There’s no denying that tablets have become a phenomenon. And they’re not just for browsing the web and playing games on anymore either, with models like the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet and Asus Transformer Prime demonstrating how multi-talented and powerful the humble slate can be, and how suited to productivity. But now the hardware is here, what about the apps? For image editing on PC, Adobe’s Photoshop is the benchmark, and now it has come to Android and iOS for the new iPad as Adobe Photoshop Touch.
Also called PS Touch, the app supposedly offers much of the power of its desktop counterpart, Photoshop Elements, but in a package that’s completely tailored to be operated by touch alone. Since tablets like the ThinkPad and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 support pressure-sensitive styli and IPS-equivalent screens, there’s a lot of potential for image editing on the go. Due to their more flexible nature and more affordable starting price, we’re testing the Android version of Photoshop Touch. And just to ensure we’re aware of any performance limitations, we’re running it on a Tegra 2-based tablet, which is the minimum spec for a good experience.
When you first tap the PS Touch icon, you’ll be greeted by a clean and intuitive homescreen. The main part of this will show a number of tiles, which includes Tutorials, Intro, and your most recent projects (which is Adobe’s name for images you’ve been working on or have saved within Touch). Like recent versions of Elements and the latest CS6, the background here is dark, which is both pleasant on the eyes and helps your tablet save battery life.
The home screen is sandwiched between two menu strips. The bottom one is simplest, with two options. The Plus symbol creates a new blank canvas to a pixel size of your choice; the tablet’s native screen resolution by default (a minimum of 1280 x 800 is required), and a maximum of 1,600 x 1,600 pixels on both Android and iOS. We’ll examine the disadvantages of this limitation later on. Meanwhile the second picture-frame icon lets you grab a project from Creative Cloud (Adobe’s equivalent of Apple’s iCloud) or Facebook; acquire a photo from the tablet’s memory or capture one with its camera; or nab one from Google’s nicely-integrated picture search engine.
The top menu strip, meanwhile, is for actions relating to existing projects on the home screen. These are Upload to Creative Cloud, Share to Email/Facebook/Camera Roll, Add a Folder/Move Files, Duplicate or Delete project, and Go to Facebook’s My Images section. The last icon takes you to overall Settings for PS Touch.