14 votes

Adobe plans to make Photoshop on the web free to everyone, beta in Canada

17 comments

  1. [15]
    Akir
    Link
    There is a rule that in tech journalism, there are only four possible stories that can be written about Adobe: Adobe buys company/product Adobe product gets new feature Adobe releases or axes a...

    There is a rule that in tech journalism, there are only four possible stories that can be written about Adobe:

    1. Adobe buys company/product

    2. Adobe product gets new feature

    3. Adobe releases or axes a product that nobody needs or wants

    4. Adobe comes up with a new scheme to get people to pay them

    This is #4. In fact, every time it comes to web versions of Adobe software, it's #4.

    Adobe has another photo editing product that is very important to professional photographers called Lightroom, and they are currently supporting three major versions of it; the web version, "Lightroom Classic", and a mobile version that they're half-heartedly trying to replace classic with. Lightroom Classic is the full featured one, and the other two are jokes that Adobe made just to insult their old users and entice new users.

    The one nice thing about Photoshop is that Adobe hasn't tried to replace it with the mobile version yet, but this web version is a pretty transparent attempt to market to new users when they appear to be losing a small bit of marketshare to competitors like ProCreate, Affinity Photo/Designer, and likewise. Adobe has no plans to make the web version of Photoshop feature-complete with the desktop version, and they're likely to stuff it with ads to make you pay for more than the most basic functionality - perhaps even charge you the full annual price of their Creative Cloud subscription even. And all the while their paying customers will still have to put up with their incredibly buggy DRM-laden desktop software that crashes all the time.

    8 votes
    1. [5]
      bub
      Link Parent
      Yes, I was momentarily (naively) excited, until I got to the second paragraph, where it says Guess I'm not getting rid of GIMP after all.

      Yes, I was momentarily (naively) excited, until I got to the second paragraph, where it says

      Adobe describes the service as “freemium” and eventually plans to gate off some features that will be exclusive to paying subscribers.

      Guess I'm not getting rid of GIMP after all.

      9 votes
      1. [4]
        drannex
        Link Parent
        When I discovered photopea.com I stopped using nearly all photo editing software, truly incredible offering there.

        When I discovered photopea.com I stopped using nearly all photo editing software, truly incredible offering there.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          I bought Affinity Photo for my photo editing needs, and I liked it so much I bought Affinity designer even though I don’t do much illustration work. It turns out that it’s not proprietary software...

          I bought Affinity Photo for my photo editing needs, and I liked it so much I bought Affinity designer even though I don’t do much illustration work.

          It turns out that it’s not proprietary software that I have problems with, it’s proprietary software that is low quality, abusive to its users, sold for exploitative prices, contain unreasonably restrictive mandatory licensing restrictions, and/or contain DRM and/or other software that snoop on the user that I have problems with.

          5 votes
          1. JakeTheDog
            Link Parent
            Yes! When I first bought Affinity Designer for my iPad, and then found out they had a desktop version, I had to do a triple take because I couldn't believe how powerful and complete it was, and...

            Yes! When I first bought Affinity Designer for my iPad, and then found out they had a desktop version, I had to do a triple take because I couldn't believe how powerful and complete it was, and all just for a one-time payment of a few bucks. I really looked hard to find the fine print (which was not there). I wonder if that's what a revolution feels like.

            2 votes
        2. Pistos
          Link Parent
          Interesting, though it looked and felt a little underpowered (compared to GIMP and Photoshop) in the few minutes I gave it a spin. Being asked to give a website read access to the local OS...

          Interesting, though it looked and felt a little underpowered (compared to GIMP and Photoshop) in the few minutes I gave it a spin. Being asked to give a website read access to the local OS clipboard also seems a bit scary.

    2. [9]
      JXM
      Link Parent
      The people who use Photoshop (and other Creative Cloud products) in a professional capacity do so because a) they need certain features in these programs that aren't available in other programs...

      The people who use Photoshop (and other Creative Cloud products) in a professional capacity do so because

      a) they need certain features in these programs that aren't available in other programs and

      b) to learn a new program would put a major damper on productivity. Companies aren't going to say, "Hey, take a month off to really learn the ins and outs of Affinity and we'll start using that once you can be just as productive as you were before."

      These people are locked in and unwilling or unable to change products. But a seismic shift in the capabilities of Photoshop would be enough to overcome a lot of that resistance. As bad a company as Adobe is, they know that if they replaced desktop Photoshop with the mobile version, they would instantly be crucified. People would switch to alternatives in droves.

      Having said that...most people who want to use Photoshop don't need the full desktop version. They can easily get away with a simplified web version that offers a decent subset of popular features. I don't see that as a bad thing.

      5 votes
      1. [8]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        Hi, I use Photoshop in a professional capacity. And I can tell you that although, yes, there are some things that Photoshop has that other programs do not (Adobe holds many patents), they...

        Hi, I use Photoshop in a professional capacity. And I can tell you that although, yes, there are some things that Photoshop has that other programs do not (Adobe holds many patents), they generally don't do things you couldn't achieve in other half-decent image editing programs, and most of them just save a small bit of effort. And while I am sure there are companies who value throughput rather than quality, generally speaking creative fields have different expectations on how long things take to complete.

        The real reason why Photoshop is still king is largely built around their pipelining technologies that interrelate with their other products. If you use another editor, you might have to export your photos into a lossy format for your video editors to use on title cards, and as changes are made you will have to export again and make sure that the team is using the latest version. Adobe has integration tools that mean that you don't have to bother with any of those steps; your project will just automatically use the latest version.

        Beyond that, they also have the benefit of the infinite feedback loop of being the industry standard. Studios and other employers will provide Photoshop because it's what all the creative people know, and creative people spend time learning Photoshop because it's the industry standard that all the employers will be providing to them. And that's also made worse by good old-fashioned vendor lock-in. AFAIK there are zero non-Adobe applications that have 100% compatability with any of Adobe's proprietary formats. The company I work for pays $119.88 to Adobe every year because the manufacturers we deal with sometimes don't give us a choice and only offer their marketing graphics in PSD.

        Linus Tech Tips actually made a video about why they stick with Premier which goes over much of what I've talked about.

        5 votes
        1. [7]
          JXM
          Link Parent
          For some context, I'm a professional video editor who (unfortunately) spends a good portion of my day using Adobe's apps. My job is a mix of live multi-cam production and shooting/editing non-live...

          For some context, I'm a professional video editor who (unfortunately) spends a good portion of my day using Adobe's apps. My job is a mix of live multi-cam production and shooting/editing non-live videos.

          That small bit of effort that Photoshop saves (either because they do something better or easier than someone else or because of their integration between apps) is a massive point of lock in. It makes people's jobs easier. And I would say that integration with other Adobe programs falls into that category of features that no one else has. Whether that's because of Adobe's products actually being better or because of patents keeping others from integrating with them is irrelevant...it's just the reality.

          Beyond that, they also have the benefit of the infinite feedback loop of being the industry standard. Studios and other employers will provide Photoshop because it's what all the creative people know, and creative people spend time learning Photoshop because it's the industry standard that all the employers will be providing to them.

          Back to my point in my previous comment, if companies are unwilling to invest the time it would take for people to learn a new app, then it's extremely hard to leave Adobe.

          I haven't watched that LTT video since it came out, but I do remember Linus talking explicitly about this (either in this video or others). He has said that if they all took a month off to learn new software, their productivity would drop and they'd make less money. To one of your points...in every job I've had in the creative field, you still have deadlines and hard stop dates for when things have to be done. It's not like you can just do less work and still have the same level of income. It might not matter to the degree that it does in other industries, but productivity does matter quite a bit.

          But to my original point in my previous comment...I think Adobe knows that they can't just abandon the old Photoshop completely. I think they saw what happened to Apple with Final Cut Pro X, which took Final Cut from industry standard to basically a non-entity in professional video editing, and want to avoid that. That's why they kept Lightroom Classic around. Even if it's the neglected step-child, it's still available. That's what makes me think that Adobe won't just abandon their desktop apps for a long time.

          All that said, I do agree with you. I would absolutely love it if there were more viable competitors in the truly professional design/photography/video space. Adobe's licensing scheme is garbage and most of their apps are buggy messes that we only put up with because, as you said...everyone else uses them.

          3 votes
          1. [6]
            Akir
            Link Parent
            I do wish you had actually watched that LTT video again, because one thing to note is that he very explicitly did not compare industry leading competitors like AVID because the conceit of the...

            I do wish you had actually watched that LTT video again, because one thing to note is that he very explicitly did not compare industry leading competitors like AVID because the conceit of the video was to get better pricing on licenses. There are many more viable competitors in the field of video editing than there are in the photography/graphic design/digital art fields when it comes to professional production.

            In any case, I think that the way that both you and Linus bring up productivity in regards to creative work is a mistake. All value in a creative work is made by the people who do the work, not by the tools they use. Most of the creative people I see working (including myself) spend a nontrivial amount of time looking back at their work trying to figure out what their next move will be, and no tool is going to make that any shorter. The only two things that your tools can do to make it better are generally going to be to make access to it easier (which I think Adobe is generally good at given their extensive customization and macro tools) or to make those operations faster (which is where competition like Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve is better). And in the case of Premier in particular most people fail to take into account how much productivity is lost by how often it hangs and crashes.

            And let's be real here; the man reason I'm bitching about this web version of Photoshop is because it's more developer resources that could have been used cleaning up their codebase to make things more reliable for everyone and implementing long-desired features like having a native Linux port. Adobe is a blatent rent seeker; literally everything they do is for the sake of finding ways to increase their revenue.

            1. [4]
              lou
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              As someone who worked as a video editor for many years, I don't think you realize how important it is for all your software to be integrated. Of course the creative value is inherent to the...

              In any case, I think that the way that both you and Linus bring up productivity in regards to creative work is a mistake. All value in a creative work is made by the people who do the work, not by the tools they use.

              As someone who worked as a video editor for many years, I don't think you realize how important it is for all your software to be integrated. Of course the creative value is inherent to the professional and not the tools, but the ability to deliver on a deadline is extremely dependent on the tools you use. Being able to edit your graphics on Photoshop, treat your audio on Audition, and create your compositions on After Effects, have everything automagically update on Premiere with no render time and then export using the awesome Adobe Media Encoder is a very big deal and more than justify the investment if you're getting paid for it.

              4 votes
              1. [3]
                Akir
                Link Parent
                Yes, that was brought up earlier. Honestly I am frustrated that nobody seems to understand what I mean so I am just going to give up trying to explain for now.

                Yes, that was brought up earlier. Honestly I am frustrated that nobody seems to understand what I mean so I am just going to give up trying to explain for now.

                1. [2]
                  lou
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  I'm sorry I caused you to feel frustrated :(

                  I'm sorry I caused you to feel frustrated :(

                  2 votes
                  1. Akir
                    Link Parent
                    My lizard brain is very upset but I know that you didn’t mean to have that effect. Most of the frustration is just because it’s morning here.

                    My lizard brain is very upset but I know that you didn’t mean to have that effect. Most of the frustration is just because it’s morning here.

                    1 vote
            2. hungariantoast
              Link Parent
              Yeah as a student I get free access to Photoshop and Illustrator but because my laptop runs Linux I either need to: Use pirated older versions of the software under Wine Run the software in a...

              native Linux port

              Yeah as a student I get free access to Photoshop and Illustrator but because my laptop runs Linux I either need to:

              • Use pirated older versions of the software under Wine
              • Run the software in a virtual machine with weird pass through rules for my drawing display
              • Just install the software on my gaming computer and deal with syncing files between machines

              All of those options suck and as a result I just don’t and won’t use Adobe’s products. GIMP, Krita, and Inkscape are good alternatives. Krita is a downright better program for digital painting. I also recently got an iPad and Procreate because I wanted something more portable for digital art and I’m slowly falling in love with it.

              I’ve spent $1500+ on software, hardware, and donations because Adobe sucks and won’t support Linux. In a different timeline that money might have gone to them.

              2 votes
  2. Weldawadyathink
    Link
    Just an announcement to anyone who uses Mac and might need photoshop: buy pixelmator pro. It’s a one time purchase that is cheaper than a single month of creative cloud. I’m sure it can’t fully...

    Just an announcement to anyone who uses Mac and might need photoshop: buy pixelmator pro. It’s a one time purchase that is cheaper than a single month of creative cloud. I’m sure it can’t fully replace photoshop for a professional, but for light to medium duty photo editing it has been spectacular. It also has some cool AI features. I am not paid in any way, just a happy customer.

    2 votes
  3. Muffin
    Link
    I think the moment I don't have access to Creative Cloud from my job I'm learning alternative softwares. I've been using Adobe products for about 18 years, 10 of them professionally in marketing...

    I think the moment I don't have access to Creative Cloud from my job I'm learning alternative softwares. I've been using Adobe products for about 18 years, 10 of them professionally in marketing roles.

    I don't see Adobe messing up the "pro" version of Photoshop any time soon, though.

    1 vote