Photoshop for iPad hands-on: an exclusive look

Photoshop for iPad hands-on: an exclusive look

August 4, 2019 100 By Peter Engel


Adobe has finally announced a real Photoshop app for the iPad that’s coming some time in 2019. We got to try out an
early beta version of that and what we saw was pretty promising. It’s not an exact copy of the desktop app but its biggest selling point is that it uses real PSD files. Adobe has actually created
these new cloud PSD files that will let you work seamlessly
across all your devices and automatically syncs any
edits you make to the cloud. So if you’re retouching
a photo on the desktop and you need to adjust
some stuff on the go, you can open up that same
PSD file in your iPad and continue working on it. But here’s what happens when
you first open up Photoshop. You have all your cloud documents here and I’m just gonna open up this file made by our illustrator, Alex Castro. On the left here, you have all the tools that you may be used
to seeing in Photoshop. There’s brush, gradients, eraser, everything you’re used to seeing. And here on the right, you
have your layers panel, which is collapsible, giving
you more space to work. And what’s really cool about Photoshop is that you can have as
many layers as you want. Compared to some other apps that might limit how
many layers you can have or make you buy more,
there’s really no limit here. So, keep in mind, this
isn’t the finished product, so a lot of the features like Text or Crop have interface elements here
but just don’t work right now. And there’s other features, like Timeline, which aren’t included here at all, so we’re assuming it won’t be in the first version when it launches, which is kind of unfortunate for animators who are the ones who could really benefit from a mobile device for such
a labor-intensive process. So, we’re gonna try to use the
functions that are available and see how far we can get with that. Based on the tools they’ve
prioritized on having in this first build, Adobe’s
focus for Photoshop on iPad is mainly for compositing. So, I’m gonna take a
photo of Carly Rae Jepsen and make it look like
she’s holding a sword. I’m gonna go ahead and import some photos and this version of Photoshop can let you import
photos from iCloud Drive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. I’m going to go to my Camera Roll and open up this photo of Carly. And then I’m gonna add
the picture of the sword. I can resize the sword and rotate it and bring that closer to her so it looks like she’s holding it. I’m going to just erase it and this might take a while. (chuckles) I don’t need to be too precise,
as long as we get the idea. To undo, you can tap with two fingers. Almost there. This is gonna look so good. And now, I’m gonna adjust
the opacity of the sword, so we can look through and
see the part of the hand where she’s actually holding it and then I’m gonna erase that. And there you have it. Carly Rae Jepsen holding a sword. I’m mostly an illustrator, so while Photoshop’s
missing from the App Store, I found alternative apps like
Procreate and CLIP STUDIO that work for me. Same goes for the photographers, designers, and motion graphics artists on The Verge’s art department who each found their own
preferred apps to work on. But we’ve asked them to take
a look at the new Photoshop to give their thoughts and whether they can see
themselves using the app. – What’s going on? It’s Alex Castro from The Verge. I’m an illustrator and designer. – Hi, my name’s Michelle,
and I do photo retouching. – Hi, I’m Will, I’m the
design director for The Verge. – I was able to test out the new Photoshop program on the iPad. It was actually really fun ’cause I got to leave my
desk and work on photos, which normally, I don’t get to do. I have to stand at my desk
or sit at my desk and work, but this time, I actually
got to pick up this iPad, go to the couch, sit down, and I got to edit, which is
really fun and really exciting. – Say you’re kind of tracing something or you’re drawing, you can just rotate it. So, if I’m outlining something, if I wanna get really
close, it’s just nice to be able to turn and color in. I think we’ve all grown
up coloring on paper, so we doing something like this
is kind of just instinctual. – As somebody coming from
a desktop environment, using it professionally every single day, coming to a touch-based UI for Photoshop is really confusing. – On the computer, I have
a lot of the keystrokes, the keystrokes that I’ve memorized, and here, I don’t have a keystroke. I didn’t have a keyboard to use, and so I had to click around to try and figure out
how do I invert a mask. And for a retoucher who
gets lots of images a day, time is of the essence. – So it does have this modifier button that allows you to toggle between say, pink brush and eraser. So, let’s say your in the pink brush and you’re coloring in Andrew’s hair and you went too far over, you can just press, it says
erase, and I can just erase. – One thing I did notice was my hand got a little
bit sore using this pen. The Wacom pen that I use is
a little bit more cushioned, molds to my hand a little bit better, but I felt my fingers and my palm getting a little bit sore with
how I had to grip this pen. – I can see this being
very useful in the future once Adobe adds in a lot of their features that nobody else can get, Typekit integration,
Creative Cloud integration, and the mere fact that you can open up Photoshop files natively
on the iPad is huge. – So I currently use Adobe
Sketch and Adobe Draw, and one of the benefits of that is that I can save these files as PSD and they upload right to Creative Cloud, which is kind of like a
Google Docs for Adobe. Once it’s uploaded, I can
just go to my desktop, open that folder, and jump
right into PSD automatically. What’s gonna be nice is I’m gonna be able
to work the other way, that I can save something on the desktop, save it to the Creative Cloud, and then I can open it
up in the app itself. Something you can’t do right now. – As for pricing, it’s gonna be included as part of the Creative Cloud bundle, so if you already pay a
subscription for Photoshop and you’ve already invested
in an iPad Pro, great. If not, there might be a
one-time fee for the app, maybe another monthly
fee, we don’t know yet. And what does this mean for
other Creative Cloud apps? Does this mean that
Illustrator and After Effects could be coming to the iPad someday? Adobe says it’s definitely something it’s considering in the future. So, that’s our first look at Photoshop for the iPad coming in 2019. It’s definitely not gonna
replace your entire desktop but it’s gonna be a really great
extension of your workflow. Speaking of workflow, you can go check out our newest episode of Workflow
in which you can learn how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop, which you actually can’t do on the iPad ’cause it’s not there yet.