Posted on February 28, 2013
Yesterday I looked at Google Play and say that Adobe just released Photoshop Touch for Android-powered phones. My Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone has a decent enough camera, 5MP, for snapshots. I edit all my photos from my DSLR and I always end up editing most of the snapshots I take with my phone with something like Pixlr-o-matic or Instagram, so having real photo editing software like Photoshop on my phone to edit snapshots that I love was a real draw for me. The download cost $4.99, which is so inexpensive for good software.
Photoshop doesn’t seem to integrate itself into the Android OS in the same way that most photo editing software does. When viewing a photo from the gallery, there’s no option to edit the photo with Photoshop Touch in the share menu. In order to edit a photo, you have to open Photoshop Touch and select the photo within it’s menu. Kind of a pain, but able to be worked with (although the PS Touch team should fix this).
Once the photo is opened you’ll see a series of menu buttons on the top and bottom of the screen. Clicking these will bring up a series of menus, some of which experienced Photoshop users will find familiar, and others are all new.
There’s a layers pallet in the lower right corner of the screen that acts like you’d expect a layers pallet to do. If you double tap on a layer it launches a 3-D viewer of each layer in a stack, which is pretty cool looking.
In the lower left of the screen is a menu that when tapped opens up a series of tools such as clone stamp, healing brush, magic wand, and the marquee selection tool. These are some of the most useful tools in this piece of software, and are relatively easy to use. With a small screen such as on my phone, the tools are somewhat awkward to use, but with a larger tablet screen I’d bet they’re great. The menu won’t stay open when tapped though, so you have to drag your finger to the desired tool, and if lifted off the screen, the tool menus collapse, which is annoying in my opinion.
The text tool is rather powerful. Much more so than anything I’ve seen for a phone.
Most of the photo editing tools are one-click simple, but you have the option of using more powerful tools like the adjustment sliders (one of my most often used tool in Photoshop) to do fine-tuned modifications to contrast, brightness, etc.
There are fun little effects such a lens flare and a lighting tool that can be used to create a vignette.
Overall, this is easily the most powerful piece of photo editing software available for touch-enabled mobile devices. I’d say it’s well worth the $5 if you simply can’t resist editing your snapshots on your device and want more control over the final product. If you don’t want to spend more than 5 minutes on a photo, you might be better served by using less powerful, but easier software such as Pixlr or Pudding Camera.