Today’s Photoshop is cloud-based, as well as other Adobe products connected by Creative Cloud. So no wonder that the first thing Adobe Photoshop Express app requires from you is registration. Creative Cloud will connect your app to other Photoshop apps (Mix, Fix or CC). As usual, you can use your existing ID or create a new one. Anyway, it’s voluntary, and if cloud features don’t matter to you, just skip this step.
After you launch the app, you see the selector screen where you select the source for your creative experiments. It can be your own local source (camera or gallery), Creative Cloud or CC library with free clipart.
After you load the image you want to edit, you start using the tools the app provides. Yes, there are both quick filters and tools for manual editing. The tool panel is in the bottom of the screen, and it takes a glance to realize how rich it is.
The special section for cropping and flipping allows you to crop the picture in any shape, to reflect it, to flip it around vertically or horizontally. Enhancements can be made with manual tools on top of the screen or with quick presets previewed in the bottom in real time.
There are also special tools for red-eye removal, with separate tools for recognizing human or animal faces.
Quick editing wouldn’t be complete without frames and vignettes, and there’s a wide selection in the frames section.
The results can be saved both to your local memory or to Creative Cloud. And yes, Share feature for immediate sending photos out is also still here. The app also supports a wide selection of cloud resources like QuickPic gallery or other cloud services it detects on your device.
But if you expect Photoshop Express to have the functionality of the desktop Photoshop, you’ll be disappointed. Manual editing or selecting tools are almost absent. You cannot select the fragment by color, draw with a pencil, apply scripts, open RAW files (though some types are supported) and do other things the “adult” Photoshop can. It’s not a bug though Photoshop Express is just for other purposes. But if you need more tools, you can access and download them from a section in Settings.
It would be strange for a design-oriented app not to be designed perfectly. The designers decided on a minimalistic style that uses the screen place mostly for the pictures you edit.
The most frequent tools are always available from the top of the screen. You can view your picture in full-screen mode, flip it or apply some other frequent operation, or share the picture at any stage of editing. The latest feature is great for collaborative work.
It’s also worth noticing that the app interface is available in most popular languages. But, still, even if your native language is missing, most operations are signed by pictograms that need no text explanations.
Though Photoshop has gained the reputation of a complicated and hard-to-master tool, it doesn’t affect Adobe Photoshop Express for Android or iOS. The developers got one thing right: as we’re living in the world hooked on Instagram, we want to use filters and do it quickly. So filters for filtering fans) are the easiest to access.
The ways and method you have got used to are still working in this app, like pinch-to-zoom, filters previewing and so on.
Though Photoshop is said to be capricious when it comes to hardware, Adobe Express app runs smoothly even on Android and iOS devices of 2012.
We have noticed only one bug that may really confuse you. When previewing frames, sometimes it looks like one of the margins is missing. We exported the picture with that frame into the gallery and viewed it with a third-party viewer to make sure the frame is OK all around the picture. Still, it undermines the impression when selecting frames.
Cross-platform use 10/10
Adobe Photoshop Express editor is available for all major platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and desktop platforms as well. It’s great when you want to use the Express version as your basic tool for photo editing.
Creative Cloud provides seamless integration between all of your workspaces (except for Windows Phone). But if you want to connect your Photoshop Express on mobile devices and PC, you’ll have to install a separate Creative Cloud PC application to access your remote storage.
The developers have done the impossible. The app has gone free (in case you are authorized with Creative Cloud), and all premium features are available.
The trick is that most Creative Cloud applications for PC are paid, so you’ll be able to use Adobe apps for free on the amateur level for free, but professional tools won’t come that easy. Well, if all you need is preparing your photos for Facebook or Instagram publications, Photoshop Express will do.
The app does its job well. It works on modern and rather old devices, integrates with other mobile apps and platforms, uses the cloud for integration. If you want an advanced version of Instagram, that’s it.