Adobe is already known for its amazing artistic applications like After Effects, Flash, and Photoshop. However, it has always typically established its home in the desktop realm. The company’s software was typically meant for professionals, and since most professionals do not use their iPhone to create work for clients, there was not much of a reason to venture away from this territory.
However, that all changed with Adobe Photoshop Express – Adobe’s entry into the consumer market. In essence, Express for iPhone combines a few advanced features of Photoshop with the more user-friendly portions of most photo-sharing apps. All in all, I have to say that this app is a definite download.
Pick-Up And Go Interface
Adobe Photoshop Express is the kind of app that you can install, open, and start using right away. But if you’d like to to take some time to actually learn Express, you can use the easy-to-comprehend tutorial that comes up when you start the app for the first time. My preference was to dive in immediately, but exiting the tutorial wasn’t a hassle.
The app’s interface makes use of the standard Creative Suite dark gray color, and the High Contrast setting removes the opacity of the on-image buttons. One thing I didn’t like is that the app shows unpaid camera features by default, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Easy User Experience
Menu navigation is user-friendly and utilizes the exact swipe and scroll methods other iPhone apps offer. Despite this, there is brief image overlay of arrows demonstrating how to navigate upon your first visit to the menus. Admittedly, the tutorial images made it appear more complicated than it actually was – t’was a mere distraction. However, the in-app instruction tutorial is still pretty useful.
The controls are instantly responsive, and with the exception of your Camera Roll, the app makes use of both portrait and landscape mode on each of its screens. In shooting mode, you can utilize both the iSight and the Facetime cameras, and editing mode offers quite a few features found in the traditional desktop version:
- Transform tools: Crop, straighten, rotate, and flip
- Color controls: Autocorrect, exposure, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, tint/temperature
Additionally, the app includes special effects, borders, and red eye deduction. Certain effects are paid only, but all borders come pre-installed. These effects can be adjusted by dragging your finger on the screen.
Red eye deduction was marvelous. Since I couldn’t capture red eye on myself, I used a photo that I found on Flickr. All it took was a tap on each eye, and the subject’s demon vision was gone.
Quality Photos For All Of Your Social Networks
Adobe Photoshop Express finds its place among apps like Instagram and Retro Camera. Much like the case of Facebook Poke, this a prime example of an established company keeping up with industry young-bloods by means of emulation. However, with its advanced tools, this app brings a whole new level of mobile photo manipulation to the table.
As a result of these greater features, photos created using this app are higher quality than most others you would see taken with an iPhone. Yes, the same camera hardware is used, but the digital processing is ever so slightly different.
In addition to in-app uploading to your social sites, there is also the option to send photos to your Photoshop.com account. If you happen to be a patron of this service, this is a big plus.
Understandable (Yet Unfortunate) Paid Add-Ons
As I mentioned beforehand, there are a few inaccessible features of Adobe Photoshop Express. The first one is is called the Adobe Camera Pack, and it costs $4.99. This adds features like noise reduction, a self timer, and auto-review. All of these options are very useful in theory, but they are not necessary to the average mobile camera user.
The other add-on is the Adobe Effect Pack, and at a price of $2.99, it’s the more useless of the two. If you are someone who really enjoys photo filters, it might be worth it. But why pay more when you can just use other free filtering apps?
As always, I enjoy free stuff, and in this case, I consider these two add-on features that should come with the app already. But that’s just on a surface level. Adobe Photoshop Express doesn’t have ads, and the only way the company can profit from the app is by either selling it whole or offering downloadable features like these. In that case, I prefer the latter option.
I’d like to add that the app shows the buttons for these features by default. They can be removed, but it’s a bit of a let-down when you click them for the first time.
If you’re a iPhone photo nut, I recommend Adobe Photoshop Express with quite a bit of enthusiasm. Adobe is already known for its great desktop software, and its entry into the mobile world also rises above the rest.
What kinds of photos have you taken with Adobe Photoshop Express? Have you purchased the extra add-ons?
Image Credit: Noël Zia Lee