So exactly how far can a 10$ application take you? The answer is, surprisingly far! In this guided tour/review we are looking at Adobe’s recently released Photoshop Touch.
EDIT: 2/17/2012 – Major changes since release have removed many of the negative points in this review, be sure to check here for details!
Right now there aren’t many cheap alternatives to Photoshop. In the free space, the two big front runners are The GIMP and Paint.NET. The GIMP has been much maligned for it’s user interface, although in time it is improving. It is perhaps the number one alternative to Photoshop, but sadly doesn’t quite reach the same level of ease of use. Additionally the interface still has a fair ways to go and requires a few more layers of polish before it can be considered a true threat. Paint.Net on the other hand, started life as a better version of MS Paint then started getting features to rival the big boys. It is easy to use, but sadly just isn’t quite there feature wise. There are side players like the natural media ( aka, replicating the real world art experience ) applications like Corel Painter, or ( the also available on tablets ) Autodesk Sketchbook, but these programs are really in a different segment completely. Speaking of Corel, they also have Corel Draw and PaintShop Pro, but the later has been transitioned to compete more with Photoshop Elements for photo editing, while the later… just never seemed to take off, even at half the price of Photoshop.
So, Photoshop continues to rule the roost, especially when it comes to game texturing. Ironically enough, Photoshop Touch is the first application that really gives Photoshop a run for the money when it comes to texturing. With a few minor and one extremely major exceptions, it fulfils all of my requirements!
First lets cover the basics. Photoshop Touch currently sells for 10$ USD on the Android App store. For this review I am running it on my first generation Asus Transformer. Installed it weighs in at a fairly hefty 60MB. For you Android Phone owners out there, sorry, you are out of luck. This application is tablet only and I don’t really see that changing with Ice Cream Sandwich, as in addition to requiring Android 3.1 or higher, it also requires at least a 8.9 inch screen and a resolution of 1280×800. For you iPad owners, don’t worry, there is an iOS version in the works and coming soon™ ( spring 2012 from what I’ve read ).
On the merits of being an Android app, in that regard it is quite good. It loads reasonably quickly, only rarely gets sluggish, has only force quit on me once and perhaps nicest of all, handles losing and gaining focus quite well, something far too many Android apps do poorly. It can only be used in landscape mode. All told, it’s a good citizen on the Android platform and from a pure technical perspective performs quite well.
Alright, the basics covered, lets jump right in. For those of you that just want to cut to the chase or are the type that read the last chapter of a novel first click here to jump to the conclusion. As this journey is going to be rather… in-depth.