After releasing Photoshop Touch for Android last autumn, a tablet version of the most popular photo retouching software out there, Adobe just released the iPad 2 version for iOS. In one word, it's incredible. While the company had mobile software available before, such as Photoshop Express, this is clearly a completely redesigned software that's made for touch, with large buttons, an interface that fully adapts to the iPad, and some impressive functions.
The first thing you notice when you launch Photoshop Touch is how the software leaves a lot of room for your image in the center of the screen. Every function can be accessed from one of the buttons on the sides of the screen. And there's a lot of functions, everything from brightness, contrast, levels, curves, selection tools, clone stamp, blur, and many filters. There's 25 photo filters that can be added at the touch of a button, and the software allows up to 16 layers.
Another interesting part is that Photoshop Touch is clearly intended to be a cloud solution. Along with your local images on your camera rolls, you can load and save images directly from the Adobe cloud, Facebook and Google. By taking advantage of that cloud service, you could start a project on the iPad, and finish it on your desktop, without having to manually transfer files. And while the workflow on a tablet is fairly different from what you're used to on the desktop version, Photoshop Touch comes with many comprehensive tutorials that walks you through the various functions.
It's clear that this app won't replace Photoshop CS5 for any serious user, since there are many advanced features missing, and the limit of 16 layers and 1600x1600 resolution can be a drawback. However, at $9.99, it's certainly worth checking out if you have an iPad 2 and are interested in this type of image manipulation.