Lowering barriers to entry is not what Adobe has, historically, been about. Most amateurs when firing up the likes of InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop for the first time often find themselves spending more time trawling the internet for online tutorials than they do actually using the products.
And there’s good reason for this, of course. Adobe doesn’t make software in order for it to be user-friendly. No, Adobe make top of the range professional design tools that are as complex as they are powerful. We’re not supposed to be able to simply fire up Photoshop and be able to work it out for ourselves – that’s not the point of the program. Or rather it hasn’t been until now.
In the closing months of last year, Adobe released a brand new app for iPhone and iPad – Photoshop Fix (download the app for free here) – that is perhaps one of the most intuitive tools in the whole Adobe catalogue. Indeed, it’s practically perfect for beginners, and will no doubt prove to convert many anxious users of Photoshop into serious ones, as they are guided gently through certain processes of image manipulation that have previously been the reserve of the seasoned experts.
What Is Photoshop Fix?
Well, let’s be clear from the outset about what Photoshop Fix most definitely isn’t, which is an absolute substitute for the real, full-blown version of Photoshop. Rather, it’s a powerful image editing tool that, you may be pleased to learn, is absolutely free.
Photoshop Fix is not the first Photoshop app – nor indeed the first free one – that Adobe has set loose in the app store. The first one came out back in 2012 in the form of Photoshop Touch for the iPad (and eventually for iPhone). Touch was essentially a mobile version of Adobe’s most famous line of image editing software, where users could for the first time use just their fingers to tweak and edit their artwork.
Then came Photoshop Mix, in many ways a replacement for Touch, which Adobe announced last year that it would be discontinuing. Many of the layer-based tools from Touch ended up being branched into Mix, which now sits alongside Photoshop Fix, giving consumers essentially two apps, each more powerful in what they do separately than they could have been all crammed into a single app.
What’s The Difference Between Photoshop Fix and Mix?
A good question. Well, they each have their separate purposes. Photoshop Mix is primarily a composition tool designed for creating multi-layered images, and complete with features to transform the look of the whole photo.
Photoshop Fix, on the other hand, is all about retouching images in specific areas. You use Fix to get rid of that aeroplane flying overhead in the background, ruining your perfect seascape photo. Or perhaps there’s a few stray hairs in a portrait that need removing, or logos on signs or vehicles that you want to disappear.
There are other cool tools, too, all exceptionally easy to use (which, as I say, is really surprising for an Adobe product). Here’s the Photoshop Fix promotional video from Adobe’s YouTube channel to give you an idea.
Photoshop Fix – Feature-Rich and Easy To Use
The Liquify feature on Photoshop Fix is very clever and super intuitive. It allows users to manipulate areas of an image in extremely powerful ways, using the Swell, Warp, Twirl and Reconstruct tools.
What’s particularly impressive is the Face effect. When retouching a portrait or other picture that contains a face, the app identifies the individual parts it can alter and places small circles on those areas. Tapping a circle reveals the options for widening, shrinking, smiling and more. It really couldn’t be simpler to make these alterations, and do so as if professionally to boot. Smiles can be improved, faces can be thinned or fleshed out, eyes narrowed, cheekbones lifted all with absolute ease.
Heal And Patch
Photoshop’s Heal and Patch tools have always been impressive, and excellent versions of them are available in Fix, and, once again, they are incredibly simple to use.
Using just your finger, you select an unwanted object or blemish in your photo, and Fix removes it almost instantaneously, intelligently replacing it with pixels from the surrounding area. True, this feature isn’t quite to the standard of the full desktop version of Photoshop, but it’s pretty darn good and will only improve as new updates come through.
There are other tools that will help you to refine your photographs in specific areas brilliantly right there on your mobile. You can Lighten or Darken, Smooth or Sharpen particular portions without it affecting the whole image. And there are further hardness, opacity and size settings in the Brush panel.
All in all, Photoshop Fix is a great app and works just as well on the iPad as it does on the smaller iPhone screen. All projects sync seamlessly with Creative Cloud as well, meaning that you can pick up where you left off back on your desktop to finish off if you so wish.
Do you use any of the Photoshop apps on your mobile or tablet? Perhaps you’d like to move up to the next level with the full Photoshop in the Creative Cloud? Book a Photoshop Training Course with us today and get personal tuition with one of our experienced tutors.