Photoshop for the iPad was touted as Adobe’s most important mobile application, with iPad owners very keen to use the image editing software. However, the app is lacking some key features, seems to have a horrific lag when using certain tools, and is now attracting shockingly bad reviews on the App Store. What happened?
Chat about the app started almost a year ago with enthusiasts excited to see what Adobe would bring to the iPad. Expectations were incredibly high, which in part explains the harsh disappointment that users are experiencing and the consequent backlash. Other apps such as Affinity and Procreate had set the bar pretty high, and Adobe was expected to deliver something that compared to desktop software that has been industry standard since its earliest iterations. Photoshop for iPad currently scores a meager 2.1 stars out of 5, with the vast majority of users giving it just one star.
Adobe’s Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky offered a small explanation, suggesting that Adobe didn’t manage expectations properly, and stating in a tweet that “you must ship and get fellow passionate travelers on board.” Others would argue that if a product isn’t ready, it shouldn’t go to market, and that the goodwill of users and “fellow passionate travelers” can be achieved by involving users more closely in the beta testing process.
Many on Twitter have not been kind:
The backlash has been compounded by Adobe’s subscription model, which many find frustrating, preferring to go with the one-off purchases offered by the likes of Affinity. Affinity Photo has proven to be incredibly popular since its launch, and photographers are keen to see if Serif, the company behind a number of Adobe alternatives, is also planning something that would compete with Lightroom. Serif has already demonstrated its belief that switching between design apps should be a fluid and intuitive experience, and I’m personally hoping that a Lightroom alternative would not only present a one-off fee alternative, but also one that outstrips the Lightroom/Photoshop combination by way of features.
Adobe has been dogged by missteps in recent years, with Fstoppers’ own Mel Martin bemoaning the bloated, unashamed upselling that dominates Adobe’s Creative Cloud app. Other Adobe tactics are generating ill will towards the company, as noted by photographer and podcaster Steve Brazill, who recently tweeted his annoyance with the app’s tendency to be somewhat misleading:
Have you downloaded Photoshop? What's your experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.