Adobe shows ‘real’ Photoshop for iPad – with layers and everything

“One of the coolest things at the Photoshop World 2011 Keynote this morning was the unveiling of the Photoshop for iPad tech that Adobe is working on,” Eric Reagan reports for Photography Bay.

“While the recent upgrades for Photoshop Express on iOS adds some horsepower to the app, the stuff that Adobe has in the pipeline for tablet devices looks pretty sick,” Reagan reports.

“We were treated to a live demo of this future app on the iPad,” Reagan reports. “I’ll have a couple little video clips up later, but for now I have a few screen shots to share.”

Full article with the screenshots here.

MacDailyNews Take: We have to wonder, if they ever release it, what price Adobe will try to get for such an app. Will it be the most expensive iPad app ever or one of the best-selling reasonably-priced apps ever or somewhere in-between?


  1. This may not be a popular comment, but I like it when pro apps are priced pretty high. I own my own business, and probably 30 percent of our revenue comes from commercial printing design.

    I don’t mind paying higher amounts for the software because then every Tom, Dick and Harry doesn’t have it (not that they’d be able to compete with our designs, necessarily, but they might think they can).

    There is a time and a place for pro apps (this coming from someone who uses them a lot).

      1. i kinda have to agree. The price of the software isn’t what makes your service good. It’s your actual service that makes it good.
        Additionally were the price high then you can continue to feel justified charging me 90$ for a t shirt art work set up which consists of my logo with words added by your service below it (not the screen cost BTW I expect to be charged for that)
        If you feel that too many of your clients are trying to get a deal price it high and they won’t bother you with deals any more.

      2. BS. Many people (Tom, Dick and Harry) put low prices on their ‘hobby work’ because they are not professionals thus forcing real professionals to lower their prices as well, because, for the majority of tasteless clients the one and only thing that matters IS the price.

        And you could be da Vinci and not a single fsck would be given by the clients…

    1. As a pro (thirty years) I don’t think a novice will steal any “real” clients work from me. Higher cost of software won’t stop the amateur from using it. It’s talent and reasonable pricing that keeps you in business, not artificial barriers.

    2. You must not be good if the price of software is expected to give you a competitive advantage. Thats some real wrong-headed thinking.

      First of all ANYONE can download the entire Adobe suite of software for NOTHING on the web. They are one of the most pirated out there.

      Second of all, students get discounted versions already. So do educators.

      third, if you were that good you wouldn’t care who else had a paintbrush, your masterpieces would shine anyway.

      1. Look, I understand what you’re all saying about being good and not losing clients if you are. My market is different than yours, though.

        I only have a handful of big-ticket clients (I’m a small town newspaper), so I do a lot of low volume jobs where I am indeed competing against a lot of desktop publishers.

        If I were in a big market, I’d agree with you completely. I can only comment on my own market, though. That’s why it’s just MY opinion.

        Appreciate that attack on mine and my staff’s abilities, though 🙂

    3. wow man, you must do some absolute rubbish work if you are scared of loosing clients due to others being able to afford the tools you take for granted.

      One of the best things that happened to photography was the introduction of the DSLR and even microstock. All of a sudden we are seeing some amazing talent come out of places like Malaysia & Indonesia and some of it by 14 year olds with an entry level dslr. Talent that frightens the old dinosaur pros who used to sit secure in their knowledge that achieving their “skill level” was reserved to those that had tens of thousands of dollars to spend on lessons, film, developing, tools etc

      Photography is now much more open to those that have TALENT and the desire to put in the work to create the SKILL, rather than those who just think it’d be a cool way to make a living and get their rich daddies to throw money at them.

      Shame on you for hiding behind the price of tools rather than putting in the work to create the true skill that will get clients coming back to you and talking about you to all their friends….shame on you indeed…

  2. I think they’ll probably have 3 versions with Express, Elements and Pro. I can see myself getting an Elements version right away if under $10. If you can sync settings with the desktop version, add action support and use a stylus, I can see paying up to $100 or possibly even more for a Pro version. That would be a serious game changer for me and I suspect for others. I would get rid of my Wacom tablet in a heart beat.

    1. iLurker…

      The iPad is ridiculous as an input device when compared to a Wacom of any flavor. It does not even support pressure sensitivity! Wacom is literally thousands (10’s of thousands?) of times more accurate as well.

      I use both at home and a Cintiq at work. The Cintiq is the real deal… so accurate, fast and easy to use.

      You cannot be serious.

  3. hopefully it’ll drive some quality styli (proper plural declension of stylus). i want something with the form factor more along the lines of a wacom pen. not these little nub jobs that are out.

    1. Stilus is Latin (stili is the correct plural), stylus (with a ‘y’) is English and therefore the correct plural is styluses. Despite that you can find styli and even stylii in dictionaries.

  4. Personally, I’m still waiting for “real” Photoshop on my Mac. Right now, I’m running Photoshop CS5, which is so buggy that it can only be called “unreal” Photoshop.

    1. That’s for sure.

      CS5 is a total mess. Photoshop is buggy and slow. InDesign is almost un-usable (scrolling is so jumpy I can’t navigate my files unless I use the hand/grab tool). Switching from one CS5 app to another often requires a coffee break.

      And this is on a 1 week old machine with 4 GB of ram (thought it might have been my year-old Mac’s fault — no it’s Adobe’s fault).

      For the first time in over a decade I’ve taken a huge step back in productivity. This reminds me of the last year or so I spent on Mac OS9.

    2. Sorry guys but I process 100+ images every night and CS5 has been great. I upgraded from CS3 6 months ago and have found it to be a little faster and very stable.
      One thing to remember is that we are all using cameras with bigger sensors every few years so this put more emphasis on the speed of our equipment and software. Don’t get me wrong though I am pissed at Adobe for not writing PS to take full advantage of multicores and underlying technologies and even RAM.
      Get a SSD to act a scratch disk and get as much RAM as you can.

  5. I’m an original beta tester of Photoshop v1.07 (i bet I have that disk around somewhere) and I think an Elements level app for $10 sounds about right. That’s not to say a Pro app wouldn’t work, it’s just that if you are going to do Pro work, which usually means lots of images then you are probably going to want a MBP to make your life easier. Further, you’d want to have some color correction in order to calibrate your screen before doing any significant work on your RAW files. Can the iPad screen even be calibrated?

    Like I said, quick and dirty adjustments in an Elements type app for $10 sounds good to me.

      1. I use the free express that adobe has out. For what I use it for, it rocks.
        I doubt I would buy, or even need, a full blown photoshop myself.
        But pixelmator… I’d probably buy that on day one.

  6. Yeh people who bash Photoshop’s high price and upgrade fees obviously aren’t pros. If even one new feature saves you even a couple minutes a day, for a working pro, that’s worth the price of admission. Tools do not equal talent.

    If you don’t need pressure sensitivity than an iPad could probably replace a wacom pen but I can’t see hardcore pros doing any serious retouching on just an iPad… don’t throw away your wacoms yet. I’m guessing it’ll be excellent for the quick touchup though.

    A lot of Photoshop’s power comes from its extensive keyboard shortcuts and able to be customized and the iPad’s small screen resolution leaves a lot to be desired to make it a serious content creation tool. That’s not to say you can’t do serious work on it…anything can be considered a pro tool in the right hands.

  7. As much as like Photoshop and the idea of having a pretty decent version on the iPad, if Adobe charges outrageous pricing for the app, forget it!
    Adobe apps are seriously bloated and overpriced now, I haven’t upgraded since CS2.
    I, for one, am holding out that a full version app of Pixelmator will come out for iPad and that it will come out first and be reasonably/sensibly priced.
    For the price, Pixelmator is amazing and works real well, too!

  8. There will be competition this time around because of the iOS/SDK platform that other developers have taken to. That should make Adobe think twice before raping any potential iOS customers. If they do continue with that mentality however, they will find themselves in for some serious competition and maybe alternatives that will cut their golden cow to slices.

  9. @iLurker, really? and macromancer

    I kinda always wanted a wacom tablet but couldn’t justify the cost since it was more for hobby purposes. But imagine this.. and its something I thought of a while ago.

    Take your iPad and plug it into your computer, open photoshop and through a plugin it detects the ipad that is running a photoshop plugin app as well. Now.. there are some styluses out there for the ipad but nothing of any good for drawing.. but imagine that capability I just mentioned with an added stylus for drawing… it would put wacom right out of business. Why would I ever spend $1000 to get a small color wacom tablet when I could spend 600 and just get an ipad..

    Of course this is a dream but its not at all impossible. The main killer is the stylus. There is nothing stopping Adobe writting an app to use the ipad for a tablet… With this photoshop app it would basically be the same thing but plugged into the computer so you could still use your mouse to navigate menus and such.

    1. Why is a pressure sensitive pad/screen even necessary?

      Why hasn’t someone designed a pressure sensitive stylus?

      When using non-digital tools such as pencils or airbrushes, “pressure sensitivity” is in the tool, not the surface (paper, whatever) the tool is being applied to.

      1. In fact the Wacom tablet ISNT pressure sensitive, the sensitivity is measured in the stylus. If you have to ask why pressure sensitivity is necessary you haven’t actually seen it in action. You could do some tasks without it, but it’s a legitimate feature of a Wacom tablet.

        1. You are correct about the pen being pressure sensitive. The other major factor here is the density of receptors per square inch (so to speak… not into the terminology). Wacom tablets are far denser in this regard… iPad would never be able to produce as smooth a line, it is made for a finger not an accurate pen. It could not replace (not even close) the Wacom as it stands.
          That said; I am seeing some very good artwork being produced on iPad, I am planning on trying all the “paint” apps I can find very soon.

        2. I own a Wacom and I’m familiar with Cintiq. I was under the impression that pressure sensitivity in both was due to technology in the stylus and the tablet/screen.

          I wasn’t asking why pressure sensitivity was necessary.

          I was asking why don’t we have a stand-alone, pressure sensitive stylus that doesn’t require a tablet/screen. Technology-wise, it should only be somewhat more complex than a wireless mouse.

    2. Why are we cheering to put Wacom out of business? They make great products, are innovative and very friendly to creatives.

      I can’t think of many companies that I would actually be sad if they went out of business but Wacom is one of them.

      If it’s price that is driving your criticism of them, then I’m sure they have a tablet that’s in your price range. I haven’t owned many tools over the years that I’m more pleased with other than my Wacoms. They are worth every single penny.

      (Wacom user since 1994)

  10. $100 and up for PS on an iPad?

    I couldn’t rationalize paying $50, and I’ve been an Adobe Design Suite user since Adobe started packaging them together.

    It’s hard to believe that so many (so far) appear willing to take it up the wazoo for Adobe… or are so obviously afraid that they want the apps Adobe provides them to be priced out of the reach of potential competitors (especially beginners, however incompetent and/or inexperienced they may be).

    If I know Adobe they’ll probably grant your wishes. I’ll be surprised if PS for iPad doesn’t cost almost as much as the desktop version.

  11. what’s the point when, to the best of my knowledge, you can’t calibrate your iPad screen? I’d never do anything at a professional level on an uncalibrated screen. Ergo, why bother shelling out the bucks for PS…

    1. If you travel light and on the move then I can see spot news or real estate guys using this, especially when you can tether and upload instantly in the field.
      Yes I’m interested.
      Oh and a calibrated camera can solve allot of colour problems.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.