Adobe Photoshop has been so influential in the media world that the name of the app itself is used to describe an image that has been edited. But while the name is everywhere, not everyone uses the app, and Adobe hopes to change that with a new free version.
According to The Verge, Adobe is making a “freemium” version of Photoshop on the web that is currently only available in Canada. Users need to sign up for an Adobe account to access the free web version which lacks several features but the core features are accessible. To get the full version, users have to pay for an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, although Photoshop on the web doesn’t yet have as many features as the standalone app. Photoshop on the web is currently in beta and Adobe is adding more features over time.
Photoshop on the web only works in the Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser, and if you try to use an unsupported browser like Safari, users will only be able to view and interact with existing documents. An Adobe FAQ says the company “will soon be bringing edits to other browsers, such as Firefox,” but makes no mention of Safari or Webkit.
If you are an iPad user, Adobe does not recommend using Photoshop on the web on the tablet. According to Adobe’s FAQ: “Currently, you can only edit in non-mobile web browsers in Photoshop on the web beta. You can view and comment using a mobile web browser. For iPad, we recommend trying Photoshop on iPad, which is included with your Creative Cloud subscription.”
Adobe made no mention of its plans to expand access to the free Photoshop on the web to more regions, but the trial in Canada is believed to be a test run. Maria Yap, Adobe’s VP of digital imaging, told The Verge: “We want to make [Photoshop] more accessible and easier for more people to try it out and experience the product.”
Users who decide to pay for an individual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription to get the full set of features will pay $21 per month for Photoshop or $55 per month for the full suite of Adobe apps.
While Photoshop has a legacy of its own, Adobe’s price, subscription model, and app complexity have put off potential customers, with consumers turning to more user-friendly apps like Acorn, Affinity Photo, or Pixelmator. Adobe’s freemium offering is clearly an effort to compete better with those apps and get more people to sign up for Create Cloud subscriptions.