App App Mobile
Version 1.0

Bottom Line: Recommend!

Several apps have worn the mantle “Photoshop for iPhone”, including Photogene and PhotoForge, two of my favorite image editing apps for iPhone. Now, Adobe has finally unleashed a version of Photoshop for iPhone. Mobile brings several of Photoshop’s functions to the iPhone, including crop, rotate and flip, color basics, and Photoshop filters and effects. The app works as a standalone app on your iPhone, but to get the benefit of all of its features, you should use it in tandem with a account.

It’s not the app you’re expecting, though. There will be Photoshop purists who will be angry and disappointed at this 1.0 release. PS Mobile is missing many of the capabilities you would expect from an app that bears the name Photoshop. It is not the definitive image editing app. However, this app is a very good app that has a nice toolset that you can use to enhance your images.

The app has basic set of color enhancement tools for Exposure, Saturation, Tint, and a basic setting to convert to Black & White. Operation of the settings is easily accomplished by dragging your finger across the screen; a number at the top of the screen gives you a value to gauge your change. You can Crop, Rotate and Flip your images. Missing are settings for Brightness & Contrast, Color Temperature, and Levels — settings found in many of the other image editing apps. The feature set of PS Mobile is not on par with the Flash-based feature set of, which has the full compliment of image editing tools. Mobile effects screens Mobile effects screens

PS Mobile has several effects not found on the website, including adjustable Sketch and Soft Focus effects, as well as several one-touch effects: Vibrant (a saturation intensifier similar to a Lomo effect), Pop (a multi-colored “pop art” effect), Vignette Blur, a nice Warm Vintage effect which is somewhere between sepia and CameraBag’s Magazine effect, as well as a couple of others. I like most of the filters, especially Vibrant and Vignette Blur. the iPhone app supports multiple undos and redos. In future versions, I’d like to see more effects filters as well as some way to adjust the intensity of each filter. I’d also like to see the feature set include more of the tools available online.

The business end --'s editing controls

The business end --'s editing controls (Click here to enlarge)

You actually don’t need a account to use PS Mobile. The app can access and save to your iPhone’s photo library. You only need an account to take advantage of the image sharing and additonal online image editing features. Signing up was easy and painless. You can sign up online or within the app — nice! You can also use an existing Adobe ID to sign in. The free service gives you 2GB of storage, more space than Flickr or Picasa. You can also purchase an additional 250GB or 500GB of storage if you have a lot of images and video.

The website has some very nice image sharing features. You can organize your photos into albums or into group albums for greater control with sharing and collaboration. It was fairly easy to upload and share images from a browser. PS Mobile’s built-in Save and Upload option makes saving and sharing your images to seamless from your iPhone.

PS Mobile and are more like components of Photoshop Elements than like Photoshop CS. Both are designed for the masses to easily tweak and share images. The iPhone app works very well in that regard. And I think that is the focus of these two components — tweaking, having a little fun, uploading and sharing your images. The iPhone app, along with the website do this very well. Mobile is not the replacement for every other photo editing app on your iPhone. It’s a good app for what it does and especially because it’s free, there’s no reason not to have this app. It’s got some great, unique filters and a clean interface.

Those who are expecting CS for iPhone will be disappointed. Adobe might have done better to brand it Photoshop Elements Mobile. For beefier image editing, those photographers should probably hold on to their copies of Photogene and PhotoForge — both apps have a good complement of heavy duty image editing tools. Mobile is a very good app that won’t replace your app arsenal, but is definitely a good addition to it. Mobile is available for free on the App Store.


FTC Disclosure: I am not associated with any camera app creator. I got this app right away for free in the App Store. My only connection with Adobe and Photoshop is having to upgrade my RAM and Mac whenever they release a new upgrade to Creative Suite.