Adobe Photoshop App for iPhone – First Look

Adobe has released a Photoshop app for the iPhone.  It’s a available for free from the iTunes App Store.

In the new Photoshop app, you get adjustment features like cropping, exposure, saturation and tint, along with a number of presets and stylized effects.  The overall user interface is pretty slick, which you would expect from Adobe.  You slide your fingertip across the image in several of the settings to add or reduce their intensity.  The crop tool is so smooth too – it just works the way cropping should.  Overall, the app feels very intuitive.

One thing I really like about the app is that it leaves your photos on your camera roll untouched and creates a copy for you to edit.  As a result, you get a second version of your image to process and you’ve always got your clean original if you want to do something else.  The new, edited photo is saved as the last image in your iPhone’s camera roll when you are done with it in the Photoshop app.  I’m not sure if or which other apps do this, but I appreciate this feature.

Additionally, you can instantly upload images to to share them with others.  The free service has a 2GB limit though.  If you’re just using it for the iPhone, that should last you quite a while.  However, if you plan on using for other images from . . . say, your DSLR, then you might chew through that much faster.

Big Limitations on Sharing

My biggest gripe about the Photoshop App is the limitation on sharing.  You can only upload through the Photoshop app to  In order to upload the above image elsewhere, I opened it up from my camera roll using The Best Camera app, which allowed me to share it on Facebook, Twitter, email and, all with just one upload in a single program.  That’s a big hit for everyday use to me – and probably the biggest reason that the Photoshop app won’t see as much use on my iPhone as The Best Camera app will see.

The sharing limitations really make the Photoshop app feel more like an advertisement for the service.  Granted, the editing interface sure is slick.  In fact, I have to admit that I like the look and feel of the editing process more than The Best Camera from Chase Jarvis.  We are talking about Adobe Photoshop though – it should be better than everything else, right?

The major holdback is sharing the images the way you already do.  A lot of folks downloading the Photoshop app are probably like me and upload their images from camera phones to Flickr, Facebook or Twitter. You just don’t get those choices with  (Granted, The Best Camera doesn’t support Flickr uploads . . . yet.)

While you get 2GB of storage free on, Adobe really wants you to upgrade to its pay service where you can get 20GB of storage for $20 per year and up to 500GB for $500 per year. There’s a nice little sales pitch in the bottom left corner of your main page once you login that reads:  “Unlimit your uploading and sharing options. now offers new 250GB and 500GB account sizes, so you can keep the headroom going!  Upgrade, upload and enjoy!”  I’ll avoid too much more discussion about the value you get from this storage service from Adobe; however, there are plenty of other storage solutions online like Flickr, Smugmug and other alternatives (see also, 45 Photo Sharing Sites) that, in my opinion, offer a better bang for your buck – at least on the storage side of the coin.

I would have paid $3 or $5, or maybe even $10 for this app IF I had the power to share the photos the way that I want to directly from the app.  I’m also a big cheapskate on iPhone apps.  I’ve bought two – ever.  The fact that I might pay $10 for this app goes a ways to show how much I like it.  However, because the “free” Photoshop iPhone app is crippled by its limited sharing options, I don’t expect to use it as much as I’ll use more open apps like The Best Camera.  Earlier this week, I caught a twitter exchange between Chase Jarvis and Don McAskill about integrating SmugMug uploads directly from The Best Camera app.  That’s the kind of openness I’m looking for in a photo app.

As fate would have it, I experience significant problems getting the site to load tonight while trying to test out the iPhone integration.  Perhaps Adobe wasn’t quite ready for the onslaught of iPhone users to test out the new app?


To sum it up – the interface pretty much rocks, but the sharing options are rather lame.  It’s worth downloading to toy around with (it’s free); however, if you are a social media maven (or even a casual user that likes sharing pics), you’ll be left out in the cold looking for another way to share your images with others.

Additional details about the Photoshop app in the press release below.

Adobe Press Release

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today introduced Mobile for iPhone™ application, delivering Adobe® industry-leading digital-imaging technology to users on the go. Mobile provides consumers a convenient way to edit photos, apply effects and share images instantly with friends – all with the flick of a finger. Seamless integration with users’ free accounts enables photo sharing and data back-up, saving them valuable space on their iPhones. The application is available free of charge at Apple’s App Store.

“As the digital imaging leader, Adobe is excited to bring Mobile to iPhone users,” said Doug Mack, vice president and general manager of Consumer and Hosted Solutions at Adobe. “Now, with access to powerful editing and sharing tools, iPhone users are armed with the resources to document all of life’s unexpected moments, make them look their best and then re-live those memories with friends and family.” Mobile for iPhone provides a fun, seamless experience to view photos with full-screen previews and edit images with gesture-based editing. Consumers can transform their photos with essential edits like crop, rotate and flip. Users can correct and play with color by adjusting the saturation and tint, enhancing the exposure and vibrancy and converting images to black and white. Mobile for iPhone also offers eye-catching special effects. The Sketch tool helps photos look like drawings, and Soft Focus can give photos a subtle blur for artistic effect. With just one click, users can also apply dramatic changes to the look and feel of their photos with effects such as Warm Vintage, Vignette and Pop. Edits or changes can be undone or redone so users can experiment without the worry of losing the original photo.

After making personalized edits, users can upload photos from their iPhone to their account to view and retrieve their images at a later time from any Internet-connected computer. In addition, Mobile for iPhone provides the ultimate digital photo wallet, giving users access to their entire library directly from their iPhone. offers 2GB of free online photo storage, which equates to over 1,500 photos.

More information on Mobile for iPhone can be found at: