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Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0 for iOS Review

Daniel Bell takes a look at the latest version of Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0, a free app for iOS and the in-app purchase Camera Pack.

|  Adobe Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0 in iOS Apps
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Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0

Adobe released their first version of Photoshop Express in 2009 offering editing tools, such as crop and rotate along with creative one-touch effects and filters as well as giving users access to their entire online collection of photos from and allows them to share them directly within the application.

Version 2.0 has added new camera workflow, full retina display and multi-tasking support. The basic app is free, but for added features there is now the Adobe Camera pack priced at £2.39 which offers Self Timer, Auto Review and Noise removal.

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Features

  • Basic editing
  • Colour editing
  • Filters
  • Effects
  • Borders
  • Email photos to family and friends
  • Upload to, Facebook, and Twitpic
  • Free account to upload and store 2GB of photos and videos online
  • New camera workflow for rapid in-app photo-taking (new in version 2)
  • Full retina display support (new in version 2)
  • Multitasking in iOS 4.2 (new in version 2)

Adobe Camera Pack features:

  • Self Timer (3 and 10 second timer)
  • Auto Review
  • Remove Noise
Note: Camera not supported on iPad 2

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Performance

The new version of Photoshop Express allows you to shoot, edit and share images all through the app.

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Camera Workflow

The free version allows you to change the same settings as the default iPhone app such as zoom, flash and choice of camera (front and back). The paid for version adds a self-timer of three or ten seconds although this is an element which can be found for free on other apps, such as on the Gorillamobile App. You can also instantly review your images, for two or five seconds. The symbol for this on the screen is slightly confusing as it looks like the one used for burst-modes on many cameras.

A feature when shooting with the iPhone App which many will miss when shooting using Adobe Photoshop Express is HDR mode. The Photoshop Express App doesn't handle the highlights and shadows nearly as well as using the HDR mode. It is fantastic news that the latest version supports multitasking, meaning you can check an email or use another app and come back to Photoshop Express in the same place that you left it.

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0 Camera Screenshot   Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0 Test Image   Apple iPhone Camera Test Image

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Basic Editing

There are four different basic editing tools available - crop, straighten, rotate and flip. To crop you move the four corners of the box into position. Straightening, rotating and flipping are all performed in a similar way, just by moving your fingers in the desired direction.

Original Crop Straighten Flip

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Colour

There are plenty of ways to play with the colour on Photoshop Express 2.0. You can change the exposure, saturation, tint, contrast and create black and whites. For exposure, saturation and contrast it is possible to change how much effect is made on the images by simply sliding your finger along the screen, left reducing the effect and right increasing. Below are examples at both extremes.

Two of the options are slightly different. Black and whites can't be amended like exposure, saturation and contrast. Also, there are many different tints that can be applied, from red to orange to yellow to blue to purple.

Original Over exposure Over saturation Blue tint Over contrast
Black and white Under exposure Under saturation Red tint Under contrast

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Filters

With filters you can create a sketch, soften the focus, sharpen images and reduced noise. You can increase and decrease the effect by sliding your finger across the screen. The images below are in the middle of the range available, to view the effect they are best viewed large by clicking the thumbnails. Reduce Noise is only available via the in-app purchase. The program certainly does the job, although if you set it to its maximum it is easy to ruin your image.

Original Sketch Soft Focus Sharpen Reduce Noise

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Effects

For extra creativity there are a range of effects that can be added to your image including, Vibrant, Pop, Vignette Blur, Warm Vintage, Rainbow, White Glow and Soft Black and White. In the sample images below, the Warm Vintage and Vibrant modes have had a great effect on the original image. The Pop and Rainbow effects seem a little strange although I'm sure they're useful to some.

Original Vibrant Pop Vignette Blur
Warm Vintage Rainbow White Glow Soft Black and White

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Borders

To finish off your images you can also add one of the many borders available.

Rectangle Rounded Oval Soft Edge
Vignette Rough Edge Halftone Film Emulsion

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Sharing

If you are a Facebook or Twitpic user, sharing your photos in easy within the app. Simply supply the app with your log-in details for the site you want the share on and within seconds your images are uploaded. Adobe also offer a free 2Gb photo and video sharing and storage account. Excellent!

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Verdict

The free version of the app is an absolute must for anyone. It is great for making subtle changes to images when it is impossible to do so on a computer. For beginners who find the full program too hard to use then the Photoshop Express app opens up an easy avenue to get into image editing.

The paid for extension to the app offers a feature which can be found for free, although the ability to reduce the noise on images is great and it certainly does the job.

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Pros

Ability to perform basic image editing on the move
Lots of creativity options

Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0: Cons

No HDR mode
Some of the editing features are a bit strange


Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0 is available from the iTunes store.

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