April 01, 2011

What’s this about “Photoshop for iPad”?

No fooling: A couple of days ago, Adobe exec John Loiacono briefly demonstrated some tablet-based imaging technology from our labs. Here’s an audience member’s recording:

[Update: Video was pulled from YouTube, but it's still live here]

Tons of media outlets have picked up & sometimes embellished the news, calling it “a fully-fledged Photoshop Image Editing software,” even saying (rather breathlessly) that it heralds “the End of the Desktop Computing Era.”

The director of our group, Maria Yap, has posted some clarification on the Photoshop.com blog:

While this likely won’t make it into a product for a while, it served to give Photoshop fans a glimpse of what we’re exploring… It’s equally exciting for us, as we’ve enjoyed playing with these devices and dreaming up new possibilities. What we showed at Photoshop World was an experiment with a visual representation of compositing that allows any user to understand Layers.

Maria goes on to give a peek at the kind of Photoshop companion apps we’ve discussed here.

For my part, I don’t subscribe to the hype about tablets eliminating desktop OSes & tools, any more than I think that TV will replace radio. The technologies & experiences are complementary. As John Gruber notes, “It’s the heaviness of the Mac that allows iOS to remain light.” Neven Mrgan writes, “The iPad attempts to simplify computing not by some stroke of magic, but by doing less.” As I put it earlier this year,

Tablet apps have to be about something else–about a different spirit, a different ethos–to be worth doing. Otherwise it’s just the same stuff dumped onto more feeble hardware.

I feel incredibly fortunate to get a chance to bring Adobe imaging technology to tablets, all while rethinking what an interface can be. Thanks for all the feedback, and stay tuned.

Posted by John Nack at 2:30 PM on April 01, 2011
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