For more than 30 years Adobe Photoshop has been the reference in the field of photo editing and image processing. Available on Windows, Mac, and iPad.
The software is aimed both at demanding professionals who want to have advanced features and powerful tools and at novices who want to start editing photos and images. It offers graphic design tools that allow you to give free rein to your imagination.
Why use Photoshop?
Adobe Photoshop supports all possible photo and image file formats: RAW, DNG, but also JPG, PNG, etc. It is essential to professionally edit your photos and let your creativity take off.
The GUI is neat and well thought out, but its richness can make it confusing at first. Its content and layout are customizable to allow you to quickly have the functions and tools you need according to your type of use.
The application is suitable for all types of image processing such as photography, design, advertising, printing, creating images for the web, etc.
In addition to the standard tools present in a modern image editor, the software has a powerful layer manager that allows you to create complex graphic compositions.
It supports all color spaces on the market, RGB, CMYK, and HSV color modes, different pixel formats, and finally any resolution. It also offers a very wide variety of filters and artistic effects that are all configurable and thus make the possibilities almost endless.
No more using physical media to store your creations, Adobe has created Creative Cloud, a subscription-based cloud system that allows you to save your work to access it from anywhere. Thanks to this system, all the editor’s programs are linked together. The subscription includes access to storage space in the cloud, but also to some of the unlimited software in the range such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Express, etc.
You can download and test most Adobe applications for a trial period to familiarize yourself with their tools before deciding to choose a paid license. Do not hesitate to check out the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan subscription offers.
But that’s not all! Indeed, with the arrival of Photoshop for the web, this online version could become free in turn, so it will be possible to use Photoshop for free in this way. Read more: Photoshop on the web is going free for everyone.
Free Photoshop mobile apps
Besides the trial version for a few days, you can certainly use Photoshop mobile apps for free. You will not have all the power of the full version but some very valuable features, especially on smartphones or tablets. You only need an Adobe ID to make them work.
With the Adobe Photoshop Express mobile application, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Play Store, but also from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10, you have a compact and lighter version of the software. It should be noted, however, that unlike its big brother, which must have the Camera Raw extension to support raw RAW files, Adobe Photoshop Express supports them natively. Really very practical and intuitive, this free application allows you to correct photo imperfections, and add borders, filters, illustrations, text, and many other elements.
Much simpler, Adobe Photoshop Mix is free but has a few ads when opening and closing the mobile app. It allows you to easily apply ‘looks’ to your shots, merge images by automatically managing the level of transparency, and make corrections to images that are quite simple but essential! Note that a short tutorial introduces you to the main features when using the application for the first time.
Adobe Photoshop Fix is only one letter gap from the other application and yet the features are absolutely not the same. Adobe Photoshop Fix is more oriented toward retouching portraits with tools for smoothing skin, correcting imperfections, and inserting a blur effect in the background with automatic face detection. This other free Photoshop also manages the brightness on faces and provides you with tools for cropping, resizing, etc.
Latest Photoshop app for free download: Adobe Photoshop Camera. It looks more like a camera, which lets you change the lens and apply effects before you even take the shot. Of course, it is possible to do the same with photos from your gallery, but the main interest lies in viewing the effects, before taking the photo. Duotone, face detection, insertion of planets in the background, the effects are striking!
What’s new in the latest version of Photoshop?
For its 30th anniversary, the software offers some very interesting new features that will delight aficionados! The new version offers several gadgets, different depending on your device.
For Windows PC users, let’s first note the arrival of multiple selections and filling, without having to repeat the same operations several times. A significant time saver! Note also the improvement of the lens blur tool for objects in the foreground, which has a new algorithm.
The user will also be able to experience the panning function as well as improved zooming and navigation, among others.
On macOS Catalina, note that the interface is now available in dark mode, a rather pleasant mode for photo editing without straining your eyes.
iPad owners will be delighted to learn of the arrival of certain features that were previously non-existent on their device, as well as that of the simplified selection tool which is quite impressive. Indeed, you just have to select an area and the application detects on its own the object located there that you want to select. What if there are multiple objects? Well, they will all be selected individually!
In the 2021 update, unveiled at the Adobe Max conference in October 2020, Adobe brings new face editing features, including the ability to change the age, skin color, or even the expression of a face. It will also be possible to replace the sky of a landscape photo in a few clicks. Much more practical, this new tool offers a library of different shades of sky, which can be applied very simply. To learn more, read our article on Photoshop: Adobe is inspired by smartphones to age you or replace the sky in your photos
In its Spring 2021 update, Photoshop becomes compatible with Apple M1 processors, and Camera Raw incorporates a new image enhancement feature called Super Resolution Mode. Read more in our articles: Adobe CC Update: Photoshop is Apple M1 Compatible and Gains Super Resolution AI and Lightroom Gains Super Resolution and Adobe Expands Compatibility with Apple’s M1 Processors.
The May 2021 Update adds a new ‘Save a Copy’ command to the File menu. This option allows you to create a copy of your work in progress and save it in another format, without going through the ‘Export for the web’ command.
The new August 2021 version includes some new features in its desktop version with the appearance of a new sky transformation tool. Adobe Photoshop for iPad now offers the Magic Wand selection tool which selects pixels of the identical color.
Announced at the Adobe Max 2021 conference in October 2021, a new Photoshop web service is deployed in the Beta version. Simpler but still having layers, masks, and essential editing tools, this online version is accessible on all media without requiring the installation of an application or desktop software. It is accessible from a Creative Cloud account and requires a subscription.
The October 2022 Adobe MAX conference presents the software’s new features: Adobe Max: ever more efficient AI on Lightroom and Photoshop.
What OS is Photoshop-compatible with?
It is available for download for installation on computers running Microsoft Windows, for versions 7 and 10.
Apple technology users are not left out since they can download the software to their mac (from macOS 10.13 to 10.15 Catalina).
For iOS users, be aware that there is a specific edition for iPad (not for iPhone) which has almost nothing to envy to the PC or Mac versions. Very complete, and it allows you to continue your work wherever you are.
No Google Android version is currently available.
What are the best alternatives to Photoshop?
In the field of the photo (and even video) editing, the Adobe license dominates the market with software like Lightroom or Photoshop Express, or plugins like Camera RAW. However, it is still possible to find as well elsewhere.
In the range of paid software, note the powerful Affinity Photo, which is mainly used for professional-type photo editing, and does not have any creation tools as such. You can download the demo version for Windows, Mac, and iPad. Find out in our article how to easily switch from Photoshop to Affinity. Note that on the other hand, the publisher Affinity is one of the only ones to offer a software suite like Creative Cloud.
In the field of OpenSource and free, there are several software to compete with Adobe editing and creation products: Darktable, Gimp, and Krita, all compatible with Windows, Mac or Linux.
Darktable, first of all, specializes in photographic retouching, which it allows you to do like a professional. It is the direct competitor of Affinity Photo.
Gimp meanwhile arises as a direct competitor to Photoshop. It’s very complete interface has almost nothing to envy the giant of Adobe. It offers retouching features but also graphic creation.
Krita, still OpenSource, and still free, is hot on the heels of Gimp, which it has nothing to envy. It allows image and photo editing via layers, but it is also a creative tool in its own right, providing a large number of brushes and other drawing or painting tools.
For the most novice who does not need all the resources of these blockbusters, there is Paint.net. On Windows only, the application does not use layers and allows simple and basic retouching. It remains quite practical, especially since it is free to download.
If you are looking for a free mobile alternative for Android or iOS, you can turn to Prisma Photo Editor. Dozens of filters are available as well as many settings to beautify your photo. And if you need a more versatile alternative, PicsArt Photo Studio processes photos and lets you create video montages.