Looking for a free Photoshop alternative for your phone? Adobe Photoshop Express editor is a photo editing app designed by Adobe Co. to edit photos on your Android and IOS easy and fast. It is really true? How good is this photo editor app and whom is it suitable for? Are there enough tools for professional image retouching? Let’s find it out below.
Photoshop Express, previously known as a Photoshop online service from Adobe, is a full-fledged, free application for photo editing. It is well designed and optimized, unlike Photoshop itself. Everything is immediately available, and even if you have never used a photo editor, different filters, tools, etc. – all this is placed in the main menu, so beginners won’t have any problems mastering this photo editor.
First, I want to remind you that both mobile and web Photoshop Express versions are completely FREE Adobe products (learn more about how to get Lightroom for free or download Photoshop free or Photoshop Elements free). The whole set of filter tools, in comparison with other best photo editing apps, is available without additional payment. The next, rather significant advantage is that advertising will not distract you. Many users believe that free photo editors are created specifically for advertisement, in order to recoup the project. In this Photoshop free app, you won’t see any ads. As a disadvantage, I would like to name the functionality of the editor. Though it is quite enough for basic image retouching, I needed more tools to edit faces and colors. For example, there are no brushes, which makes more accurate photo retouching impossible. You won’t find layers, so some tasks become too complicated or you can’t do them at all. Generally, the editor is good and can compete with such editors as BeFunky photo editor, Pixlr photo editor, IPiccy, and many others.
Speaking about the advantages of this application, I should say that the photo editor is well-designed and it won’t take you much time to understand how to use Adobe Photoshop Express. It has a simple, quite understandable interface with all the necessary tools for basic photo enhancement. The application is optimized for weak PCs, so it doesn’t offer many functions, as, for example, Adobe Photoshop. Nevertheless, the software does not support RAW files and this is a bad indicator for professional photographers. But if you take into consideration the fact that the Photoshop Express is completely free, it is not so bad. Of course, you may find another best free photo editor that supports RAW files, but its functionality is significantly weaker. Unfortunately, this photo editor isn’t aimed at professional image retouching. This Photoshop app free is suitable if you need to apply some filters, effects, correct colors – in other words, for the first stages of photo editing. In many situations, this is quite enough, for example, for posting photos to social networks.
Photoshop Express is supported on the following platforms:
Previously, Photoshop Express was an online editor or a mobile application. But recently Adobe decided to redesign the program, making it an individual, full-fledged application that can be found in the Windows Store.
As I mentioned earlier, Photoshop Express has remained FREE for many years for all platforms, like iOS or Windows. As for me, this makes the image editor so popular among consumers, even though it is not a photo retouching giant, but it offers a great variety of Adobe tools free of charge.
Despite the fact that the web version does not require a powerful computer, the desktop version still requires a bit of power for using it to its fullest. We recommend having a computer with the following minimum requirements:
Adobe Photoshop Express Windows:
Adobe Photoshop Express Android:
Adobe Photoshop Express iOS
Having opened the photo editor, you’ll see that Adobe Photoshop Express offers to upload a photo from a computer or take a picture using a camera. It’s probably all. Using it, you cannot create a new document, upload its URL link, or add a photo using Adobe Photoshop Cloud. After uploading the previously prepared photos from PC, I saw an interface quite similar to BeFunky. You will get some tools, such as Looks, Crop, Corrections, Spot Heal, Photoshop Express filters, fix red eye, and Borders. Next, I will analyze each of them and explain what they can do. On the top panel, there are also some tools such as: cancel or repeat the action, Auto Fix and Magnifier. You can also save or share a photo in social networks.
The “Looks” tool offers a huge number of Photoshop Express filters. To adjust the filter, the manufacturers added a slider, which helps enhance or reduce the selected effect. Examining the tool itself, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality that Adobe Photoshop Express offers. There are 7 filters available for different modes, like a portrait, a B&W photo or a landscape. However, the number of effects in each mode is quite impressive. There are at least 10 effects in each mode.
The next is a “Crop” tool. The tool is pretty well-designed and resembles Photoshop with the set of functions.
The tool offers to rotate the image in any direction and make a flip. You can align horizontally with the slider. Besides, there is an option to crop an image whether it is a post in Instagram, a title photo for Facebook or Pinterest.
The tool is smoothly done and has only positive reviews. Compared to Lightroom, they are quite similar.
The “Corrections” tool is made in the same style as “Looks”. There are 5 tools at your disposal, namely: light, color, effects, details and split tone. Also, selecting a specific item of this Photoshop Express online app, let's say “Light”, you will have access to a more detailed setting, which includes: exposure, contrast, shadows, and more.
To regulate each of the tools, you have a slider, which can easily tweak the tone or adjust the exposure. However, you might think that the slider will not give you a fairly accurate result. Truly speaking, I also thought so, until I tried it. I was really impressed, as the accuracy of this slider is tuned and honed at the highest level. Although the tools do not offer a more accurate setting as in Adobe Photoshop online, they are enough for a minor correction or the initial image retouching.
Next is the “Spot Heal” tool.
The tool is designed to blur the background, but in this case, I noticed some malfunctions. The tool worked poorly and sometimes did not perform its task.
To work with it, the photo editor clarifies that you should use a magnifying glass for a more accurate result in the necessary place. Similar to other tools, you get 1 slider. You shouldn’t play with it, as it is quite strong and 10px will be enough for work.
To test the “red eye” tool, I specifically used a photo that needs this image processing. There are two types of tools for such image retouching: people and pets. This is a pretty good solution, as there are cases when animal photos also require eye correction.
With a single click, I eliminated the red-eye effect. Adobe has significantly simplified this mode. Now you don’t need to select the problem eye area. You just need to click once and Adobe Photoshop Express editor will automatically apply the changes.
The latest Adobe Photoshop Express tool is “Borders”. It is available in three types: basic, edges and frames. As in the case with other tools, open one tool you’ll get about 10 different frame variations and other effects.
It is quite an interesting tool that offers a rich selection of different frames, which will help sometimes to decorate the photo.
After the photo has been retouched, the editor offers to save it to your hard drive, send it by mail, or print it immediately. You should remember that the editor is not designed to work with RAW files, only jpg. That’s why you can save the picture in one format only.
Photoshop Express is a free desktop photo editor from Adobe Co. It is equipped with basic tools for photo editing: filters, effects, color adjustment, and work with text. Photoshop alternative programs are Gimp, Pixlr, and Pain.NET.
The application is available for smartphones and tablets with Android, iOS, and Windows. It is one of the best free mobile photo editors with tight integration with Adobe Photoshop iCloud. Similar to PC version, it is completely free.
Let’s examine Adobe Photoshop Express in detail. There are 4 buttons on the start screen: camera, gallery, Creative Cloud and CC Libraries. The context menu contains information about the application and settings, which has the only “Show Tips” option. Clicking on it, you will again see pop-up windows with explanations, like on the first program running. Actually, this is all. You can’t adjust other settings. Now, let’s examine the main sections. After uploading the photo to the Adobe Photoshop Express editor, I saw a pleasant and intuitively-understandable interface. All the same tools and features as in the older version for PC. Photoshop Express provides a similar set of tools, namely: Looks, Crop, Corrections, Spot Heal, fix red eye and Borders, but in this editor version, you can also work with text.
Having examined the filters in detail, I saw absolutely the same set, which consists of 7 filters for different modes, each of which has approximately 10 additional effects. There is the same slider for more accurate manual filter settings.
With the “crop” tool, I saw a similar situation. All the same features that the tool has in the PC version – to expand and display the image, to crop the photo to the format you need and even for the definite social network. You can also use the auto mode. I tested it and did not find any problems. It aligns the image quite adequately. However, the only difference is that in the mobile version everything is divided into additional slots, for more convenience.
The next tool is “Corrections”, which allows you to adjust the light, tone, exposure, shadows, and other parameters. The tool is completely identical to the Photoshop free PC version. After selecting the contrast, you will get one slider for more precise settings and auto mode. By the way, in this case, I didn’t like the auto mode. After testing several modes, color correction, shadows, and exposure, I saw that the image was spoilt rather than improved. In PC version I didn’t have such a problem.
The “Spot Heal” tool allows you to blur the background or remove unnecessary objects. I tried to remove the stickers and the pipe on the bus. Just like in the PC version you just need to adjust the slider (my value was slightly above average) and click on the screen in the necessary place. Literally, in a couple of clicks, I got rid of the needless object. I was really pleased how the tool works, though there are some minor distortions. If you remember the PC version, there were more problems.
Photoshop Express online iPhone version also features “Text” tool. This is the first difference from the PC app. I left only positive Adobe Photoshop Express editor review about this tool, as I have never seen such an elaborate setting in any, even paid, photo retouching program. Primarily, we have several text styles/types, which will be applied to the photo. Then, you can select the font. The editor has a huge number of fonts, almost everything that is in the full-fledged Adobe Photoshop CS6. When you select any, you get a slider to adjust the size of the font.
Then, you have to choose the color from a diverse collection. It is adjusted with a slider. I was really surprised to see a more precise color setting, namely the color palette. You can manually choose a color, add it to the library, or, as I mentioned earlier, this app is synchronized with Adobe Cloud – download the previously used one, for instance, PC version of Photoshop or Lightroom. The last tool of this Photoshop app for iPhone allows you to apply and add a sticker, frame or an interesting border to the image. Sometimes this makes the picture fun and attractive.
After you have retouched the photo, you can save it to your smartphone or tablet, upload to a social network with added hashtags, send to mail or to Cloud Storage.
Having used the free Adobe mobile application, I had only positive impression. Firstly, it is a huge number of filters, effects, regulation of shadows, and exposure, color correction, etc. Secondly, though the mobile application is free, it doesn’t have advertising, which in comparison with other free image editors is a huge advantage. This app supports RAW files. I have never come across the mobile editors with support for this file format. The tight integration with Adobe Cloud Storage. This is a very useful feature for both beginners and professional photographers.
Undoubtedly, Adobe Photoshop Express editor is one of the best photo retouching programs, but this is relevant only for the mobile version. Unfortunately, PC version doesn’t feature enough tools. You won’t see masks, layers, brushes, and many other functions that are present in other free, full-fledged image editors. Let’s take GIMP for comparison. This is also a completely free PC application, however, its functionality and capabilities surpass Photoshop Express. Of course, Adobe Photoshop Express has the right to exist even in this form, and I am sure that it will find its users. Personally, I wish to have more tools.
I have mentioned earlier that I have only positive Adobe Photoshop Express iPhone reviews and thoughts. This is one of the best mobile applications, which simply has no competitors in both free and paid market segments. Almost perfect presentation of each tool, excellent and pleasant design, compatibility with Cloud Storage and no advertising. All this makes Adobe Photoshop Express Mobile a winner.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.