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Photoshop Touch SDK brings first wave of more powerful iPad apps from Adobe

adobe-eazelIn a series of late-night press releases, Adobe pulled the veil off of Creative Suite 5.5, the latest update to its family of applications that of course includes top-shelf image editing program Photoshop. While the company previously made its own entry into the mobile space with Photoshop Express, the sorry little features-light editing app can’t compare to more powerful tools like Photogene or PhotoStudio HD. Today’s announcement still doesn’t bring full Photoshop functionality to mobile platforms, but it seems that we’re getting there with the three new, soon-to–be-released iPad apps that have been announced.

While none of them bring additional image editing functionality to Apple‘s tablet, the trio of announced apps are described in the press release as Adobe’s “initial Photoshop CS5 companion apps.” Initial. Meaning there’s more to come.

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First is Adobe Color Lava, a color-mixing app that allows you to combine various colors using the iPad’s touchscreen. Sort of like a virtual painters’ palette. Next up is Adobe Eazel, a finger painting app which can effectively render the interaction between “wet” and “dry” paints. Creations can then be sent to Photoshop CS5 for additional editing. The press release offers no indication, but it stands to reason that some level of cross-app connectivity exists between the paint palettes created in Color Lava and the application of those paints in Eazel.

Lastly, there’s Adobe Nav. This app comes the closest to bringing a full-featured experience to the Apple tablet. It is essentially a remote control, allowing users to take control of various Photoshop functions and features using the iPad’s touchscreen. It only works in tandem with Photoshop running on a proper personal computer though, so those hoping for a more powerful photo editing app for tablets will have to wait.

The good news is that the press release stresses multiple times that this is just a first offering. All three apps were developed using the Photoshop Touch SDK. Not only does this mean there is more to come, it also means that other tablet users who haven’t taken a bite from the Apple won’t be left behind; the release specifically names Android and BlackBerry PlayBook as supported platforms.

The apps aren’t here yet, but they will be soon. The next CS5 update launches on May 3 and the iPad apps are expected in “early May 2011” with prices ranging between $1.99 and $4.99. Check out the apps in action in this new video:

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