Photoshop for iPad Is a Disaster

Photoshop for iPad Is a Disaster

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.

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43 Comments

Previous comments
Leigh Miller's picture

Yes I forgot to mention that...runs crappy on two older iPads in the house...perfectly fine on the new iPad pro.

Procreate is far better for digital artists...zero lag and incredibly good tools...and layers!

Blake Sauner's picture

I had it installed for 12 mins on my ipad. 10 of those mins spent realizing you can’t even rotate a canvas. LOL. It’s as bad as it’s worst and most scathing review at this point.

Here’s the other thing. THANKFULLY, as of right now “if you subscribe and have photoshop, you have it on ipad.”
Great! Until Feb 1st 2020. If you’re a new subscriber to their photography plan, you can’t get PS on iPad on the $10/m0 20GB plan, has to be the one’s including the 1TB storage...so, that’s the $20/mo plan. So effectively between this trash-ass release and Feb 2020 they think they’re going to update it and make it worth it’s $10/mo ask?

Uh. No. I highly doubt that if we’re rotating our devices to rotate a canvas at this point. And the UI is just gross, if you aren’t mirroring PS for desktops tool locations and icons, what the hell are you even DOING, Adobe?

Affinity’s offerings and Procreate eat this thing alive and will for a long time if this is Adobe’s hand played right now.

I like LR on the iPad, I can get a lot done away from the desktop. I cannot do jack shit with PS for iPad.

Tried Fresco for 5 mins until it was “Give me $10 a month for laggy brushes and even less tools than Procreate offers.”

Adobe has me locked in for PS and LR, but until this Half Assed PS can support actions (why wouldn’t it? Pixelmator photo basically does) it’s not getting reinstalled on my iPad....*gag*

Charles Gaudreault's picture

The only thing I like is that I can set up an image with the FS layers on my pc save it to the cloud and go work on my iPad in the kitchen so I can hang with my fam and still play around on my photos and not be a basement rat where my normal setup is! that's about it :P

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

I actually didn’t bother since the prices for it are too high and always have been. Ridiculous high, not justifiable for such a big company but whatever.
I saw people mentioned Affinity somewhere online and went ahead and got that for one time fee of $10! Gotta get used to it but it seems like it’s gonna get all the thing done that I need.
Didn’t expect this loud fart at a CEO meeting from Adobe.

The idea of pull PC software on a clunky ipad was terrible. Microsoft nailed the use case with surface, which included a real desktop OS on a portable form factor that leaves nothing behind when firing up the full suite of adobe apps, or any app for that matter. iOS is just a toy for email and browsing lacking even basic pointing mechanisms essential for professional apps, leaving you to use the clunky stylus that is only suitable for very specific tasks. The adobe apps have been crafted and refined for decades to fit the needs of mouse and keyboard users using a full OS. Merely slapping one in iOS with the limited functionality of said OS was going to backfire, and it did as it sets the wrong expectations. Say nothing of the ipad being challenged to run said software due to its laughable specifications 4GB of RAM? LOL, my first laptop had that over a decade ago.

But then again that is apple at its finest. too much hubris. They had to eat crow and finally slap a keyboard on the ipad after years of telling everybody that it wasn't required, and watch it: trackpad keyboard coming soon because they will equally be proven wrong again.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Wow, we found ourselves a true Microsoft fanboy, spouting the same BS that's been spouted about Apple for 40 years...

John Sammonds's picture

As its cloud based it will result in using space and ending up paying for expensive hard drive space on Adobe servers, I don't like the cloud and so I have deleted the app from my iPad, sorry Adobe keep your cloud.

Anthony Cayetano's picture

What are you people talking about??? My composites on PS for iPad looks realistic, colour-matched, and superior to me...

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Personally, as a Affinity Photo for iPad user, I would not mind sending monies to Serif from time to time to support their amazing developers.

Stuart Carver's picture

I love the desktop version, also love James Ritsons youtube guides... but i cant get away with the ipad version, i need a full computer.

Alvin Toro's picture

“You must ship and get passionate fellow travelers on board...” Right. Just make sure the ship 🚢 actually floats before it goes in the water. They raked in over 9 billion of our hard earned dollars in revenue last year and this half baked Mickey Mouse “App” that barely qualifies as a proof of concept is all they could deliver? They had one job and they failed miserably. I wonder if they realize how many people they pushed straight into the competition just by virtue of the amount of comparison in the App Store’s comment section and other articles like this one.