At Adobe’s annual two-day Max event the company announced several significant Photoshop updates.
If you’re interested in checking out what Adobe has in store for its other apps and tools, you can check out its blog post.
The current trend in the photo editing space are AI-based enhancements that make altering images significantly easier than ever. Adobe’s latest slate of Photoshop updates helps it keep up with all of these upstarts, and it makes the app more accessible, albeit in a more scaled-back form.
The first update to Photoshop worth talking about is a new auto-select highlight tool called the ‘Hover Auto-masking Object Selection tool.’ While the name might be a bit long, the feature works in real-time and selects what it thinks the object is that your mouse is hovering over. To auto-select an item currently, you need to choose it and then see what the AI thinks you wanted. This new preview mode should take a lot of time-consuming guesswork out of using auto-select.
As cool as this feature is, I’m interested to see how well it works across different devices. For example, Photoshop’s AI features are generally pretty resource-intensive and don’t often work in a snap for me on my Ryzen 7 3800x-powered desktop. That said, maybe Adobe has done some work to make things smoother with the new update.
Another feature that takes advantage of AI is called ‘Mask all objects’ that automatically creates a mask for every object that its AI defines in the photo.
Other improvements include support for Apple’s Pro Display XDR, improving compatibility with Apple’s high-end display or the new MacBook Pro. You can learn about setting up an HDR workspace on an Apple computer here.
If you take a lot of smartphone pictures or just wish your photo had better background blur, Adobe is also improving its AI when it comes to adding realistic background blur to images. The company says the one way it’s making this feel more realistic is by giving people the option to add grain to their blur.
You can check out the rest of the Photoshop updates by reading Adobe’s blog post.
Photoshop comes to the web (in beta)
Adobe says that now that it’s learned more about developing cloud storage for PSD files, ther’s a new web app version of Photoshop.
While it’s a little more limited than the default version available on PC, it appears to add tools like ‘Quick Selection,’ the ‘Magic Wand, ‘ and the ‘Healing Brush’ to this wildly accessible version of the powerful app. Now that the groundwork has been laid for a web version of Photoshop, it’s likely only a matter of time before it expands.
I’m sure that this version of Photoshop won’t replace my desktop client any time soon, but it’s exciting to see even powerful apps like Photoshop experiment in the web app space. During the early days of the pandemic, I spent a lot of time testing out Chrome OS devices and what I learned was that while they’re pretty awesome, they’re still missing a lot of apps.
For me, one of the key missing apps was a really comparable alternative to Photoshop. While there are some Chrome OS photo editing apps that got the job done, I really missed Adobe’s classic app. Hopefully the new web-based beta can fill this void.