Adobe Photoshop on the iPad is it too little, too late?

Adobe Photoshop teaser for the iPad

The first main question posed in this live stream on May 9, 2019 was “What do people really need?” My answer is: It all.

Now, artists are all different when it comes to Photoshop. Some use it for drawing, others use it for actual photography, which was it’s original intention, others use it for 2D animation. So, although it seems that Photoshop has been bloatware, it really is not. 

Most of the artists who chose to migrate to an iPad, like myself, for example was mainly due to expense. The aging more affordable computers can now only be replaced with computers that are $1,500 or more just to do the same thing you’ve been doing for years, and the user experience hasn’t changed much. 

Current Adobe Creative Cloud Pricing

While Adobe does give it’s product for $119.88 for Photoshop and Lightroom at this time, a digital artist needs much more than just Photoshop. I remember when I had Adobe CS6, I used everything, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and I loved Bridge. Adobe Acrobat Pro was absolutely a must. So, someone like me would have to shell out the $635.88 per year. No, thanks. 

I had a falling out with Adobe, not going to lie to you. The products are amazing, but they do not care about their customers, at all. So be careful when you subscribe to their products, or purchase anything from them. Very careful. The customer service agents are in India and do not speak English very well, and respond only with brief scripted answers, which they will repeat over, and over and over, regardless of what you ask–until you are so flustered, you are willing to count your losses and buy ANYTHING ELSE remotely close to what you need to work. Needless to say, it’s been about 4 years since I’ve used Adobe in my work flow.

The app they are working on is not full Photoshop on the iPad. How much will it cost? Will it be worth it?

From what I am seeing, it looks pretty clean, streamline. Will it work on regular non-pro iPads? We don’t know.

Adobe for iPad Touch Modifier

The little toggle called touch modifier system is pretty fantastic. It replaces the keyboard shortcuts. You’ll just have to learn which way is what, such as duplicate. But for those of you who do have the keyboard, the regular shortcuts work just fine.

But is that enough to get people like me over to the Adobe side? Is Adobe too little, too late?

Old school Photoshop Touch

Back about ten years ago, Adobe did have Photoshop on the iPad. It was great. Not perfect, but great. They had deleted it from the App store, so nobody who had purchased it could use it again once they’ve updated their iOS. Frustrating.

Adobe has a very long game. And I foresee the iPad becoming not only it’s own device, as it has proven to be, but also, a main device, if not the only device for some people. This might be years coming, but honestly, sooner than we think. 

At this time for about three years, my iPad has been my only computer. There has been pitfalls, tears and many compromises. Only recently did I come across a very affordable Mac, which I couldn’t resist. I hadn’t had a Macbook since 2008. I used it like a giggly little school girl for about three days, and went back to the iPad. 

For years now, I’ve been discovering ways to live without Adobe. In the beginning there was Pixelmator and Graphic. Now there are Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer, which have been excellent products thus far. They are working on the beta version Affinity Publisher, which replaces InDesign, it works well on the Mac, I’m excited!

Affinity Photo is very capable. But it feels just as it did when you first opened Photoshop, daunting to learn. I have been able to get work done, and draw on this app, so if you are looking for an actual replacement, this is one of them, if not, THE one. All of my old Photoshop files work famously in Affinity Photo, as well as Procreate. 

If you are an animator, hands down, use Animation Pro, it is a full featured, professional app. Huge learning curve, however, just like everything.

My favorite workhorses.

When you purchase apps, try to find ones that are in it for the long haul, otherwise, you are just wasting your money. Affinity by Serif, I believe are in it for the long haul. Both Pixelmator and Graphic has been around for years, so be confident in purchasing those apps as well if you feel Affinity is too much of a learning curve. Graphic has changed hands several times throughout the years, but seriously, if you come from Illustrator, it’s an easy app to work and learn. It doesn’t have as many features as Illustrator or Affinity Designer, but I had no trouble getting commission work done with this app.

At this point in time, there is only one desktop publishing app on the iPad that seems like an unlikely choice. It’s called Comic Draw by Plasq. There are no other apps on the iPad that can produce a print quality or press ready PDF. It is designed for comic book artists, but I had no trouble putting together an entire full color, 100-page book with it. Check it out on Amazon: Snootle by Tia Petty

So the answers are, no it is not too late for Adobe to redeem itself. But their offerings for professionals on the iPad are, however, too little.