Adobe Photoshop Touch review

Price when reviewed

Received wisdom says tablets are playthings – not for carrying out professional tasks or doing serious jobs on, but fine for occasional email, video playback, listening to tunes and gaming. But there are a number of software developers taking the task of producing serious creative software head on, notably Apple and Korg.

Now Adobe is joining the slowly growing crowd, and has brought the daddy of photo editing applications to the tablet platform. Dubbed Photoshop Touch, it’s initially only available on the Android Market for tablets, costs a reasonable £6.99, and is launched alongside five other Adobe apps. An iOS version isn’t available yet, but is coming.

Obviously this is never going to be able to rival the power of full-blown Photoshop; that would be silly – especially at this price. But you might be surprised at how much is packed in here, and the quality of the results that can be achieved.

Management and workspace

The first thing you’re faced with on launch is the photo management space. This is where you can see your finished and ongoing projects – saved in PSDX format – and all the images you’ve imported.
Photos must be brought in individually, which can be laborious, but it’s good that you’re not only restricted to images in local storage.

Photoshop Touch

Photos can be imported from a variety of other sources: direct from the camera, from Google images marked as royalty free, your Facebook albums and Adobe’s Creative Cloud online image storage and sharing space.

The latter gives you a very generous 20GB capacity (included in the price of the app), and allows you to browse not only shared image files, but also projects, complete with layers. It also provides an easy way of loading full-resolution images onto your tablet from your PC.

Once you’re into the editing window proper, files can also be brought in directly from these sources as new photo layers, making working with your images very straightforward indeed. The workspace itself is also an outwardly simple affair, with common and global image tools – such as selection, effects and move/resize – in a narrow panel along the top of the screen, a layer panel down the right-hand side and the tools panel along the left. All these panels can be minimised with the flick of a finger.


With a lack of screen real estate, and the need to keep buttons and so on finger-sized, there’s a danger of things becoming either cluttered or over-simplified, but Adobe has managed to get the balance just right. The tools area to the left transforms into a properties panel when your desired tool is selected, offering such parameters as brush size for adjustment.


Software subcategoryPhoto editing software

Operating system support

Other operating system supportAndroid 3.0 and higher

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