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Adobe Photoshop Fix App Review

Adobe Photoshop Fix App Review  - Adobe's packed a lot of popular Photoshop retouching tools into its new free app but can it produce results photographers will be happy with?

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iOS Apps

Before and after images

Adobe Photoshop Fix

Adobe Photoshop Fix is a new mobile app built to make non-destructive image retouching easier. Adobe has combined tools from popular editing desktop tools, such as Photoshop and Lightroom, with touch technology to bring users an app they can use to edit images while on the go. The app is currently available for free from the iTunes Store and is compatible with both iPhones and iPads. An Android version will become available but no release date, as of yet, has been given. 

To say it's free, the Adobe Photoshop Fix app has a line-up of impressive tools on offer, many of which you'll be very familiar with if you've used any of Adobe's photo editing desktop applications before. Plus, with Adobe Creative Sync and a Creative Cloud access, it promises to make switching between editing apps easier and much more fluid. We put it to the test to see if it really does live up to expectations. 


Adobe Photoshop Fix Features

Use various retouching tools such as: 

  • Liquify - Push, pull, rotate, swell or reshape any area to create subtle or drastic effects. 
  • Heal and patch - Fix imperfections using content from surrounding areas and then blend the result.
  • Smooth - Simply paint to smooth or sharpen skin, landscapes or other content.
  • Lighten and darken - Add or remove light from specific parts of a photo.

Edit and adjust photos using a variety of essential tools:

  • Colour - Desaturate to remove all colour or to create a mix of colour and black-and-white.
  • Paint - Get precise effects with an eyedropper that lets you sample colours, an adjustable brush and an eraser.
  • Adjust - Add vignettes and control exposure, contrast and saturation
  • Defocus - Blur part of a photo to draw attention to your key subject 

Use seamlessly with other Adobe apps and desktop applications: 

  • Send your images directly to Photoshop CC on the desktop so you can refine them and take them further.
  • Fix converts all your edits to layers and packages your image as a PSD file.


Adobe Photoshop Fix


Adobe Photoshop Fix Performance

When you open the Adobe Photoshop Fix app the first thing that you'll probably notice is how cleanly designed it is. Sample images are provided should you wish to have a play around with the app without actually uploading any of your shots or you can click the + icon to locate your own photos. The app does ask you to sign into the Creative Cloud when you first open it up and by doing so, you'll have access to images you store here, plus you can access other CC applications such as Lightroom and Photoshop. Photos can also be accessed from the iOS device you are working on, Dropbox and Facebook (if installed on your device). 

Once you select an image, it is automatically opened for you in the editing interface. Across the bottom are the tools you have available and across the top are options for saving images, undo / redo buttons, a flatten image icon (removes the various layers applied) and a back button which returns you to the home screen. Talking of the homepage, here's where you can rename projects to make them easier to organise / find. 


Adobe Photoshop Fix


The line-up of retouching options is impressive with Liquify, healing tools and even dodge and burn options available. 

Liquify is used to reshape any area of an image while the Healing Brush is used to remove image imperfections such as scratches and blemishes. The Smooth tool is used to easily smooth or sharpen areas of a landscape or parts of skin and it also recognises specific sections of the face to make selection and edits easier. 

All of the tools are really easy to use and thanks to the touch interface, all edits can be applied with a swipe or dab of your finger. Simple slider scales are used to increase / decrease effects and tools which have brushes can be adjusted in size and hardness by dragging your finger up / down the screen. Mask options are also available so you can clearly see where you've applied changes to. To Zoom in / out use the pinch grab function and to apply edits, simply click the tick icon. 


Adobe Photoshop Fix


Adobe said the app would deliver 'amazing performance on images from high-end DSLRs (depending on your hardware capabilities)' and we didn't experience any lag when editing large image files.

The other really impressive aspect of the new app is its ability to be connected to Lightroom and Photoshop through CreativeSync. If you're signed into the Creative Cloud and have Lightroom or Photoshop CC you can work seamlessly between the different applications. For example, you can edit your Lightroom images directly in Photoshop Fix and save them back to your Lightroom catalog without ever leaving Fix. Plus, if you want to further edit images in Photoshop you can select the 'Send to Photoshop' option on the save menu and the image you were working on in Fix will open up on your desktop in the Photoshop CC application - impressive. Also, if you didn't flatten the image in the app, the photo you send across will include all of the edits you have made as separate layers in a PSD file so you'll be able to see them all, and work on them separately if you wish to do so, from the layers panel. 


Sending files to the cloud


If you don't want to work in Photoshop or save the image to your Lightroom library you can also upload the shot to social networks, share via email or save it to your camera roll. 


Image from Adobe Photoshop Fix open in Photoshop CC

Above: File opened from Fix into Photoshop CC


Once edits have been applied, the app places a blue line under the option you have used so you can quickly see which adjustments have / have not been used. There's also a before / after button found towards the top of the app that allows you to quickly switch between what the shot looked liked before you applied the current edit you're working on and after. Many of the tools also have a 'Restore' option which allows you to paint over the image to remove edits selectively which is handy should you accidently apply an alteration to a section you didn't intend to. 

As there are various tools on offer, we thought we'd take a look at each one in more detail below:



Crop tool options can be rather limited, particularly in free editing apps, but in Adobe photoshop Fix, orientation tools, as well as various aspect ratio options, are made available. One-click options are made available or users can work with the 'Free' option to alter the crop shape manually. When using set aspect ratios the shape can still be altered by clicking on the crop frame and dragging it to the required position. 



Above: Cropping tool in action



Under adjust are exposure, contrast, saturation, shadow and highlight tools all of which are adjusted with a slider that's dragged left or right to increase / reduce an effect. The effects are applied live, with no lag and for something so simple, produce impressive results. 


Adjust the exposure with a simple slider tool


The Liquify tool can take some getting used to as it can be quite tricky to control and we still found this when using it on the body of the model in our shot, however the face markers Adobe has added make it a doddle to adjust the shape of the face or indeed the position of facial features. Plus, as the anchor points are split into separate options, they can all be edited independently of each other which speeds the editing process up and simplifies it a great deal. 

Liquify tool

Face adjustment tools in Fix


As you'd expect, here's where you find the Spot Heal, Patch, Clone Stamp and Red Eye tools. Most are easy to use and produce good results, but the Clone Stamp tool isn't as easy to use as it is in the desktop version of Photoshop. Even when we reduced the hardness and size of the brush, it took a lot of undoing and redoing until we achieved a result we were happy with. The Spot Healing tool, on the other hand, was a doddle to use and with one press of a finger, blemishes were easily removed. 


Healing tools

Brushes can be adjusted easily. 


Smoothing skin is something that's popular within the fashion and beauty industry and Adobe have tried to give people an airbrushing tool that doesn't take too much effort to use. They've succeeded in creating a simple to use tool, but the overall effect can look a little fake. Yes, there are options for adjusting the brush's strength, size and opacity levels but even when dialed right down, the effect still looked a little plastic and fake so it's definitely a tool that should be used with subtlety. A rather cool feature we should talk about, though, is the tool's ability to recognise eyes and other features you won't want the effect to be applied to which means you don't have to be as accurate with your painting which is a bonus and you can also switch on the mask option to see where you've painted so you don't go over the same area twice. As well as a Smooth tool there's also a Sharpen which is handy for adding definition to the eyes when working with portraits. 


Smoothing Skin

Left: Smooth tool used on the left cheek and part of the nose. Right: A mask can be selected to show where the effect has been applied. 



Light is where you'll find the dodge and burn tools which have had a re-brand so people who aren't familiar with them aren't left wondering what they do. 'Dodge' is simply known as 'Lighten' and 'Burn' as 'Darken'. As with the desktop application versions the tools can be adjusted in hardness, size and opacity and the effect is simply painted on (with or without a mask switched on). The tools are easy to use and the results are good. 

Lighten / Darken the image

Left: A mask is used to make it easier to accurately use the Lighten tool. Right: Changing the Lighten brush size, opacity and hardness.  



Here's where you can make colours really 'pop' or remove them altogether but unlike the tools available under the Exposure section, these are painted on meaning you can be more selective about your application. Some creative results can be produced with these tools, however the automatic 'Pop' option isn't very impressive and it didn't have the ability to make us go 'wow'. 


Colour options in Adobe Photoshop Fix

Left: Desaturation tool in action. Right: Colour popping the lips. 



The title is rather self-explanatory but really, we're not sure why this option is here as you can only use colours that are already in the photo you're editing which makes it rather limited. You could use it to tweak hair or skin tone perhaps or change the colour of your background. It works as you'd expect any paint tool to do and the image can be restored should you don't like the edits you've applied. 


Paint in Adobe Photoshop Fix

Left: Paint brush used to alter hair colour. Right: Paint brush used to add text. 



This tool can be used to add a hazy, soft-focus feel to portraits or to blur backgrounds so focus falls on your main subject. It can be a bit fiddly when used to blur backgrounds and the tool needs to be tweaked to ensure the effect doesn't look fake when applied but overall, it's easy to use and results are pleasing. 



Defocus was used to blur the background. 



The final tool available in the app is for applying vignettes and it's actually really well thought out. The vignette's shape, size, position and colour can be altered along with its strength (feathering). All of the options are adjusted via a slider apart from the colour which is chosen from a colour wheel picker, community themes or themes saved in your own library. You can also pinch and drag your fingers to adjust the shape, radius and feather of the vignette, too. As with all vignettes, less is usually more and this rule applies with this app too as a large, strong vignette just ruins the shot. We did occasionally have issues with the preview appearing as a black square but by exiting the app and re-opening it, this problem was fixed. 



Radius alteration on the vignette added. 


Before And After Images 


Landscape comparison


Portrait before and after editing



Adobe Photoshop Fix Verdict

Adobe Photoshop Fix is a really useful tool that actually performs surprisingly well. For a free piece of software, it's packed with useful features and tools that are easy to use and produce impressive results. The simplicity of the app combined with its advanced editing options make it an app that's well worth downloading by those looking for something to quickly edit photos with. Plus, combine this with the fact that images can be 'zapped' over to Photoshop CC at the click of a button as PSD files and large photo files can be edited without any lag issues, make it a really useful piece of editing software for Adobe fans to have. It's fun, simple, has some innovative features and produces pleasing results and as a result, we are happy to Highly Recommend it. 

Adobe Photoshop Fix Pros

Quick in use
Packed with features and tools
Works seamlessly with Photoshop CC and Lightroom 
Files saved as PSD format and include layers 
It's free

Adobe Photoshop Fix Cons

Need a CC subscription to use it with Photoshop and Lightroom 
Some tools can be fiddly to use on occasion 
A couple of software bugs but nothing serious 


Adobe Photoshop Fix is a really good photo editing app that's free and those who have a CC subscription will find the way it seamlessly works with Photoshop CC & Lightroom brilliant. 

The Adobe Photoshop Fix App is available now from the iTunes Store for free. Visit the Adobe website for more information. 

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