Adobe announced last month that it would be bringing a new set of of Photoshop-connected apps to the iPad App Store, and those apps are now here. Previously, there was only Photoshop Express, a features-light (very light) image editing app that is outclassed by just about every other similar app out there. The new PS apps all offer something a little bit different, but they at least represent a first step toward a properly full-featured tablet treatment of Adobe Photoshop.
There are three apps in this new crop: Adobe Eazel, Adobe Color Lava and Adobe Nav, which sell for $4.99, $2.99 and $1.99, respectively. There’s no package deal for buying the set or trial versions, but each app serves a very specific purpose.
Eazel is probably the most “play”-oriented of the three, as it is essentially a finger-painting app. The physics of real-life painting are applied to your creations, with “wet” and “dry” mixtures possible. All three of the new apps are able to connect with Photoshop CS5 in different ways; in the case of Eazel, users can send creations directly to the desktop application and even have them re-rendered at a higher resolution. Color Lava is similarly finger-painting oriented, turning your tablet into a virtual painter’s palette and allowing you to mix different colors to create new ones. Those colors can then be accessed directly within Photoshop CS5.
Nav is the odd app out, as it is designed more to streamline processes and doesn’t serve any purpose if not linked up with Photoshop CS5. The app is best described as a touch-based remote control for the desktop software. Fire up Nav to access a customizable CS5 toolbar and manage open documents (up to 200) on the desktop side. You’ll need to use the mouse and keyboard to do any actual editing, but the app can handle the rest. To connect Nav, or any of the three new apps, with CS5, both the iPad and your computer will need to be on the same network. Connectivity with Photoshop versions CS4 and earlier is not supported.