Earlier this month, a Bloomberg story reported that Adobe Systems, Inc. would be bringing the full version of Photoshop to the iPad.
The story indicated that the move is part of a multiyear strategy on Adobe’s part to modernize its platforms.
Adobe products have been around for a while and have cemented themselves as industry standards. But it’s hard to argue that the industry itself is shifting toward the mobile ecosystem.
Adobe sources made it clear that Photoshop for iPad won’t replace the traditional app — it’ll just be offered alongside it.
But still, there’s no doubt that Photoshop on the iPad will be a good thing for everyone involved.
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It’s Good for Artists
A full-fledged Photoshop app for the iPad is obviously going to be a boon for professional artists, creatives, and even casual iOS users.
Photoshop is an industry standard, and for good reason. While there’s a learning curve, it’s the type of powerful and intuitive program that’s hard to beat.
For many artists and photographers, Photoshop is their go-to program. That’s likely due to a variety of reasons. For example, it’s likely the application that they learned their craft on — so it’s the most familiar to them.
And while Apple’s iPads have become professional-level tools for creativity, the lack of a full version of Photoshop probably made for a rather glaring hole in its capabilities.
For those deeply embedded in the Adobe ecosystem, that’s particularly true. Professionals are increasingly demanding mobile versions of their favorite apps, so they can work “on-the-fly.”
Some users may also not have a workstation PC at home. On that note, the move represents a large leap closer to the iPad becoming an actual threat to personal computers. (But more on that later.)
It’s Good for Adobe
According to Bloomberg, Adobe’s decision to launch a full version of Photoshop on the iPad is part of a larger strategy.
For one, that involves getting its applications to work more seamlessly across devices. Secondly, the move is meant to boost subscription sales, Bloomberg reported.
By the looks of it, Adobe’s decision to bring Photoshop to the iPad is likely to do both.
Adobe’s applications are going to be even more cross-platform and cloud-based. According to Bloomberg, users could start an editing project on a computer and pick it up later on an iPad.
Immediately, the presence of Photoshop on the iPad will put a serious dent in the market share of mobile competitors like Pixelmator and Affinity. One might guess that those apps have been able to thrive due to the lack of Photoshop.
For an app that’s so ubiquitous its name has become a verb, it’s likely only a matter of time before Adobe becomes the king of photo editing on mobile platforms.
It’s Good for Apple
In recent years, Apple has taken to marketing the iPad as a replacement for a traditional notebook. Even recent ad campaigns try to hammer this fact down.
While Apple has no plans to merge the Mac and iPad ecosystems, it wants its iPad lineup to be a PC-killer. Especially since PCs have moved closer in functionality to tablets over the years.
But for artists, photographers, and creatives who live and breathe Photoshop, the lack of a full-fledged alternative on iOS meant for an uncomfortable compromise.
If a creative tool doesn’t have the full capability you need it to, you’re not going to use it as much as the tool that does have that capability.
But with Photoshop (and likely other pro-grade apps to follow), Microsoft’s Surface lineup and other PCs are losing one of their key advantages against the iPad.
While Apple probably had little part in getting Adobe to bring Photoshop to the iPad, its devices are definitely going to benefit from the move.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.