Looking back at it now, it’s really funny to think that a little more than a year ago when the iPad first came out many people saw it as nothing more than a web browsing device.  Sure, the device didn’t have bad specs at all for its time but admittedly the first generation iPad was nowhere near comparable to the improvements Apple made in the iPhone 4 just a couple of months later.  Now with the release of the second generation iPad, Apple has really gone all-out in making the consumer tablet device more power-packed and able to take on much more resource-intensive tasks.  The new dual-core A5 processor, for example, gives the device the ability to rum much more demanding (and entertaining) games and opens the door for a whole new era of professional tablet applications; a component that I feel is key in making the iPad a part of day-to-day professional life.

With the iPad 2 sporting absolutely stunning graphics it was only a matter of time until someone took advantage of them for something productive.  This week Adobe – a company known for their advanced professional media applications – has released three apps in the iPad’s App Store utilizing the “Photoshop” brand name.  Now, when this news first caught my eye earlier today I initially was under the impression that Adobe had released a fully featured version of Adobe Photoshop for the iPad.  Needless to say I was a bit let down when I found out that the applications weren’t in any way close to being mobile versions of Photoshop, but nonetheless I think Adobe deserves kudos for what they have released.

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The first app, dubbed Adobe Nav and running at just $1.99 allows for users of the Photoshop application on desktop computer to use their iPad tablet as a navigation and input device for Photoshop.  For example the device gives users access to menus and tools, ultimately allowing them more usable screen real-estate on their desktops.  Conceptually speaking this is a really cool idea because it takes advantage of the iPad during a time when it would otherwise be laying idle on a desk or inside a bag.  Moreover I feel that the application is interestingly focused more towards personal users than anything else, as your “professionals” who use Photoshop as an actual income-generating tool typically have one or more large monitors that they already use to accomplish the task.  Still, for under two dollars I think this app has a bit of potential for all iPad and Photoshop owners.

Second up is Adobe Color Lava.  Weighing in at $2.99, this application focuses on the color design and selection process by allowing individuals to mix colors and come up with color schemes on their iPad devices.  Personally this is the application that appeals most to me, as I work in a design-focused industry and know how useful this type of application would be in allowing customers and designers to create and select colors.  Of course this particular application is really designed for more of a specific task, but I think that by utilizing the iPad’s high-resolution screen to display these colors more crisply the application will definitely have an in with many industries.

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Last off, Adobe Eazel ($4.99) brings finger-painting into the modern ages by allowing for end-users to utilize the iPad’s touch screen – something that Apple has done a wonderful job in developing and refining over the years – to “paint” pictures that can later be transferred over to Photoshop for more fine-tuned work.  While I really don’t see all that many uses for this particular offering, I still think that it has the potential to be used for sketching out rough ideas or simply messing around with recreationally.

All of these apps are now available in the App Store and can be used in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop CS5 version 12.0.4.  In all honesty, though, I still have to say that I’m disappointed that this is all that Adobe is offering thus far.  I really expected that after this amount of time the company would have been able to get something more advanced (kind of like Photoshop Elements for the iPad) off the ground and into the hands of consumers.  Nonetheless, this is surely progress and goes to show that we may be seeing more offerings from Adobe in the future.


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