No matter how knowledgeable you are (not) when it comes to professional-grade desktop applications, I am sure you already know a lot about Photoshop. Even if you never opened this application, you’ve probably heard that Photoshop is a raster graphics editor, where you can edit and manipulate photos (among numerous other things). However, not everyone can afford Photoshop, even though there’s no need for this due to numerous powerful photo editors, available on our phones and tablets.
Adobe, the company that created Photoshop, clearly had to adjust to some of the recent shifts in the way people use computers and handheld devices. Nearly three years ago, the company launched Photoshop Touch – an iPad-only app that downsized desktop-grade Photoshop to its mobile version. This was an answer to an ever-growing list of amazing iOS photo editors, where this company was starting to lose this battle. Professionals were still using the desktop app, and they will continue using it for a long time, but an average iOS-user prefers something more intuitive. This is what Photoshop Touch tried to achieve, even though it never reached the same popularity as other bestselling photo editors.
Earlier this year, Adobe decided to take a different approach. The company announced plans to discontinue the mobile version of Photoshop in favor of new “serious retouching solution for mobile”. This is why you can today find several Photoshop-branded apps on the App Store, ranging from Photoshop Mix, Adobe Photoshop Fix, and Photoshop Express. The good news is that Adobe worked hard this time on creating one of the most powerful solutions when it comes to mobile photo editing, as well as supporting the new Split View multitasking and other technologies that iOS 9 introduced.
Interestingly enough, all three Photoshop apps are quite serious and they bring a lot of amazing tools and features, which is making it impossible to review them within one article. This is why we are today going to take a look at Adobe Photoshop Fix, which I believe will be the most interesting one for an average iOS user who would like to retouch their photo albums.
All three iOS Photoshop apps are designed for different needs. Differently, from Photoshop Express, which is the most basic solution, Adobe Photoshop Fix is designed for a bit more advanced users who are interested in photography. The app seems intuitive on a first sight since all the tools are located in the bottom-positioned toolbar. If you’re using an iPad you should see the follow tools: Crop, Adjust, Liquify, Healing, Smooth, Light, Color, Paint, Defocus, and Vignette. If you are using an iPhone, you will get to use all of these tools as well, but they will be collapsed to avoid overcrowding the screen. As a long-term Photoshop user, I actually had to take some time to find where each tool was and to get accommodated with this layout. After selecting a tool, tool-specific options will pop up. Naturally, moving your finger higher or lower will let you adjust the size of a tool. Differently, from its desktop counterpart, Photoshop fix requires you to save your photo after applying each tool, which can be done by hitting a small checkmark in the bottom right corner.
Right from the start, you will notice the new Liquify feature, which allows users to reshape areas of an image using Warp, Swell, Twirl, or Reconstruct. You can also use some automatic tools, like the Face mode, which detects a person’s face and then allows you to Liquify it. This way you can fine-tune things, make a bigger smile on someone’s face, or similar. The app detects parts of a face and places small circles around those areas, so you can fine tune them. When you tap on any of these circles, you will see the options for widening, shrinking, smiling, and more. As expected, this feature works best on non-blurry, high-definition photos, which I believe are the easiest for Fix to identify and process.
In addition, Adobe Photoshop Fix brings Photoshop’s well-known tools like Heal and Patch, where you can use your finger to select an unwanted object and remove it. The app will detect pixels from surrounding areas and fill them instead of the removed object. This works really well, and I believe that you can achieve the same results as with the desktop app, which is an amazing achievement for Adobe. However, some larger objects will definitely have a hard time to be replaced, so you better stick with unwanted details and you should get rid of them easily and without any issues.
Other tools that Fix offers are the ability to Smooth or Sharpen selected areas, as well as Lighten or Darken parts of your image. When any of these tools are selected and active, you will see the Brush panel along the left edge, which provides size, hardness, and opacity settings.
In order to use Adobe Photoshop Fix, you need to be connected to the Internet and signed in with your free Adobe ID. This way you can use your Creative Cloud to save work and sync your library across different devices. Additionally, Creative Cloud members can send edits to their computers as a layered PSD file, which I am sure will be helpful to professionals who are well acquainted with this application. As you can guess by now, you will need a Creative Cloud Photography or higher membership to take advantage of the synchronization feature.
My opinion is that Adobe Photoshop Fix is an amazingly capable photo editor and I can see average home users and professionals using it. Even though the app might look confusing at times, I assure you that you can learn how to get the most out of Fix in no time. Even though numerous other iOS photo editors are maybe easier to use, Photoshop Fix offers professional-grade tools that are accessible to anyone. Invest your time by learning how to use this app by watching tutorials on the official Adobe’s page.
Photoshop Fix is available for free, and comes as a universal download.