Adobe Photoshop has been the most popular image manipulation software for PC and Mac for many years and with more and more photo editing apps becoming available for smart devices, Adobe just couldn’t resist dipping their toes in the mobile app market with their own Adobe Photoshop Express app. Adobe offers their photo editing software for free but there’s a catch, don’t expect the same capabilities that the desktop version possesses, more or less, it has the same or even less features that other image manipulation software for mobile devices offer.
Photoshop Express isn’t much different from existing photo editing apps.
The user interface of Adobe Photoshop Express tries hard to make it simple to use, upon first run, a simple slideshow serves as a tutorial and feature presentation along with asking you if you want to sign in or register to your Adobe account. Once that’s done, you are given options to open an existing photo, or snap a fresh one using your iPhone’s camera as well as other sources like Dropbox, Facebook photos, etc. The user interface is clear and elegant, tools are at the bottom edge of the screen that’s been simplified for mobile use including the “looks” tool that is actually just filters for quick edits.
The app being comparable to other photo editing suites is understandable because it’s currently free on the iTunes Store. PS Express’ features are mainly 11 image-adjustment tools two of which requires a Creative Cloud account which is Adobe’s annual paid subscription service. Tools like exposure, contrast, temperature, sharpen and tint are pretty standard among other image editors. The app can also auto-enhance at a touch of a button with the magic wand tool. One notable feature is the before and after button that lets you view the original untouched image for reviewing; a feature that’s mostly missed in other apps. The app also saves the original source image and creates a separate image that you worked on. Social media-friendly sharing are also present such as buttons to quickly share to Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook including a crop feature that’s calibrated for the Facebook cover photo’s dimensions.
The funny thing about what Adobe did to their app distribution scheme is they limited each app’s capabilities forcing you to download more than one app to do a specific task; Adobe Photoshop Express’ limited capabilities can be handled by another Adobe app: Lightroom Express. Most apps can do the tasks that both Photoshop Express and Lightroom Express combined can achieve so it’s a bit of a turn off having to switch apps when editing photos.If you’re okay with switching between apps for your post-processing then you won’t have any convenience problems with Adobe’s suite of photo manipulation software. However for very quick edits, many other alternatives fit the bill just fine.
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