Mobile for the iPhone

Photoshop may be a huge application, but that isn't stopping Adobe from trying to pack some of that image editing horsepower into your pocket. Mobile is Adobe's photo editing app for the iPhone, and users looking for some casual image manipulation tools, it might be just enough. Mobile doesn't offer all of the features in Photoshop, but it can crop, rotate and flip images, adjust exposure and saturation, and convert images to black and white. It also includes sketch and soft focus filters, along with several image effects.

Tap to select effects tools.

The application can edit images that are already on your iPhone, or take a new photo with the built-in camera. Before you start editing Mobile duplicates the photo and makes changes to the copy so your original is safe an unaltered in case you don't like how your edits look.

The app's touch-based interface is easy to use. The effects and editing tools run across the top of your image -- just tap the effect you want to apply and your image immediately shows the changes. Exposure, Saturation and Tint include swipe-based controls that let you slide your finger left or right to control the effect's intensity, and the Crop tool works via tap-and-drag.

While the swipe-based controls are intuitive and easy to use, they don't offer the fine-tuned control Photoshop pros might want.

Multiple effects can be applied to images. Mobile includes several pre-set effects such as Sketch, Soft Focus, Vibrant, Warm Vintage, Soft Black and White, and Vignette Blur. For the most part, the effects look fine, but there isn't any way make fine-tune adjustments which limits their overall usefulness for anyone that wants more than cookie cutter effects.

Once an image has been edited, it can be saved or saved and uploaded to the Web site for online viewing and sharing. Users hoping to send their masterpieces to Flickr or other image sharing services are out of luck.

The Bottom Line
Expecting Photoshop's full feature set in a pocket-sized device is a little impractical -- at least for now -- so it's no surprise that Mobile is limited in comparison. Its tools are easy to learn and use, and there isn't anything extra cluttering up or confusing the interface, which makes it well-suited for casual or beginning users. Users hoping for more control over the built-in effects, however, will find the app a little limited.

Product: Mobile

Company: Adobe

List Price: Free

Vendor Price: Free



Easy to use, swipe-based effect controls are intuitive and fit well with the iPhone's touch-based interface. Images are copied before editing.


Limited number of editable effects, is the only supported online image sharing service.