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Adobe’s new Photoshop and Illustrator features make the iPad a real photo editor

Adobe’s annual conference, Adobe MAX, begins today and lays the groundwork for a wide array of new updates for popular Adobe software like Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. Specific updates are set to roll out to the iPad as well. The three-day event will also feature technique demonstrations, speeches, and workshops. Here’s what to expect from Adobe MAX 2021.

We already know about a new feature on Photoshop for iPads, but we expect to see a few more features at Adobe MAX this week.

Adobe Photoshop Harmonized photo.

What is Adobe MAX?

Adobe MAX is Adobe’s annual conference where it introduces new features to users. It used to be a ticketed, in-person event for creative professionals, marketers, and designers, but it’s totally virtual now. Adobe MAX 2021 is scheduled for October 26 to 28. You can still register for free and start browsing sessions.


The desktop version of Photoshop is getting several updates. Some of these, like image harmonization, are still in beta testing. Harmonization, pictured above, matches elements from one layer to another. Another cool feature called Landscape Mixer can combine landscape shots, changing a bright spring day into an autumnal one with orange and red trees.

One highly requested new feature is cross-app support between Illustrator and Photoshop. You’ll be able to copy vector shapes like rectangles and circles from Illustrator and paste them into Photoshop. Shapes will maintain editable attributes like fill, blend mode, and opacity, so long as Photoshop supports those features.

Adobe Illustrator for iPad Vectorize image.


Learning how to use the desktop version of Illustrator is about to become much easier, thanks to the new Discover panel, which allows you to search for features and provides support for using them. Desktop users will also be able to access Adobe Substance Materials from Illustrator, making it easy to import realistic textures and apply them to 2D and 3D surfaces.

Illustrator on the iPad is getting a host of updates as well. Vectorize is a new feature that allows you to convert images, even photos of reference sketches, into vector images with crisp lines. After you take a photo of the sketch, Vectorize will automatically draw the graphic so you can begin working with it in Illustrator. Apple iPad users will also get new brushes, version history, and more.

Adobe Creative Cloud sharing.

Creative Cloud

There are many new features for Creative Cloud subscribers, but improved collaboration tools are the most exciting. Adobe is launching Photoshop and Illustrator on the web, allowing Creative Cloud subscribers to share projects with people who don’t have access to Adobe’s software. People you share with can view and comment on the project right in their browsers, and you can access their comments on the desktop or iPad apps. If the person you’re collaborating with has a Photoshop subscription, they’ll have access to basic editing tools so they can work with you from anywhere.

For more information about these features, including how to start using Photoshop on the web, visit Adobe’s blog. Illustrator on the web is still in private beta, but you can request to join it.

Content authenticity

Content Credentials is a new feature for Creative Cloud subscribers. When users opt into this feature, they can attach information about the image and any edits they made while working. This metadata provides transparency to consumers, who can look at the details of the image. Assets from Adobe Stock will automatically include Content Credentials, allowing consumers to see which elements of an image were stock assets.

Adobe’s blog explains the importance of making this information available, stating that this transparency “allows viewers to understand more about what they’re seeing on the internet and make more informed decisions.”

The change also protects creative professionals, more than half of whom have had their work stolen, plagiarized, or improperly credited, according to research from Adobe.

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