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Adobe Photoshop turns 30, now much smarter

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Photoshop is one of the computer world’s most influential applications. Thirty years ago today, Adobe first introduced the popular software. To celebrate, the company today updated Photoshop for Mac and iPad with a range of tasty new features that show how far digital arts have come in the last three decades.

Photoshop on iPad

Adobe has been working hard to make Photoshop on iPad more feature complete in comparison to the Mac version. Both versions use the same code base, which helps the company move new tools to the tablet.

The iPad version already has more than a million users, and the latest update sees it gain the same Object Selection tool the desktop version of the application gained in fall – and this is an AI-driven feature. (Object Selection uses machine learning to help you make more accurate selections, especially when working with multiple objects.)

The idea behind this is that the AI tries to figure out which object in the image you are attempting to select and then refines your selection for that object.

If you’ve not used Photoshop a great deal, this may sound like a relatively minor enhancement, but it is not: It will save image editors huge amounts of time and vastly reduces one of the friction points of their craft.

That this is now available on iPads should help designers find new design opportunities. It’s also a good illustration of how AI/machine learning can be used to augment human tasks in ways that enable people to remain more focused on bigger challenges.

The iPad version also gains additional type settings tools: layer, character and option tools, such as formatting, tracking and leading-edge controls for text. Adobe says kerning support and a Refine Edge brush will be introduced later on.

Photoshop on a Mac

If you use Photoshop on a Mac, Adobe’s birthday surprises include things like Dark Mode support for system dialogs. The Content-Aware Fill workspace has been improved so that multiple selections and fills can be made while remaining in a workspace – until now you had to leave and re-enter that space to make such changes.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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