April 11, 2011, 9:41 AM — With the launch of Adobe's Creative Suite 5.5 upgrade--the debut of a mid-cycle release schedule of its design and development software for creative pros--comes a new twist to Photoshop. Adobe has introduced the Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit (SDK), which will allow developers to create mobile and tablet applications that interact with its flagship image editor over a Wi-Fi connection.
The Photoshop Touch SDK, paired with a new scripting engine in Photoshop CS5.5, paves the way for iOS apps and other platform apps to drive and interact with Photoshop on the desktop. The SDK does not alter the core Photoshop CS5 and CS5 Extended programs, but serves to underscore and extend their major concentration in mobile development.
What can developers do with the Photoshop Touch SDK? Adobe has conveniently used its new toy to develop three initial Photoshop CS5 companion apps for the Apple iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop, and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. The apps let users create custom color swatches, paint, and drive Photoshop tools from the iPad.
Users can employ their fingertips to mix colors on the iPad, creating custom color swatches and themes to transfer back into Photoshop. Adobe Eazel, which uses advanced painting technology, lets digital artists create paintings with their fingertips and introduces a new kind of interaction between "wet" and "dry" paints.
These paintings can then be sent directly to Photoshop CS5 for compositing or for further tweaking of the artwork. Adobe Nav is designed to boost workflow efficiency by letting users select and control Photoshop tools using the iPad as an input surface. You can use it to customize the toolbar, browse and zoom in up to 200%, open Photoshop files, or create new files.
While the first applications available are for the Apple iPad and the iOS, the Photoshop Touch SDK also makes development possible on other devices for other platforms, including Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.
Developers can access the free Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK now on the Adobe Developer Center. Current Photoshop CS5 customers can examine the connection to devices by downloading and installing a free patch available on Adobe's Website or via the Adobe Application Manager beginning May 3. Adobe hopes the developer community will take its cue from the first three apps to create a broad range of new apps.
Macworld got a sneak peek at the apps. Here's our First Look at Color Lava, Eazel, and Nav.
Adobe Color Lava