Photoshop Mix is a touch-friendly app that will have your creative juices pouring out all over your iPad. The app uses web-based imaging technology to help you create stunning photo compositions.
What is Photoshop Mix?
Photoshop Mix is primarily designed for compositing and masking images on your iPad. It's not loaded with lots of the image editing and adjustments tools you'll find Lightroom or Photoshop Touch. Instead, it offers non-destructive photo editing (where the original image is not altered) with the ability to cut-out and mix images in two layers.
One of the stand-out features of Photoshop Mix is its integration with Adobe's Creative Cloud (CC) service. It's a twofold approach: the first being you can load PSD files that are stored through Creative Cloud; and the second is that some of the image processing itself takes place in the cloud.
Adobe's pioneering technology means that you're not restricted by the memory and hardware limitations of the iPad, giving greater flexibility than what would otherwise be available.
Besides Creative Cloud, Photoshop Mix allows you to retrieve and edit pictures from your Facebook albums, from Lightroom Mobile, from your iPad camera roll, or by taking a picture through your iPad directly.
So, what can you do with it?
Photoshop Mix is comprised of a number of tools that let you get creative with your images:
The cut out tool allows you to cut out parts of your picture with a smart selector that works like the magic wand in Photoshop, sliding your fingers across the screen to make the selection. The 'add/subtract' selector helps you refine the selection, while you can soften the edges of the selection with the 'feather edges' tool.
Depending on the nature of the part you try to isolate, the result of the selection can be pretty good or not so good, but that seems a limitation that a touch screen inevitably have, as you can’t really get a pixel precision using the tip of a finger. Nevertheless, when you work on elements that have clearly defined edges, the results are more than satisfying.
The looks tool in Photoshop Mix boasts 21 filters of decent quality which, if used properly, can enhance your shots. There are no options for personalizing their parameters, so you get what you're given.
The crop tool allows you to crop freely, adjusting the picture proportions by hand using the eight 'anchor points' at the corners and sides of the image. Alternatively, you can choose one of the classic default shapes. Crop mode also lets you rotate the image by holding and circling your finger around the canvas
The enhance tool allows you to adjust four different values: exposure, contrast, clarity, and saturation.
The more edits menu contains three of the more interesting tools: upright, shake reduction, and content-aware fill. Upright straightens pictures. Shake reduction makes your image sharper. Content-aware fill is the equivalent of Photoshop’s Clone tool. These effects are applied through Creative Cloud rather than locally through the app.
Not a one-size fits all solution
As with Lightroom, Adobe has done a great job in harnessing the touch capabilities of the iPad and addressing the peculiarities of photo editing.
Photoshop Mix supports layers (albeit only two) and transparency, giving you the opportunity to perform edits that other mobile photo apps won't allow. It's not a comprehensive editing suite on its own, but more like a complimentary app to Lightroom and the rest of the Creative Cloud line-up.