Adobe says Photoshop is better on the iPad, for some things

This past Monday, Adobe released the long-awaited Photoshop Touch for iPad 2. But this app is no succession to Photoshop for iOS; it’s far from that. This app is deceptively powerful, fast, effective, and according to Adobe Senior Creative Director Russell Brown, sometimes “better, more accurate.” Charlie Sorrel of CultofMac caught up with the creative director at the Mobile World Conference to ask him how he felt about Photoshop Touch and if it was better than its desktop counterpart. Brown had this to say: “When they asked me what I wanted in this version of Photoshop, I said ‘It has to go as fast as I can think.’”

Brown then went on to demonstrate exactly what he was thinking – literally. Apparently things were appearing on the tablet screen at nearly the same time they were being thought of in his head. Fast, right? He searched for an image of the Golden Gate Bridge, snapped a picture of  Catalan businessman Jaume, set the gate layer to transparent, and in no time at all had an end result that lined up great. In his quick demo, Brown showed off the effectiveness of Photoshop Touch’s mask, Magic wand, layer, and auto-selection tools, things that lead Photoshop to be an industry standard in the first place.

Brown finally gave mention to the fact that Adobe’s Creative Cloud is something the iPad wins at. Something along the lines of Adobe’s 2GB version of iCloud, Creative Cloud allows you to have your .psd files on whatever device you’re on. He mentioned a time when his iPad died while he was in Photoshop Touch. He simply hopped on another iPad, launched Touch, signed in and there it was. Layers and everything. I’ve yet to see that on the desktop.  Now the $10 app is no Photoshop for PC, but that’s just the natural answer of a web designer. A 10-inch display would not be my first choice when designing an entire site, but if you don’t design large-scale things for a living, this could be an easy substitute. And at 1/17 the price, it’s definitely cost-effective.

So there it is. Photoshop has competition – itself. In terms of portability, having files with you anywhere, and working at nearly the same speed as your thoughts, the iPad wins. That being said, the desktop is still, well, the desktop. Nevertheless, Adobe has definitely outdone itself with this one. Well done, guys.

Jared is a web designer with a passion for writing. Co-founded, The Industry & Evomail. Editor at