Sunday, April 21, 2013

Photoshop Touch App For Android

1:32 PM

It is with these situations in mind that Adobe has created Photoshop Touch, which joins a very limited selection of heavyweight image editors on Android. The feature set is impressive on paper, but can the editing king of the desktop successfully make the leap to the small screen?
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First Impressions

If dark grey is your favourite colour, Photoshop Touch will seduce you instantly. Don’t get me wrong – the design is understated and smooth, with a darkroom feel to it. But boy, is it seriously dark grey.

Photoshop Touch is a rhapsody in dark grey

The layout, it must be said, is superb. Once you’ve loaded an image into the editing screen, you are presented with a range of tools, which are all neatly confined to bars at the top and bottom of the screen.
Allowing easy access to dozens of controls when you’ve only got a small screen to work with is always a challenge, but Photoshop Touch’s pop-out menus work nicely.

Editing Options

The feature list of Photoshop Touch is so long as to be barely credible. Nearly every major tool in my desktop version of Photoshop Elements can be found in Photoshop Touch, which is pretty impressive given the computing power required to perform complicated functions like Transform or Curves.
The majority of the action in Photoshop Touch originates in the bar running along the top of your phone’s screen. The first pop-down menu is the mobile equivalent of the Edit menu found on the desktop, mostly dealing (in some depth) with any selections you make.

Photoshop Touch’s equivalent of the Edit menu

Next are the adjustment tools. The usual, run-of-the-mill options like Brightness and Saturation are all present, but it’s nice to see more advanced features, like Levels and the aforementioned Curves, in a mobile editor.

The pop-down adjustments menu

Move along further, and you’ll arrive at the “fx” menu. This contains the near-obligatory styling options, and while there 48 to choose from, I can’t actually envisage using any of them – a very half-hearted effort from Adobe here.

The range of effects is large, but of poor quality

The final top-bar menu is dedicated to what I would describe as image manipulation. This is where tools like Crop, Resize and Rotate reside, along with surprisingly high-level features like Warp, Gradient and Lens Flare.

Phtotoshop Touch is very well equipped for image manipulation

Along the bottom of the screen are the finger-operated tools, which include the cloning, selection and brush tools, as well as a fly-out view of Layers. At the risk of repeating myself, I’m going to have to note the impressive array of options here. Selections can be achieved with the Magic Wand, Scribble, or Marquee tools, and any of the options found under the adjustments menu can be painted in selectively. The usual Clone Stamp, Spot Healing and Blur tools are also available, and the Layers palette is very clear and easy to operate.

The range of finger controlled tools

It’s noticeable that many of the tools which Adobe has included in Photoshop Touch are not specifically, or necessarily, photo-related, which gives the impression that they are trying to stick to Photoshop’s graphic design roots. For instance, when you start up Photoshop Touch, it gives you the option to create a blank file, something you’d only do if you were planning to use multiple images or layers – very much graphic design territory.

In Action

The adjustments, as a whole, work with beautiful smoothness, responsive controls, and no slow-down when applying changes. Equally, selecting specific areas of an image is very easy, despite having to do so (in my case) with clumsy fingers.

Curves is a joy to use in Photoshop Touch

Pretty much all of the brush-type tools produce high quality results, but some are rather frustrating to use, due to their poor on-screen cursor. As a result, the process of painting in adjustments entails wiping your finger across the desired part of the image, with very little idea of what effect your action is having.
Stability is always a concern when it comes to image editors, there is nothing worse than toiling away on a blend for hours, only for your work to be lost. Thankfully, I found Photoshop Touch to be solid, both in terms of stability and speed. In fact, the only true glitch I found in the whole app was when I tried to load images from my Google+ library; one of these photos took ten minutes to load, and another didn’t load at all. Other than this small misdemeanour, however, Photoshop Touch seems to be a smooth operator.

Curves is a joy to use in Photoshop TouchThe range of finger controlled tools
Photoshop Touch's equivalent of the Edit menu

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