Adobe has begun testing a free-to-use version of the web version of Photoshop, and plans to open the service to everyone as a way to introduce the app to more users.
The company is now testing the free version in Canada, where users can access the web version of Photoshop with a free Adobe account.
The company describes the service as freemium, and plans to turn off some features that are exclusive to paying subscribers. Sufficient tools are freely available to perform what the company considers essential Photoshop functions.
“We want to make Photoshop more accessible and easier for more people to try and try out the product,” the company says.
The company released the web version of Photoshop for the first time in October, introducing a simplified version of the application that can be used to handle basic edits.
Layers and basic editing tools have taken a huge leap. But the service is nowhere near including the full range of app features.
Instead, Adobe has framed it primarily as a collaboration tool. Any way for the artist to share an image with others and have them access it while leaving a few annotations, making some small edits, and then putting it back in again.
In the ensuing months, Adobe made quite a few updates to the service. I’ve also started to open it outside of collaboration use cases.
Previously, a document had to be shared across the web from a desktop app. But now any Photoshop subscriber can log in and start a new document directly from the web.
The company aims to attract users
The company aims to use the web version of Photoshop to make the app more accessible and to attract users who are willing to pay for the full version in the future.
The company has taken a similar path with a number of its mobile apps, including Fresco and Express. The web version of Photoshop is a particularly important offering because it brings one of the company’s most powerful tools even to Chromebooks, which are widely used in schools.
Adobe has not provided a timeline for when the free version will be released more widely. Meanwhile, the company continues to update the web version of Photoshop with more tools, including improved edges and curves, tools to lighten or darken image areas, and the ability to transform Smart Objects. The web version also gets mobile support for reviewing and commenting on images.
Adobe also previewed a new AI-powered neural filter coming to Photoshop. And the new photo recovery filter can handle faded yellow photos, automatically clean up scratches, and restore some of their color.
When combined with Adobe’s existing Colorize filter to add color to black and white photos, the filters can quickly bring an old photo to life.
Adobe makes Lightroom capable of video editing
Lightroom, Adobe’s photo-editing app, is getting a new feature with the ability to edit video.
With an update rolling out this week, Lightroom users will be able to work with existing in-app controls to color grade videos.
Lightroom controls are much easier to adjust the appearance of an image than traditional color grading tools in video apps.
Combined with users’ familiarity with the controls, the new feature should be a solid choice for anyone who wants to change the look of a video.
New tools allow you to color scale clips and trim the beginning and end of clips. But you can’t arrange clips in a timeline. As a result, if you want to color a movie scene, you have to move from one shot to the next, and copy the edits.
The video editing feature comes to Lightroom via the desktop and mobile app. But it won’t make it to Lightroom Classic, which supports video editing to a very limited extent.
Lightroom and Lightroom Classic are getting a number of other updates. Including an intensity slider for increased effects. Along with new adaptive pre-filters, which use artificial intelligence to apply effects to specific parts of an image, such as the subject or the sky.