App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Photoshop Touch for phone (yes phone, not iPhone) is essentially the same app as Photoshop Touch for iPad, which Adobe released last year. Optimized for the iPhone 4S and 5, the same features are present, but the UI has been redesigned for the smaller screen. The app works well, but the small screen size is limiting, even for those of us with small fingers. Still, for Photoshop devotes, the integration of Adobe’s Creative Cloud makes it easy(ish) to start a project on one device and finish it later on another or import it – layers intact – to Photoshop proper on a PC.
For a mobile photo editor the features are impressive, but don’t expect the full power of Photoshop or certain key options like masking. There is simple layering, however, and one of the coolest things in PS Touch is that one of those layers can be filled by taking a shot right from the camera. Another for-mobile feature is "scribble" which makes selecting areas as simple as, well, scribbling. And, of course users can snap photos right from the app.
Beyond that, expect the expected. Aside from layering, there are all kinds of standard editing tools including a magic wand, along with a nice selection of adjustments and effects. Export options include out to camera roll and Adobe’s cloud, along with some social network sharing, and images of up to 12 megapixels (up from the original iPad release) can be saved as JPEG, PNG, PSD or PSDX files.
PS Touch is feature dense but it’s not as user-friendly as other iPhone photo editors. The interface is very cramped even on an iPhone 5. In fact unless manually zoomed, in landscape orientation – the app works in portrait too – PS Touch didn’t use the iPhone 5’s extra screen space at all.
Ultimately, whether to spend the $4.99 depends on the type of iPhoneographer one is. If one is already tied to Abode's Creative Suite and takes serious photographs on their iPhone Photoshop Touch for phone is a great companion. If, however, one tends to just snap shots of friends, family, and pets - i.e. images that don’t require a professional touch - there are other photo editors for iPhone that are more intuitive and even more fun.
*Original photographs by David Millar