Adobe Publishes Roadmap For Updates To Photoshop On The iPad App

An example of the Select Subject feature, coming to Photoshop on the iPad app in December, 2019

In the fall of 2018, Adobe set the stage for telling the creative community and the world that Photoshop would soon be appearing on Apple iPads as a full-featured mobile app, one that would have “no compromises on power and performance or editing results.” And a little more than a year later, the company has attempted to make good on that promise, releasing the first iteration, which they said would focus on “compositing and retouching workflows, such as selections, masking, painting, blend modes and adjustment layers.” It also included full PSD compatibility and the familiar workspace.

Earlier today, though, Adobe shared its plans for what it has in store in the coming months for the app: Pam Clark, product manager for Photoshop at Adobe, published a blog post outlining what features or changes they’ll be making to the app in the remaining weeks of 2019 and what will be coming in the first half of 2020.

Users can access many features, settings and options in this new redesign of Photoshop via touch controls.

Here’s a list of what’s coming. However, the first two features on the list are the only ones that will be available before the end of the year. The additional features will come online in 2020:

  • Select Subject (coming in 2019): Clark writes that this new feature “uses the Adobe Sensei AI machine learning technology to enable you to automatically select the subject of an image to speed up complex selections.” The command lets you select the most prominent subject in an image “in a single click….and is trained to identify a variety of objects in an image—people, animals, vehicles, toys, and more.”
  • Cloud documents (coming in 2019): According to the company, cloud documents will “become faster than ever before. The new cloud documents system saves your documents between Photoshop on the iPad and desktop to make working across devices seamless.” That means if even the most minor element is changed—say “just one pixel,” Clark writes, “only that pixel syncs to the cloud. In December we will begin the rollout of system optimizations that deliver even swifter upload and download of cloud documents than what’s in the app today.”
Adobe says that cloud documents will “become faster than ever before.”
  • Refine Edge (coming in 2020): The Refine Edge brush, Adobe says, is “one of the most important selection tools in Photoshop.” The reason? Clark says it’s because it’s used to perform complex, soft edge selections on challenging subjects, “like hair and fur, or to perfect selections of objects that intermix both soft and hard edges, and many other tricky selection operations.”
  • Curves and Adjustment Layer Options (coming in 2020): Curves has long been an essential tool for photographers making tonal adjustments in their work. Clark also noted that they’ll “continue to build out adjustment layers to enhance non-destructive workflows.”
  • Brush sensitivity and Rotate Canvas (coming in 2020): Adobe will be adding brush sensitivity and rotate the canvas capabilities to the app, as well.
  • Lightroom Integration (coming in 2020): Adobe says it will have tighter integration with Lightroom.

Part of the reasoning behind this roadmap, though, may not be purely informational. Adobe might be trying to minimize some of the initial criticism for this first iteration of the app. For more, check out the Adobe blog, where you can also offer your own feedback on the new app.

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