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Adobe promises big new features for Photoshop on the iPad after early complaints

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Subject Selection, Curves, Lightroom integration, and more

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Adobe is previewing a handful of upcoming features for Photoshop on the iPad today, just weeks after the app debuted to complaints that it was lacking core tools that people expect when using Photoshop. The company plans to add an impressive new AI-powered subject selection tool by the end of the year as well as push out an update that will speed up Cloud PSD syncing. Then, in the first half of 2020, Adobe intends to add the Refine Edge brush, Curves, additional adjustment layer tools, brush sensitivity features, and Lightroom integration.

Photoshop for the iPad debuted to high expectations, and that led to some immediate backlash when the app inevitably was lacking in features. For the first version, Adobe focused on “compositing, masking, and retouching,” saying those features are “core to almost any Photoshop-based project.” But it’s an enormous app, and that meant quite a bit would still be missing.

The Select Subject tool.
Image: Adobe

Adobe took early users’ feedback “very seriously,” writes Pam Clark, product manager for Photoshop. In her blog post announcing the upcoming features, Clark really tries to underscore how much the current iteration of Photoshop on the iPad is not Adobe’s idea of a final product, saying Adobe “started to scratch the surface of what’s possible and began our journey.”

Adobe product chief Scott Belsky previously called the early reviews “painful,” but he said the company could never have covered every need with the first version of the app. “if you try to make everybody happy w/ a v1, you’ll either never ship or make nobody happy,” he wrote on Twitter. Adobe has repeatedly said it’s planning faster updates for Photoshop on the iPad than on the desktop, and clearly, the company wants users to know that it’s not just sitting around.

The Refine Edge tool.
Image: Adobe