Last Updated: August 2nd, 2012

At midnight EST, Adobe released the much-anticipated  family of Touch Apps to the Android Market, bringing an incredible array of design tools to Android 3.1+ tablets everywhere for $9.99 a pop. The list of included apps is, no doubt, impressive, including Kuler, Photoshop Touch, Debut, Ideas, Collage, and Proto. We've got full, hands-on reviews of each in the works, but in the meantime, it's worth summing up each of the apps individually.

Creative Cloud

Before digging into the individual apps, it's important to mention Adobe's Creative Cloud. The Creative Cloud is what brings Adobe's Touch Apps together, allowing users to upload and download content in a variety of formats to and from the cloud, connecting Android Tablets and desktop machines. This is brilliant, mainly because users can pull a variety of Adobe file formats to just about all of the Touch Apps, as well as pushing and pulling color themes from Kuler to other apps (more on that later).

Not only do the Touch Apps connect to the Creative Cloud, but users can pull assets from other sources as well, including Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, their device's camera, and even Google Searches.

Those who buy one of Adobe's Touch Apps will have access to the Creative Cloud, which offers an ample 20GB of cloud storage for free. Adobe representatives did not reveal plans to expand to a subscription-based service, but indicated that any such decision would be made on a need basis.

Photoshop Touch

First up is Photoshop Touch, a name that grabs attention, and rightfully so. While PS Touch is definitely a stripped down version of its desktop counterpart, it has all the functionality you really need, plus a few extra quirks and handy tricks for photo editing on the fly. All of your basic manipulation options are present, including curves, cropping, resizing, sharpening, etc., despite functioning in more simplistic ways. Also present are the more basic "fx" functions, allowing for creepy vignettes, half-toning, and various other generic effects.

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As with all of the new apps, PS Touch has an incredibly easy, intuitive interface, and genuinely raises the bar for mobile image editing.


Based on Adobe's popular online color scheme tool, Kuler is one of my personal favorites in the Touch lineup, offering a highly sophisticated color theming solution, allowing users to create various color themes from images, captured photos, or their imagination, according to rules which dictate what type of scheme will result (ie monochromatic, complementary, triad, etc.). Users can also fine-tune color schemes to their exact liking, allowing for a practically unlimited range of options.

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Color schemes can also be pulled from the cloud, and users can choose from previously saved schemes as well as those uploaded by other users. Kuler may look simple at first glance, but it is certainly a highly versatile, sophisticated app, particularly when considering that saved themes can be pulled by other apps as well, giving you quick access to all your favorite colors and their respective tonal harmonies.


Adobe Ideas is an app that has actually been available for iOS for a while now, but the key difference between its previous iteration and Android implementation is its connectivity to the Creative Cloud. Adobe Ideas is marketed as an app that allows users to utilize inspiration "as it hits," providing a sharp set of vector drawing tools and compatibility with Kuler, which come together to form a surprisingly versatile app, making it easy for users to come up with ideas based on their surroundings or imagined concepts with handy support for both photo and drawing layers.

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Adobe Debut provides a nice presentation solution, pulling together all your efforts from the other members of the Touch App family, and assets from the cloud as well. Users can import multiple file types at once, and even choose which layers will remain visible in the final presentation. Besides a dynamic slideshow interface, debut offers a variety of markup tools, allowing users to make note of suggestions or thoughts on the fly, applying them to any slide, and making them invisible again for presentation.

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The concept behind this app is simple, but it is executed flawlessly. Debut is another great example of the potential of the Creative Cloud in facilitating designers and artists with easy, intuitive mobile workflow options.


Proto is Adobe's solution to web design on the fly, using the Creative Cloud coupled with an extremely intuitive gesture-based design system to create an incredibly easy experience in preliminary web design.

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Proto allows for a variety of practical options, facilitating multiple pages (which can be actively linked together from within the app), video embedding, image placement, text flow, font formatting, interactive element creation, and much much more. The number of features packed into this app is simply astonishing, especially given its breezy, hassle-free interface.


Finally, we have Adobe Collage, an app that is geared toward the creation of conceptual mood boards. For those unfamiliar with the idea, a mood board is essentially a conglomeration of images, words, markup, and other media that represent a fragmented conceptualization of the overall tone, theme, or mood of a project. For example, the art director for a fashion shoot may collaborate with stylists as well as hair and makeup artists to create a mood board, showing how all the stylistic elements come together in a common conceptualization.

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Collage really shows off Adobe's Creative Cloud integration, because mood boards are heavily reliant on images. What's unique in Collage, however, is that the user can actually include video clips from YouTube, which are playable as part of the mood board, and can be rotated, resized, and marked over. Users can also perform image searches based on color, an awesome feature that makes Collage all the more versatile.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Adobe has made an incredibly strong showing with the release of the Touch family of apps, providing artists and designers with innumerable tools and methods of conceptualizing, beginning, continuing, and presenting their work. I am both impressed by Adobe's new collection, and fully satisfied, as every app in the family lives up to the standard I'd expect from the authority in digital media creation.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • abhinav

    nice :)

  • DM

    Nice Indeed but a cheaper pack version would be great for professionals...

  • RazorHail

    why is everything so LAGGY on the videos??

  • Mikkan

    I agree with Razorhail, it's still a bit laggy. But it's just version 1 and tablets now are a bit underpowered for those tasks. Very interesting nonetheless, specially Proto.

    Web editors should reinvent themselves, seeing Proto and going back to dreamweaver is as painful as going back in time and kissing my mother.

  • Rosjer

    Howcome Market says my Desire HD is not compatible? Would think it was more than powerfull enough.... :(

    • http://www.liamspradlin.com Liam Spradlin

      As the market listings indicate, only Android 3.1+ tablets are supported. No word on whether phones will ever be included.

      • Rosjer

        Aahhh didn't see that, cheers for the info :)

  • Matt

    Personally I think some of these stand alone are over priced. I won't have a tablet until the prime launches but I'll definitely be looking to get photoshop, proto and ideas. That way I'll have tablet friendly versions of my fav programmes in the adobe suite.

  • Josh Rice

    Do these require AIR to run? If so that's probably why they're so laggy.

  • Greg

    So even though one of Adobe's own created videos show this being used on a phone, it says that it requires Android 3.1 and up. This pretty much rules out any phone being able to use any of these products.

    That sucks since I don't have a tablet.

  • http://www.jimhubel.com JimH

    Does Adobe Ideas really only have a single drawing layer? I was so excited until I heard that. I'll stick to scetchbook pro and their 6 layers (any of them can be a photo layer)

  • http://www.jimhubel.com JimH

    LOL - I guess I can "purchase nine additional layers for even greater control." Oh, adobe.... is there anything you won't try to make a buck on? Any word on layer prices? (god, I can't believe that's an actual question I have to ask)

    • http://www.liamspradlin.com Liam Spradlin

      I haven't heard anything about purchasing extra layers, that does sound a bit ridiculous.

  • http://www.jimhubel.com JimH

    I just found out that Android doesn't have the feature to buy any extra layers, and we have to vote (seriously???) on if paying for extra layers is something we'd like. my god.

  • Dan

    As a person who uses Photoshop to paint pictures, and with detail, i wouldn't really rely on a tablet version of PS to satisfy what i would need it for. Taking out power and speed needed, i would wait until a tablet could accept my wacom tablet,(different kind of hardware if you don't know,) as an input and use it to Photoshop's full advantage by utilizing it's pressure sensitivity and accuracy. Plus have all functionality in it. Really, with tablet's limitations, i would only see this taking place if they made a program that remoted into your computer to only access your own Photoshop CS5... or what ever in on your pc, and use your wacom or main screen to control that. This would make the rendering and stuff rely on your home setup and not your tablet.
    Yeah. But as for on the go, and presentation, i see these other apps as amazing and useful.

    • http://www.liamspradlin.com Liam Spradlin

      I would have to agree with you that these apps don't provide anywhere near the versatility of using a wacom tablet/desktop configuration, but for getting things rolling/producing concepts, they're wonderful. I look forward to seeing how Adobe updates these apps in the future, and I would say tablet compatibility is somewhere on their list.

  • http://www.adobe.com And-me

    Has anyone used Adobe Collage? Any first hand reviews?

  • fiona

    I wanted to use Kuler but "The Adobe Kuler mobile app requires a tablet running Android 3.1 or higher, an 8.9-inch display or larger, and a minimum screen resolution of 1280x800. An Internet connection is required to transfer files with Adobe Creative Cloud ". So not OK for my Archos 70 then.

  • http://www.maketheclearsolution.net rob gonzales

    Horrible marketing you have to use their cloud service $149/month to be able to share files to a pc, you can't save the file on your tablet and use a sdcard or usbdrive, or email it.

    There are many other free alternatives that let you do the same thing for free and transfer files for free.

    I spoke with Adobe several occasions, even their staff is clueless, they have an android team, but they don't know much, nor pre-sales, or tech support. Finally after 1 week I got an email stating it was impossible to share files outside of their expensive cloud service.

    Then 90% of people who use it can't get their files to adobe cloud anyway. Adobe is no help to them, so users have un-answered, un-resolved tech issues in adobe forums and support.

    They should offer it free for 10GB or something, these apps are failures for this reason, don't waste your money.