Photoshop Touch for Android: Part 5 The Results!

As you have seen, there is a ton of functionality packed in to a 10$ package!  They made good use of the tablets features and with a few UI exceptions, it is an incredibly well put together piece of software.  As far as Android apps go, it is actually much more stable than most, which is shocking considering how much it does!

However, and it makes me sad to say this… for texture artists and frankly most other people, it simply isn’t going to work as a Photoshop replacement for the simple reason that Adobe have crippled it.  No, I am not talking about the 1600×1600 pixel limit, nor the 16 layer limit, this problem is much much worse.

You can only save to their proprietary PSDX format or Jpeg!  Nothing else and this sucks, hard! ( Edit 2/17/2012: Issue has been Fixed! )

How many programs can open PSDX?  Exactly two!  Photoshop Touch and Photoshop CS 5 ( using a plugin ).  So even if you have an older version of Photoshop, you are out of luck.

I can understand why they have done this, they created a program that almost competes with their 700$ package and they can’t have that.  In the process, they have made Photoshop Touch nearly useless for the vast majority of people that want to do more than doll up Facebook photos or that don’t already own Photoshop CS 5.

In some ways I understand this is an economic decision driven by the fact there simply isn’t enough money in mobile apps.  That people baulk at a 4.99$ or 9.99$ price tag, they obviously can’t charge more.  Which is a shame, as if this app was 40$ or 50$, removed the size limits and saved to more file formats ( PNG and PSD at the least ), I would gladly pay the additional price.  With those changes I honestly do think I could replace Photoshop in my texturing workflow with PS Touch.  As it stands now, it’s utility is vastly limited.

I can only hope this gets rectified, or the PSDX file format is opened up so other tools can add support for it.  Until then, for game developers at least, I simply cannot recommend PS Touch.

So now I suppose I need to apply some kind of score, which is tricky.  As an Android app, for touching up photos, it is easily a 5 out of 5 stars.  There are a few niggling issues but for the most part the program is exceptional.

As a tool, the lack of exporting options take what would have easily been a 5 out of 5 and makes it more like a 2 out of 5.  If they simply added PNG support with transparencies, I will revise this score instantly to a 4.5 – 5 out of 5.

Finally, if you already own CS5 and want to work on the go, you really can’t go wrong with this application at that price.  In your case this app is easily a 5 out of 5.


The Good

  • the best image editor on Android today
  • clean streamlined interface
  • 90% or more of what you would want from the desktop app is here
  • good use of tablet/touch tech
  • good layer support
  • good filter/FX selection
  • easy learn curve, intuitive interface

The Missing

  • spline/vector tools of any form
  • broad assortment of fonts
  • image export options other than JPG and PSDX

The Bad

  • terrible decision to limit export options!  JPG and PSDX only ( Fixed! )
  • only way to share PSDX files is via Adobes cloud
  • 1600×1600 size and 16 layer limit
  • ability to edit text after creation
  • clone brush doesn’t work across layers
  • doesn’t follow establish UI practices.  No back button support or context menus

I hate coming to the conclusion I have after the experiences I went through.  It is an amazing piece of software and one of the best on Android today.  The developers behind this product should take a bow, they did an exceptional job!

Sadly, then they let the accountants and marketing people get involved. Sad smile

It is a shame to see such a great piece of software destroyed by such artificial constraints in an attempt to protect their cash cow.  I only pray in the future they revisit this decision and make this program the truly excellent application it should be!  It is literally only a handful of tweaks away!

As you may have noticed from some of my edits, since this review was published, Adobe has released an update that made this product substantially better.  To read about what this updated included if you havent already, click here.

Move on to post release updates

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