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Photoshop for iPad gets a boost as Adobe adds these missing features

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Photoshop for iPad is not yet even a month old, but Adobe is already sharing plans to narrow the gap between the iOS app and the desktop program. In a blog post published on November 21, Adobe shared a road map for the features that are coming next to Photoshop for iPad, starting with more-advanced selection tools.

While Adobe says the goal is to create an iPad app with the same features, the company said from the start that the iPad app wouldn’t have identical features to the desktop program. Despite the warning that full Photoshop for iPad is still coming, the app was met with mixed reviews at launch. Based on the same code base as the desktop app, Photoshop for iPad at launch still has more features than apps like Photoshop Fix using an interface that, while adapted to a touchscreen, feels familiar to previous desktop users. Those features include Adobe Fonts, which users also need to download the Creative Cloud app to bring to the iPad.


Photoshop for iPad will gain the Select Subject tool before the end of the year, Adobe says. The tool uses artificial intelligence to automatically select the subject of the photo. A relative newcomer even to the desktop app, the tool serves as a quick — albeit not-always-perfect — way to select the main subject of the photo.

Adobe says that cloud documents, a new feature that allows Photoshop for iPad and Photoshop for desktop to access the same files automatically, will also see a speed boast before the end of 2019. Adobe says cloud documents will save just the changes — rather than resaving the entire file to the cloud — for faster syncs.


Adobe says the Refine Edge brush will arrive after the new year, sometime in the first half of 2020. The tool is used to improve complex selections, which could be a major feature for the iPad, since the touchscreen interface has the potential to be more user-friendly than making a selection with a mouse.

Curves adjustments, as well as more options for the adjustment layers and levels, will also arrive in the first half of 2020. Brush sensitivity will also be improved, and the option to rotate the canvas will be added.

But the early 2020 update will also address an important workflow that’s currently lacking with the app: Direct integration with Lightroom. The update will allow for easier back-and-forth between Photoshop and Lightroom CC in a workflow designed specifically or the iPad.

Adobe says that the team is working on adding the most-used features first while also integrating user feedback. Users can share their thoughts at

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