Adobe Photoshop Tears Down One Last Barrier
The iconic image editor is coming to the web, along with its drawing sibling
I thought it was a big deal when Adobe Photoshop arrived on the iPad in 2019. It was, at the time, the culmination of a 30-year journey that saw the bitmap image editor step out of Adobe Illustrator’s shadow to become the go-to creative tool for, by Adobe's count, 90% of creative professionals.
Squeezing the powerful application onto a mobile device seemed impossible until Apple built a tablet and iPadOS powerful enough to handle a stripped-down version of it. Now Adobe has surmounted another platform challenge: bringing Adobe Photoshop to the web browser.
Adobe announced on Tuesday before the kickoff of its annual Adobe Max conference that it’s vastly enhancing its Creative Cloud offering, bringing versions of Photoshop and Illustrator to Chrome and Microsoft Edge. No word on Apple’s Safari. I can’t imagine Apple is happy about that. However, both Edge and Chrome are built on Chromium, while Safari still uses the WebKit engine. Adobe says it will be coming to other browsers soon. You can, obviously, run Chrome on a Mac.
Virtually anyone can open an Adobe Photoshop on the Web file to review it but only paying Creative Cloud members can edit the image (same rules apply for web-based Illustrator).
Adobe Photoshop on the Web is not the full-powered application. The beta version, which rolls out publicly today, looks almost exactly like Photoshop on the iPad, but in a browser tab. Illustrator on the Web is also launching this week in a smaller, private beta.
Creative Cloud members using Photoshop on the Web have access to a relatively small set of editing tools that include simple edits, layer management, selection, and masking. Comments, pins, and annotations added to the file will travel with it across the web and back to the desktop version of Photoshop.
This is a pivotal moment for Photoshop fans. I can recall more than a few times where I needed to look at a Photoshop file and realized I was on a system without Photoshop or access to a Creative Cloud account. Photoshop on the Web means anyone with a link can look at that file and offer input, provided they have an…