Enlarge / The 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

Andrew Cunningham

Adobe is working on a full version of the popular photo-editing program Photoshop for Apple’s iPad, according to a Bloomberg report. Sources claim the software company plans to announce the new app at its annual MAX conference this October, with the app’s launch scheduled for sometime in 2019.

The new app would reportedly allow users to run a full version of Photoshop on an iPad and continue edits on another device like a desktop PC. Scott Belsky, Adobe’s Creative Cloud product head, told Bloomberg that the company is working on “cross-platform iteration of Photoshop and other applications,” but he declined to provide a timeline for their release.

“My aspiration is to get these on the market as soon as possible,” Belsky said. “There’s a lot required to take a product as sophisticated and powerful as Photoshop and make that work on a modern device like the iPad. We need to bring our products into this cloud-first collaborative era.”

While the news of these plans will be exciting for Photoshop diehards, it’s not surprising. Adobe has been working on modernizing its software for years—the company switched to a cloud-based subscription system for all of its programs, including Photoshop, back in 2012. Since then, Adobe has also come out with numerous apps that make some of the most beloved and useful features of its programs accessible on mobile devices: Photoshop Mix for creating multilayered images, Photoshop Sketch for drawing, Photoshop Express for basic photo editing, and more.

But those programs only harness small parts of Photoshop CC’s full power when used on a PC. The forthcoming program would presumably allow users to do everything possible in Photoshop on a desktop on their iPad. It’s also probable that, unlike the most existing Photoshop-branded apps, the full Photoshop on iPad will be tied to a Creative Cloud subscription (Photoshop CC on its own costs $9.99 per month).

A full iPad version of Photoshop seemed inevitable considering Adobe’s push to modernize and the tablet’s popularity. Also, Apple has been pushing the iPad as a laptop replacement for a while now—showing off a full version of Photoshop could help it further convince some users to ditch their laptops and opt for Apple’s tablet.

However, the iPad still has a long way to go before most consider it a viable laptop replacement. Those who are used to using Photoshop on a PC may have a rough time adjusting to the mobile experience as questions surrounding keyboard shortcuts, the trackpad/mouse experience, and Apple Pencil integration abound. As for Adobe, the company is likely hoping to appeal to creative professionals who use Photoshop on their PCs and want a comprehensive mobile version to use when on the go.



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