Photoshop for iPad is out now

Image taken from this Día de los Muertos-themed tutorial by Chris Parks.

Adobe Photoshop for iPad is finally here, and you can download it in the UK and US here.

The tablet version of Adobe's most famous application lets you comp and retouch photos and illustrations just like the desktop version. In fact, you can share PSDs back and forth between the versions.

First off though, what iPads does Photoshop support and how much does it cost? From the app's specs, you can use any that support iPadOS - from the latest iPad, iPad Air and iPad Mini up to any of the iPad Pro models.

The Photoshop for iPad app has a 30-day trial version, after which it costs £9.99/US$9.99 per month. If you have a Creative Cloud subscription that includes Photoshop, whether standalone or a Creative Cloud bundle, Photoshop for iPad is included. 

Photoshop for iPad was first announced at Max 2018. Beta invites for Photoshop for iPad (or PSi we’ll refer to it as) started to be sent out to select creatives as far back as May 2019, but we've yet to see any creations on social feeds. That said, Adobe's Principal Worldwide Evangelist Paul Trani has posted some of his own work using the app.

Photoshop for iPad is unlike most of the apps Adobe has released for Apple’s tablet in that – unlike the currently available Photoshop Draw, Fix and Mix – Photoshop for iPad is a full-spec image editing and compositing app. Those tools were either just for sketching or were little more than tech demos, but Photoshop for iPad was conceived to be much nearer to the desktop release, or Serif’s Affinity Photo for iPad, which we've included here on our Best iPad photo editors guide.

Adobe says that Photoshop for iPad will offer a subset of the features of the main application initially, with more added over time. Some may never be added, as Photoshop has acquired multiple ways to do many creative tasks over the years of its developments – think of how many different selection tools there are – but you should still be able to achieve everything you want.

The app uses the same PSD file format as the desktop version, so you can share documents between the two – with versions kept in sync through Creative Cloud’s online Libraries storage.

You can create, edit and manipulate the same layer stack on the iPad version as on the desktop version – with support for blending modes, opacity, clipping paths and adjustment layers.

Photoshop for iPad tools

Along the other side of the interface is the very familiar-looking Tools panel, where you can see tools including selection, lasso, brushes, the Eraser and Paint Bucket, Healing, text and shapes – along with the familiar foreground and background colours. One notable omission is the Pen tool, though there is a Venn-diagram symbol in the interface that doesn’t match anything in the desktop version that could refer to vector shapes in some way.

Adobe says that the interface has been designed to be as near to the desktop apps as possible, but modified for an environment where Pencil and touch are how you interact rather than keyboard and mouse (or keyboard, mouse, stylus and/or touch).

It’s notable that Adobe refers to the users of Photoshop for iPad as “designers and photographers”, as its primary toolsets are for those editing and compositing photos and photo-illustrations such as those featured in screenshots the company provided to us alongside information about it. For artists looking to draw and paint, Adobe released this summer a separate app – Freso, which is also soon coming to Windows devices.

Adobe is also using Max to launch Illustrator for iPad, plus new versions of its desktop apps from Photoshop and Illustrator to Animate and XD.

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