'Full Version' of Adobe Photoshop is Reportedly Coming to iPads

By Patrick Lucas Austin on at

Adobe is bringing the “full version” of its industry-standard Photoshop app to the iPad, and its other desktop apps may follow suit, according to a report from Bloomberg today. Get ready to unsharp mask all the things.

Bloomberg reports that the “full version of its Photoshop app for Apple Inc.’s iPad” is on the way, with an unveiling expected in October during Adobe’s annual MAX conference. A proper launch is reportedly slated for sometime in 2019, barring any unforeseen delays. Adobe’s apparently reworking the interface to make it easier to use on touch devices, instead of just flat-out porting the desktop version to iOS.

You’ll still be able to use the classic desktop app as you see fit. The redesigned app will be offered “alongside” the traditional version of Photoshop, at least at first. Adobe’s also working on touch-friendly, yet still apparently full-blown versions of other apps, such as Illustrator—although that app is “a longer way off from being released,” according to Bloomberg.

Adobe bringing the full version of its products to the iPad would be a boon for users already subscribed to the Creative Cloud service, which enables them to use Adobe apps on macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. While Adobe’s mobile apps today aren’t as capable as their desktop counterparts, it sounds like Adobe is planning to ditch its dependence on desktop apps to handle all the heavy lifting. That’s great news for tablet fans, but perhaps not for Adobe’s competition, or Microsoft.

Microsoft just announced its Surface Go, a $400 Windows 10 device designed to take on other low-cost laptops and tablets from companies like Apple and Google. The advantage of running Windows 10 today is clear: It can handle desktop apps (like Photoshop). But that advantage is slowly being whittled away as software goes cross-platform, taking advantage of increasingly more powerful mobile devices. Now we have to wonder whether Microsoft is worried about the gradual end to that years-long advantage it’s had over iPads and Chromebooks.