Adobe has announced a suite of six new apps for tablets, including Photoshop Touch. The Adobe Photoshop Express app has been available on iOS since late 2009, but these new apps should put it to shame, offering functionality much closer to what you'd get with the PC/Mac versions of Adobe's software. They'll arrive on Android Honeycomb tablets in November, and iPad in early 2012.
Photoshop Touch - clearly more advanced than Photoshop Express
Photoshop Touch is not intended to be a replacement for CS5 - the Android version will only cost $10 - but allows layering, transparencies and a selection of effects that'll be familiar to Photoshop veterans. Adobe has also announced five other tablet apps. Here’s a quickie run-down of what they are, and what they do.
- Adobe Collage combines text and images to make collages. This seems to be the fluffiest of the bunch.
- Adobe Debut lets you make presentations, and will rope-in files from InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.
- Adobe Ideas is a vector-based alternative to Photoshop Touch - a bit like an iPad version of Illustrator.
- Adobe Kuler lets you plan colour themes for design projects. Useful for decorating that second bedroom, perhaps.
- Adobe Proto is a user interface design tool, letting you plan websites and mobile apps using wireframes.
Naturally, all of these apps are fully touch-oriented, and also offer handy integrations of your connected and non-connected image libraries. You'll be able to simply and quickly reap images from your tablet's camera or photo gallery, as well as galleries from places like Facebook. For more, check out the apps' pages on Adobe's website.
Tablets are not considered particularly good productivity devices, but seem a sensible match for design tasks where extreme accuracy is not a must. Could Adobe have created something that's not just a new avenue for its software, but pretty decent reason to buy a tablet by itself? We'll have to wait until next month to find out, but this software holds plenty of promise. Aside from Aobe Photoshop Express, Adobe currently offers Nav, Color Lava and Eazel apps for iPad but, like Express, they're distinctly feature-light.
Adobe has not maintained the most harmonious relationship with Apple over the past couple of years, Apple's refusal to incorporate Flash into its iOS devices causing no end of acrimony. This is one possible reason why Android Honeycomb tablet will get these apps several months before the Apple iPad. However, it's good to see that Adobe isn't giving the Apple tablet the full cold shoulder - as it's where these apps will win the majority of their downloads.