Launching a beta testing process to bring graphical editing to Chromebook owners, Adobe’s new Project Photoshop Streaming program is an attempt to stream Photoshop access to owners of inexpensive Chromebooks. Assuming an Adobe education user already has a paid Creative Cloud membership, they will be able to apply for access to the beta test. According to the details of the project, Adobe plans to launch with Photoshop access first and eventually roll out access to other Adobe products in the creative suite. That being said, Adobe hasn’t specifically identified which products will be brought to the streaming platform after Photoshop access is perfected.
Interestingly, the streaming platform will be tied directly into Google Drive, thus all files will be saved to the cloud rather than a local hard drive. In addition, anyone on a Windows laptop will be able to use the streaming version of Photoshop directly from a Google Chrome browser. Assuming the streaming version of Photoshop includes a large portion of the core features of a local installed version, it’s possible that businesses could provide access to a larger number of employees without actually requiring the IT department to install the software on each machine.
However, as The Verge points out, it’s likely that any Photoshop features that rely on a computer’s graphics card will not be available within the streaming version unless Adobe creates a workaround. According to details about features that require a graphics card, the ability to smoothly zoom within a graphic as well as a number of 3D effects would be unavailable in the streaming version of Photoshop.
To qualify for access to the beta, you will also need to be a member of the Adobe Education Exchange as well as qualify as a current student or educator. Applications will be reviewed within three to four weeks and judged by criteria such as technology infrastructure requirements as well as typical daily Chromebook usage.