Photoshop Touch out, Photoshop mobile apps in

Adobe has announced that Photoshop Touch (photo retouching app for iPad and Android tablets) will be discontinued on May 28, 2015. Development focus will shift to a family of more specialized mobile apps like Photoshop Mix,Photoshop Sketch, Brush CC, Color CC, and others.

We recognized that bringing core Photoshop technology to mobile would open many creative opportunities for our customers, but it had to be done right, which meant nailing the experience. To do that, we needed to distill very complex desktop workflows and features into a naturally intuitive touch environment. We’ve also sought to provide a solution that helps people achieve great results quickly. So we’ve recently focused on creating individual mobile apps that each perform core tasks, rather than provide all-in-one solutions that mirror the desktop versions of our applications.

This move is interesting in many regards.

First, this is one more proof that super powerful all-in-one applications are not always a good fit for mobile uses and workflows. Mobile needs apps – smaller well-defined utilities, which serve few (ideally only one) purposes. More content creation activities move to mobile and they are fulfilled by sets of highly focused independent apps. This will prompt more sophisticated inter-app communication capabilities in mobile OSes.

Second, pay-for-app is getting way for pay-for-service. Apps like Comp CC, Shape CC, Brush CC, Color CC only make sense if you use Adobe applications on desktop and subscribe to Creative Cloud. In this setting mobile apps serve complimentary role and create value added for the CC service.

Looking forward to see how Adobe's Project Rigel, which promises serious retouching for mobile, will come out in late 2015.