Photoshop Touch vs iPhoto

Tushar Kanwar        Print Edition: May 2012

"The iPad is not for content creation". If you'd made this statement in early 2010, you'd have found a lot of PC aficionados and tablet naysayers backing you up. Those voices have grown awfully quiet come 2012, with the launch of the new iPad with a stunning Retina display and a wide array of tools ideally suited for multimedia work-image editing in particular. And two very familiar names from the desktop space - Apple iPhoto and Adobe Photoshop - are leading the pack.

The question is: which one is the best mobile image-editing tool for you? We pit the two against each other to find out.

If you've played around with the Photoshop Touch launched on Android tablets in late 2011, you're already familiar with what to expect from the app on the iOS platform. Pulling in photos from your iPad plus Adobe's Creative Cloud and Facebook, Photoshop Touch packs in many of the same tools and paradigms as the desktop version of the software, such as layers, filters, adjustments and selection tools. However, they have been revamped to work well with fingers.

Standard caveat for first-time Photoshoppers: the interface can be daunting if you haven't used Photoshop previously, so take your time with the included tutorials to understand how to tame this beast. Once you're done editing the image, Photoshop Touch lets you save the image back to Adobe's Creative Cloud web storage in a new PSDX file format, or share images via email or Facebook.

Compatibility and pricing:
Photoshop Touch ($9.99) runs only on the new iPad/iPad 2 and requires iOS 5.0 or later (also available for Android tablets running 3.1 (Honeycomb) or later).

Launched with new iPad, iPhoto is the missing piece in the iLife puzzle on the iPad along with GarageBand and iMovie. Once loaded into the app, iPhoto lets you apply several effects to images, such as crop, horizon adjust, brightness and saturation. Plus it ships with a number of brushes to address common needs such as sharpen/soften, lighten/darken specific areas. You can even choose popular effects such as vintage or artistic, but bear in mind you can only apply these effects one at a time. Users of Instagram will love these filters, more so since iPhoto packs in a lot more adjustability into the filters.

Possibly the best iPhoto non-editing feature is its Journals capability, which lets you pull together a digital scrapbook-photos, captions, maps, weather information, all laid out on a digital page-and then share this web page with friends and family. Facebook, Flickr and Twitter are also on the sharing list, and you can even beam photos to other iOS devices running iPhoto over a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.

Compatibility and Pricing: iPhoto ($4.99) runs on the new iPad/iPad 2 (not the original iPad) and requires iOS 5.1 (it will also run on the iPhone 4 or 4S).


If we had to pick one, we'd recommend iPhoto-not only does it cover most bases, it's also great value for $4.99. However, if you are serious about your iPad's role in image editing workflow, don't choose one over the other. Go for both! For under $15, you can perform the heavy editing on Photoshop Touch while taking advantage of iPhoto's excellent album management and sharing tools.
Although both tools are meant for working with your photos, but they take very different approaches to the problem, and which tool works best for you depends on what you are trying to achieve on the iPad. Photoshop Touch is oriented towards heavy editing and the ability to create new images from scratch, whereas iPhoto is geared towards managing, tweaking and sharing images you already have.

So while iPhoto excels with easy tweaking effects and excellent Journal sharing capabilities, Photoshop Touch powers ahead with the ability to work with multiple effects on one image, cropping and selecting any shape (not just the rectangles that iPhoto is limited to) and adding text to an image. But remember that both have their limitations too.

While iPhoto limits file sizes to 19 megapixel images and does not edit RAW uncompressed files, Photoshop Touch has slightly troubling size limitation, in that the program will resize images to fit a maximum resolution of 1600 by 1600 pixels and 16 layers. While that can be attributed to the increased performance demand of working with layers, this limitation restricts Photoshop Touch's use to making images fit only for small prints or the Web, or for mock drafts on the go. It wont be killing CS5/CS6 on the desktop, that's for sure.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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