Photoshop touches down on the iPad
Just a few months after its first suite of Creative apps debuted on Android, Adobe makes good on shipping its flagship Photoshop Touch for iPad. The app, which is as close to identical to the Android version as is possible given the platform differences, is available on iTunes for the same $9.99; it requires an iPad 2 running iOS 5. Adobe says the iPadification of the rest of the Touch apps is under way.
I really liked the Android version, and the app has generally gotten high marks from users in the Android Market. There are some complaints that it lacks features of the desktop version, which makes me laugh; yes, I'd love modern niceties like adjustment layers, a real text engine, and the ability to handle images larger than 1,600x1,600 pixels, but tablet tech isn't quite ready to handle those demands. That said, it can be frustrating, for example, to not have enough detail for selections and adjustments when the original photo starts as a 24-megapixel image.
Working with text also feels like traveling back in time. You can enter, place, resize, and rotate text using one of the handful of included fonts. But once you click apply, it rasterizes the text.
The PSDX files can get pretty large, too. For instance, a 1,600x1.200-pixel image with two layers combined with a blend mode takes about 5.5MB. That seems small, but can add up over time, and if you choose not to fork over $50 a month for Creative Cloud then you (at least for the moment) can export only flattened files.
The one tool that I do think it needs is a one-click white balance; instead there's a difficult-to-use three-channel color balance adjustment or an all-or-nothing Auto Fix tool. And some of the algorithms, like Reduce Noise (which seems to merely blur), don't seem quite up to Adobe's usual standard.
Nitpicks aside, PSTouch is a full-featured image-editing app, with modern selection tools, brushes, adjustments, effects, warps, and gradients. If your needs run beyond quick auto adjustments and effects, Photoshop Touch on either tablet platform is well worth the $9.99.