March 05, 2010

Photoshop.com app now embeddable on Android

The latest version of the free Photoshop.com Mobile app for Android adds new Contrast and Brightness editing tools, as well as a number of photo effects (Pop, Vignette Blur, Warm Vintage, and several more).
Here’s what I find really interesting, though: The app can be freely embedded into other Android apps. In other words, a company like Adobe can write an editing module that other apps can leverage instead of re-inventing the wheel. As a customer that strikes me as very cool, and very much in line with the old promise of OpenDoc and other component architectures.
Before I get an earful of “Wait, you’ve introduced a new feature on a non-Apple OS first; I knew it–you hate the Mac, you lazy scum!!,” please note that this kind of embedding is not currently possible on the iPhone. If and when that changes, I’d love to see the iPhone version of the editor made embeddable.

Posted by John Nack at 9:45 AM on March 05, 2010

Comments

  • Andrew Morton — 2:49 AM on March 06, 2010

    It is very interesting the fact that system editors on Android can be added by third parties and yes, would be nice to have such a capability on the iPhone OS as well.
    However, the one presented here is hardly a solution, because:
    1) Photoshop.com should be already installed on the phone before any application can use it as an embedded editor.
    2) There is no way for an application to know before hand if it is there or not, so unless it ships together with OS, this will only generate headaches to actual users
    3) There seems to be no provisioning to include the Photoshop.com editor together with the application and make sure it is there at installation time (maybe also with correct version); currently, users have to manually go to the Market first, install Photshop.com then install the application that wants to make use of it as an embedded editor (the string displayed in case of error in the example you link is pretty clear: “Failed to Launch Editor. Please make sure Photoshop.com Mobile 1.1 or above is installed.”; at least is not “Unknown Error from unknown application”)
    4) A custom editor that gets launched exclusively by invoking a certain mime type is a kind of dangerous: what happens if you have more than one editor attached to the very same mime type? What happen if application knows how to deals with version 1.1 but the user installs version 2.0? Symbian used the same extension scheme and it has been a broken thing since the beginning; very few applications have actually used it owing to these problems.
    [I'm not in a position to shed much light on the advantages/challenges of the Android implementation, and you may well be right that it could be improved. I do know that as soon as Apple enables something similar, a certain contingent of folks will go from saying that the capability is dangerous/unnecessary to saying that it's elegant & essential. --J.]
    Regarding the Photoshop.com application itself, I believe it is kind of misleading to call a simple color levels editor using a very similar name to the more capable desktop counterpart; that said, Apple provides a full example, free to use with full source code, of an image processing application that can modify Brightness, Saturation, Hue and Sharpness of any image using GPU acceleration (the example is called GLImageProcessing); by combining it with the other example called GLPaint, you can put a very nice painting and photo editing application in a few hours. So there is no need for Adobe to worry about.
    [So, any time Apple does anything, there's then no need for Adobe to "worry about" doing anything similar, right? I'm glad the Lightroom team didn't get that memo. --J.]

  • Mario — 9:11 AM on March 08, 2010

    What do you think about your “partners” buy of Picnik?

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