Adobe accepting applications to beta test Photoshop CC on iPad, but there is still no mention of release date yet

May 17, 2019

Adobe Photoshop will be able to run the same PSD file on the Mac and the iPad Pro

It has been a while since Adobe announced at last year’s Adobe Max conference that it would be bringing the full Photoshop experience to the iPad sometime in 2019. According to the developers, Photoshop CC for iPad aims to tweak most of its professional features to work seamlessly on the touchscreen interface specially designed for Apple’s flagship iPad Pro line-up. The iPad version is intended to be a more powerful software than any other iOS or Android app Adobe has ever released, including the more limited Photoshop Sketch and Adobe Illustrator Draw. One of its main features will be a new file format, called Cloud PSD that will be able to sync changes across your desktop software and the iPad app so you can work on the same file across your devices. Naturally, digitalEPIGRAPHY has been fantasizing about starting a project at the monument on our iPad and seamlessly transforming it onto our desktop for digital inking ever since. 

A panel with popular tools including brush, eraser, gradient, marquee, text and crop appear on the left side of the screen, while a minimal layer pane occupies the right

Early reports concluded that the iPad app feels distinctly like “real” Photoshop with a few design choices optimized for a touchscreen. Nonetheless, it doesn’t bring over every tool available in desktop Photoshop; in fact, it’s missing the entire Menu bar with the drop-down sub-menus. Instead, you’ll find tools like adjustment layers in the collapsible right-side toolbar. Furthermore, there aren’t any keyboard shortcuts or gesture controls available for now, although Adobe plans to incorporate them in the future. On the other hand, there is a specific interface element called the Touch Modifier, a context-aware button that shows up on the bottom left corner of the screen (depending on which tool you’re using). If you’re using the brush tool, for example, holding the button down instantly switches to the eraser, then back to the brush when you let go. Unfortunately, the app was still in its early stages when these first tests were released, showing a mostly finished UI but minimal functionality. Judging from the screenshots circulating the web, it seems certain that Photoshop for iPad won't look the same as the desktop version; instead Adobe plans to deliver a reimagined user experience that's optimized for touch devices taking full advantage of the Apple Pencil and gestures. Naturally, we're keen to see how it all will work in practice.

And apparently now is our chance to learn more about the state of development, as Adobe is finally accepting applicants to test the beta version of Photoshop CC for iPad. A few days ago email invites went out to Creative Cloud subscribers who had already expressed interest in learning more about the iPad app via this page on Adobe's website. Adobe routes the email signups through a Google Forms page, which asks for just three pieces of information: your email, your full name and the reason you want to try Photoshop CC for iPad. What isn't clear is when the actual invitations will be sent out and what these first beta versions will include. According to Adobe, there's still no definitive timeline for a Photoshop for iPad release, but the company’s spokesperson reiterated that “General availability of Photoshop on the iPad is coming in 2019”.

In the meantime, you can watch this long segment on the state of software development, introducing some iPad specific features that demonstrate the power of Photoshop for iPad. The section was presented by Jenny Lyell, Senior Product Manager at Adobe and Matthew Richmond, Director of Experience Design at Adobe at the 11th Annual 99U Conference on May 9th, 2019.

Incidentally, Adobe is offering a 16% discount on its most popular Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which includes unlimited access to Photoshop and Lightroom, plus 20GB cloud storage for your drawings and photos. The Photography Plan was already the most affordable way to have Photoshop on our computers, and now it's an even better deal at just €9.90/£8.32 per month when signing up for an annual subscription. The offer is only valid for European customers and ends on May 23rd, 2019, so act quickly to take advantage of the special price.


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