In November 2019 (remember that time?) Adobe unleashed a full version of Photoshop for iPad and then informed us that it was working on a new smartphone app called Photoshop Camera. That app is now ready and available for download from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, although only a few Android phones are supported at launch, namely the latest Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and OnePlus phones.
Despite the name, Photoshop Camera has little to do with the image editing platform. Instead, it uses Adobe’s Sensei technology to identify scenes in a photo (such as the sky) and apply appropriate filters to add a touch of creativity to your smartphone’s photos.
All you have to do is point your camera at your subject (or the scene you’re shooting) and choose a filter. For example, if you point your camera at the sky, the app automatically adds a filter to change the look of your image, including moving elements like shooting stars. The app also works for images stored in your handset’s photo library, automatically applying filters that are expected to work.
Photoshop Camera is clearly designed for the social media generation and the selfie-taker. The filters and custom lenses are extensive and some of them are incredibly impressive, allowing them to match the best camera effects on Instagram and Snapchat. It’s not just about adding filters to your photos; there are also some basic editing options onboard, such as the ability to adjust exposure, contrast, and saturation. However, it is clear that the app is designed more to add effects than to perform minor edits to your photos.
The moment you open the app, Photoshop Camera will analyze the scene and immediately add enhancements (such as adjusting the dynamic range and tonality) while you’re still capturing the shot, doing the same for existing photos stored on your phone.
According to Adobe, Photoshop Camera’s goal is to offer easy-to-use products to people who find editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom intimidating and then gradually give them the confidence to switch to the company’s paid apps.
The app is undoubtedly a lot of fun, even though there are only a handful of filters to choose from at launch. Adobe says that over time more effects will be added, including some created in collaboration with other artists (such as the Billie Eilish which is already available on the app).