Photoshop for Android and iOS discontinued by Adobe
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Published on May 26, 2015
The only publicly available version of Photoshop for Android, known as the Photoshop Touch app from Adobe, will be discontinued on May 28. If you already own this version of Photoshop, you’ll be able to continue to use it. But it will not be available after May 28, and will not be supported in the future, which means there will not be any updates, bug fixes, or revisions. A full version of Photoshop for Android is still being tested in the academic market, but Adobe has not announced any plans to make this available to a wider audience outside of schools.
Photoshop has become the standard for desktop and notebook users to use for professional retouching. Yet despite being the leading computer-based image editing tool, Adobe has struggled in transitioning Photoshop to mobile and tablets. Photoshop Touch, the app being discontinued, had been Adobe’s most comprehensive image editing tool for tablet and mobile devices. While many photo sharing services include basic image editing functionality, other tools such as Pixelmator have provided alternatives to Photoshop with more complete image editing tools. In some cases, users find the basic in-app editing to be sufficient for their needs, and those with more comprehensive needs have migrated to these other tools.
Adobe has moved their entire strategy towards driving subscriptions to their Creative Cloud apps. Photoshop Touch, which you could pay for one time and use forever, was a throwback to Adobe’s old way of selling apps and software. But the new model Adobe is following is to require users to pay them every month or year for their services, and this version of Photoshop didn’t meet that objective.
Adobe has also moved away from providing complete tools for mobile devices, and has instead opted for task-specific digital imaging tools. They have created apps for individual issues such as Photoshop Mix which merges images. There is also the Photoshop Sketch app, which originally was developed as a drawing tool and Adobe slapped the Photoshop name onto it for marketing purposes. Each of these task-specific apps have some type of tie-in to Adobe’s paid subscription service, Creative Cloud. In most cases the apps are free, and include some basic functionality. Adobe then adds more functionality if a user subscribes to their service. In app sales terms, it is a freemium model, in which some services are free, and others are paid for, and thus considered premium. While the Photoshop Touch app didn’t operate on this model, the any replacement app will certainly go in this direction.
While Photoshop may be disappearing from Android, Adobe is already talking about a future version of Photoshop for iOS known as Project Rigel. While Android users won’t have access to this version, iPhone and iPad users will be able to perform basic editing functions such as replacing parts of an image, color correction, and even applying many filters. The layer effects American Graphics Institute's Photoshop training classes will also appreciate that the edits will be non-destructive.
We should expect to see more tools that allow for images to be stored online and edited via servers. While Adobe didn’t invent technology to enable this, less than a year ago they acquired a company Aviary that had a well-developed portfolio of image editing tools for mobile users. The Aviary tools enabled photo editing to occur on servers, while controlled by users working on mobile phones, and are used by services such as Flickr. It appears as though Adobe will be building more mobile Photoshop apps based upon the Aviary technology.
While Android Photoshop users may feel that they have been left out in the cold for now, Adobe has indicated they are planning to announce some apps for Android at some point in the future. Whenever this happens, we can be pretty certain they will be tied in some way to getting users to buy subscriptions to the Creative Cloud.
About the author
Jennifer Smith 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.