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› Photoshop for the iPad brings first woman to Apple launch event
  • Published on September 11, 2015

This week Apple held a launch event to introduce new iPads and iPhones. The new iPads contain more powerful processors. To show off the new capabilities, Apple invited Adobe to demonstrate a version of Photoshop running on the iPad.

The concept of using Adobe Photoshop to demonstrate whether a new iPad is capable of running Photoshop makes sense. Photoshop is one of the most processor intensive applications available. Photoshop retouching has typically been reserved to desktop computers, such as those running the Microsoft Windows or Mac OS. The full version of Adobe Photoshop, with its most complete retouching capabilities remains available only on these desktop computers like those used in Photoshop classes delivered at American Graphics Institute. This full version of Photoshop is not available for tablets such as the iPad. Apple is anxious to show that more powerful applications, such as Photoshop, can be used on the iPad.

When Apple invited Adobe to demonstrate Photoshop on the iPad, showing that it could be used for more comprehensive image editing, the opportunity existed for something great to come from the presentation. But the execution by both Apple and Adobe was poorly conceived and delivered, as the first woman to grace the stage after seven men was an on-screen image that was there as a model to be Photoshopped.

Adobe’s Eric Snowden introduced Photoshop on the iPad by displaying an image of the face of a woman. He then indicated that he wasn’t happy with her expression, in which she had her lips pursed together in a rather neutral expression. Snowden from Adobe indicated that he wanted her to have a smile on her face, and that he planned to add the smile using Photoshop.

Up to that time in the Apple event, there had not been a single woman on the stage, and Adobe’s Photoshop presentation was being delivered by yet another man. Event attendees and those watching the live stream provided near immediate disdain for the comments from Adobe.

Diversity in technology had become a significant issue, with pressure building for companies such as Adobe to make their workforce look more like the rest of society. A stage filled only with men who take an image of a beautiful woman and indicate they are unhappy with it because it isn’t smiling lacks taste, decorum, and awareness for the issue. It’s difficult to believe that Apple and Adobe were both so careless in the planning of how Photoshop for the iPad would be debuted.

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.