VERDICT: Photoshop Express, previously known as a Photoshop online service from Adobe, is a full-fledged, free application for photo editing. 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.
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.
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.
This app supports RAW files and has tight integration with Creative Cloud. The only drawback is the speed of work, as the editor is slower compared to its analogs.
Adobe Photoshop Express is designed only for Windows and iOS platforms. If you use Mac OS, I recommend paying attention to the full version of Photoshop.
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. Although the tools do not offer a more accurate setting as in Photoshop, they are enough for a minor correction.
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.
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.
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. With the “crop” tool, I saw a similar situation. All the same features that the tool has in the PC version.
The next tool is “Corrections”, which allows you to adjust the light, tone, exposure, shadows, and other parameters. 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.
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.
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, colors and layouts.
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.
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.
Photoshop Express for Windows is completely free, but if we are talking about a mobile application, you can buy a premium version, which includes cloud storage, tight integration with Creative Cloud and several advanced tools. The cost is $9.99 a month.