this feature. We have been using Remote Desktop and our local servers to make Photoshop possible across our deployment.

  5. IanYates82

    Do ARM apps install in program files? And then x86 apps go in program files x86? (like how wow64 does things?)

    When x64 support comes to ARM I guess we'll need yet another program files folder, and another System32 folder, etc. I'm not curious enough to go buy an ARM PC myself, but I love reading the articles from MS bloggers explaining that machinery from back when x64 was new

  6. crunchyfrog

    Any idea if you are a Adobe subscriber if this is included or will cost additional when the full launch comes?

  7. crunchyfrog

    Is it just a coincidence that this announcement comes a week after Apple's M1 launch and not in the years before for Microsoft's ARM launches?

  8. brandonmills

    M1 benchmarks are out for the Mac, and to say they are "not good regarding Windows ARM performance", is a vast understatement.

  9. ronh

    I gave up on Adobe last year. I loved Lightroom, but they have priced it out of reach for me. I have changed to Affinity Photo and Luminar 4 (bought around this time last year with all the sales). They are a lot lighter and respond faster on my big rig than the Adobe stuff.

    I use the Store version of Photoshop Elements as well (muscle memory!!). The MS Store version is cheap, and I can run it on all my PCs (4)

    • ulrichr

      In reply to RonH:

      Exactly the same story here. I bought Affinity Photo a couple of years ago, and its one of the best software purchases ever. Instead of Luminar I bought Capture One, which is expensive, but there are always sales, and once you buy it you own it. Its a fantastic replacement for Lightroom. Many pro photographers (which I am not) believe its a better RAW processor than Lightroom.

  10. Benoit Lamarche

    That’s hard sell without RAW camera support.

  11. pachi

    I think I copied this from the MacOS page but these are some BIG omissions! (That they smartly put allll the way on the bottom of the missing list haha!)

    • Content Aware Fill
    • Photomerge
    • Spot Healing Brush
    • Patch Tool
    • Healing brush

  12. wright_is

    I hope they keep beavering away. I would have thought RAW support was fairly critical, considering their audience...

    Maybe this is a chance for them to modernize the whole application, for both platforms.

  13. dftf

    It's nice that Adobe have decided "if we're going to build an ARM version for macOS 11, might as well build one for W10oA at the same-time".

    Whereas Google have just released a native ARM build for macOS 11... but Windows offerings are currently AMD64 and Intel32 only. (Yes, they still offer an official 32-bit build for Windows, unlike for Linux and macOS...)