Report: Adobe Working on a Full Version of Photoshop for iPad

Following in the footsteps of their experiment with Lightroom CC, a new report indicates Adobe has new plans for Photoshop on iPad.

Say what you will about Lightroom CC, but what Adobe has done here over the last year or two in developing a single cohesive experience for users across mobile phone and tablet experiences as well as on traditional computing platforms such as laptops and desktops has been impressive. Now, according to a Bloomberg report, Adobe is taking what they have learned through that endeavor and have shifted their Photoshop strategy in a similar direction, with a fully functional Photoshop app for iPad.

This is a stark departure from Adobe’s current Photoshop mobile strategy which basically relied on a series of Photoshop branded mobile apps designed for specific tasks, without any of them taking the place of a fully functional Photoshop application. But this has been a largely losing strategy as mobile competitors such as Affinity Photo have powerful ‘Photoshop-like’ apps that prove that a fully functional image processor on tablet and mobile devices is possible and wanted by creative professionals.

Beyond just the desire and need for this sort of a tool from the community; Adobe has said that a big reason why they have started moving this direction is simply that until recently, mobile devices didn’t have the raw horsepower needed to effectively run an app like Photoshop without performance issues. But thanks to powerful tablets like Apple’s iPad Pro now on the market, Adobe says that the hardware is finally to a place to where it can handle a fully functional Photoshop app.

The Bloomberg report indicates that Adobe could be planning to unveil the app, to some degree, at its Adobe MAX conference in October. Though they are not expecting the app to become fully available to the public until some point in 2019, and that could still change as the project moves ahead. So, basically we are still a ways off from this being in our hands, but the potential here is massive.

Just think, you open up Lightroom CC to do your base processing, and then start up the new Photoshop app on your iPad to finish up with your more detailed edits. You could, in theory, process an entire shoot this way, without ever ‘needing’ to get on your laptop or desktop. If the performance is where it needs to be, this could be huge for photographers and retouchers who want to step away from the desk and remain productive.

We will be keeping an eye on this going forward, but it seems that exciting times are ahead.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.