Remember that tease Adobe gave us during the recent iPad Pro reveal? It was a brief demo of the so-called Project Rigel, and now the creative software company is ready to make the big reveal just before its annual Max design conference starts. The finished product goes by Photoshop Fix, and it'll reside in Adobe's mobile arsenal alongside Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Draw, Illustrator Sketch and the rest of the company's recent releases. You may have noticed there's more than one mobile app with Photoshop in its name. Well, there's a reason for that: productivity. Photoshop Fix will help you take care of retouching photos on that trusty iOS device, and it really works quite well, partially due to the fact that it doesn't try to do too much.
What's the difference between Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix? Well, Mix primarily handles grabbing portions of an image you want to use elsewhere or get rid of entirely -- a bird or a car, for example. While Mix is more of a composition tool, the new Fix app is focused on retouching photos. Fix is handy for tasks like removing flyaway hairs from a portrait, power lines from a landscape image or logos from a sign or vehicle. Two popular tools from the desktop version of Photoshop, the Healing Brush and Liquify, handle some of the editing duties here.
In the examples above, the Spot Healing feature leverages Adobe's Content Aware technology to remove those unwanted items. Selecting power lines is as easy as swiping across them with a finger or stylus, and you'll have them out of the way in a few short minutes. There's a color mask that you can quickly toggle on/off to see which items you've grabbed at part of the selection. It's a handy way to keep track of things, and if you've spent time with Photoshop on the desktop, this will feel familiar. For the Liquify tool, it can be used to apply subtle adjustments to facial features if one of the hundreds of shots you likely have from a photo shoot just won't do the trick. Liquify can make that smile just a hair bigger or apply changes to the subject's eyes, for example.
You can also employ features that handle duties like adjusting color and defocusing a portion of an image, too. I focused on Spot Healing and Liquify because they might garner the most attention, but the tools you'll need to tweak color and more are here was well. If you don't like an edit that you just made, you can undo them with the Restore tool. And when it comes time to make the jump to the desktop, Fix saves all of your work in layers so you're not just left with a flat image.
Why wouldn't Adobe just pack all of the tools in one piece of software and call it a day? The company says that it's focused on creating workflow-specific apps when it comes to its mobile offerings. That goal is easy to see when you take a quick survey of the options that are already available. You don't have to spend time searching for tools in the newer Adobe apps keep the functionality simple. Adobe knows that you're probably not looking to complete a project on your phone or tablet, but there are specific tasks that can be completed on a mobile device while you're away from your desk. That being said, you don't want to waste time pecking around an app for the right features, and with Adobe's library of mobile software, you won't have to.
As you might expect, Fix plays nice with Creative Cloud so you can nab stored photos and save edits for use on the desktop in more robust design apps like InDesign. It also takes advantage of Adobe's CreativeSync tech that, as the name suggests, syncs all of those design assets (files, photos, fonts, colors, etc.) across desktop and mobile apps via Creative Cloud Libraries. That means all of your stuff is in one place, accessible on your iPad while on the go and it'll be ready for you to pick up right where you left off when you get cozy at the office. CreativeSync also allows you to select a photo what you're working on in Lightroom mobile, send it to Fix for some quick retouching, then bounce back to finish the task.
For now, Photoshop Fix is only available on iOS. However, Adobe promises that an Android version is on the way, but wouldn't elaborate on a time frame for its arrival. The app is free to download, but in order to make the most of it across Adobe's entire suite of apps (and CreativeSync), you'll need that Creative Cloud membership.