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Adobe brings Photoshop to smartphone cameras

Some of the effects possible using Photoshop Camera.
Some of the effects possible using Photoshop Camera. Image: Adobe

Adobe is debuting a new app, Photoshop Camera, designed to bring the power of the popular photo-editing tool straight into the camera. The move allows consumers to apply artsy filters, swap out backgrounds and more even before the picture is taken.

Why it matters: Adobe has a goal of getting its tools in the hands of vastly more people. That means reaching consumer shutterbugs where they are at, which increasingly is within the camera app of their smartphones.

Axios' Ina Fried got a very early look at what became Photoshop Camera back in 2017, writing at the time:

"What initially looked like a standard camera app turned out to be a proof-of-concept from Adobe Labs that uses neural algorithms to apply different artistic styles to photos. It's similar to popular apps like Pixma, but with enough real-time abilities that you can see what the result will look like before even taking the picture."

It's come much farther in the last 18 months, adding more depth and utility, while retaining a decidedly simple interface designed to make sure people feel like they can just take a picture without also having to understand Photoshop.

Photoshop Camera is launching in limited preview; those interested can sign up here.

Meanwhile: Adobe is also making several other moves at its Max conference, which started today in L.A. Specifically, it is:

  • Releasing the initial version of Photoshop for the iPad, which was teased at last year's show and has been in testing.
  • Showing a preview of Illustrator for the iPad, with the final version targeted for next year.
  • Bringing its new Fresco painting app, released recently for iPad, to Microsoft Windows.