When Adobe recently announced it was launching a Photoshop iPhone app — a free one, at that — millions of photo enthusiasts were both excited and skeptical. So we decided to put this hot new toy through the ringer with a two-part review.
First, we turn to Adweek Photo Editor Manuela Oprea, a woman who clearly knows her way around a camera. Then you'll get the skinny from me, Kammie Avant, Luckie's social media planner and run-of-the-mill, 20-something iPhone addict.
Adweek Photo Editor
I hesitated before deciding to download the new Photoshop Mobile App. No, it wasn't the price; the app is free. Instead, I thought about the limited memory I have left on my 8GB iPhone and wondered if I really needed the app or if I would use it.
As a photographer, I use Photoshop on a daily basis, and I'm always astonished by the program's capabilities. So I was skeptical of the "mini-me" Mobile version and assumed that it would be clumsy or gimmicky.
To my surprise, I found the Photoshop Mobile App easy to use and useful. The basic functions, like cropping and exposure, came in handy, especially after snapping a photo on a overcast day. I also had fun with the sketch filter, though I could do without the jarring rainbow effects.
Overall, I was enjoying the experience and didn't regret the download until I tried to register, a process that's supposed to help you share the photos you've edited on your iPhone. After multiple attempts to create a Photoshop.com account and two different error messages, my frustration built up and I gave up. The App is still on my phone, for the time being.
Manuela's before-and-after shots from the Photoshop app:
After the jump, we get down to the details with my take:
Luckie Social Media Planner, iPhone addict
What's frustrating about Adobe's iPhone app is that it misses the mark with both of Photoshop's key users: casual photo editors and professional photographers. The app doesn't have enough "fun" editing options for your average person, and yet it's also lacking the powerful tools that serious shooters would want.
That said, it still brings a few useful things to the iPhone, so here's a list of the app's features, in descending order of usefulness:
2. Exposure: Also very useful, since the iPhone has no flash. This tool isn't a miracle worker, but for a photo taken in dim lighting, it can really help bring out color and detail. Just select the icon with the color options, select exposure and drag your finger right to lighten, and left to darken for over exposed pictures. This can really help a lot to bring out details.
There are a few other editing tools under exposure including saturation, tint, and black and white. With the exception of turning your photo into a grayscale or giving it a romantic sepia tone, these really don’t seem that useful.
3. Sketch and Soft Focus: Generally fun for amateurs to mess with and add some edge to a picture. I find it particularly useful for that cropped photo that’s just a little too pixelated. Drag left to right to increase and decrease the level of effect.
4. Effects: There’s vibrant, frame, the ever popular “pop” selection for the Andy Warhol crowd, a rainbow, a white glow to give your child the angelic look you know he deserves and of course “warm vintage” for that delightful retro look.
Aside from the tools provided in the application, Photoshop Mobile not only saves your edited picture but also the original, making it incredibly easy to undo by providing back and forward buttons.
Additionally, you can create a free, online Photoshop account to upload your pictures from your phone and save valuable iPhone memory. Plus, there are many more editing options through the online library on your computer like red eye reduction, sharpen, and distort, which are all a lot more useful when you're messing around with pictures of friends:
All in all, I think this free app is worth downloading and giving a try, at least for the cropping and exposure tools, which help make up for the lack of zoom and flash. In case you're curious, here's the final result of my iPhone Photoshop endeavor: