Adobe’s updates to Photoshop on the iPad lay down a promising future
At Adobe's MAX event, it was announced that Photoshop on iPad is finally gaining the ability to remove the background from images in one tap, alongside being able to remove distracting objects from images.
The process for removing the background will be similar to how it's achieved on a Mac or Windows PC: simply highlight the background, with the subject safe from being removed, and replace it with something completely different. The new option on iPad is available on the App Store as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription.
There are also other useful features coming to Photoshop on iPad in the coming weeks, such as auto-color adjustments to get the right balance for your projects, and improved refinements to hair and the edges of clothes when these subjects need to be moved to a different background.
All of these add to what you can already do on an iPad with Photoshop, especially with the new models having been announced this week. It also raises the possibility of reaching for the tablet instead of your Mac or PC – but we're not quite there yet.
An iPad is a computer, but not for everyone
When Photoshop launched on the iPad in 2019, it didn't receive the warmest reception due to its lack of basic features. At the time, Adobe had to work with the touch inputs only, as Touchpad support didn't debut until mid-2020 on iPadOS. This required a lot of rethinking from Adobe to bring in features that had been standard in Photoshop for years.
Fast forward to 2022, and even though you can now use a Magic Keyboard with the trackpad built in, Adobe has refined the features enough that you can just tap twice and have the background removed, thanks to Adobe finding ways to simplify a bunch of its powerful features.
These new features will be welcomed across many user bases and needs, including mine. Having used Photoshop on macOS for the last decade, I've longed to see more desktop-class apps arrive on my iPad Pro for those quick-fix situations we've all found ourselves in from time to time.
The iPad version of Photoshop almost fulfills the brief for this now, thanks to the announcements at MAX. Being able to remove the background for the images I take will really help with my workflow. Next on my wish list in the space of features would be to see the pen tool finally arrive. Users have been clamoring for this since the debut of Photoshop on the iPad, and now that we've got background removal features, this could be the next best feature to arrive on the iPad.
Once these features arrive on Photoshop on iPad, we'll make sure there's a new review that will go through just how the app has improved in the past three years.