Adobe SDK brings Photoshop to app developers

11 Apr 2011

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Adobe is bringing out a new software development kit that will enable developers to create applications that interact with Photoshop CS5 software.

The Photoshop Touch SDK and a new scripting engine in Photoshop CS5 now opens the door for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS apps to drive and interact with Photoshop on the desktop.

Adobe also launched Creative Suite5.5, a significant mid-cycle release to the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow across print, video, mobile and online media.

Using the Touch SDK, Adobe has developed three initial Photoshop CS5 companion apps for Apple iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. The apps are designed to enable users to create custom colour swatches, paint and drive popular Photoshop tools from tablet devices.

“Our research shows that creatives are adopting tablets faster than any other group and we heard loud and clear that they want to use their devices to interact with Photoshop, the tool they depend on most of all,” said John Loiacono, senior vice-president and general manager, Digital Media Solutions, Adobe.

“The apps that we announced today show some of the creative ways tablets can work with Photoshop and over the next few months Photoshop’s vibrant developer community is going to dazzle us with innovative apps that further integrate tablet devices into creative workflows,” Loiacono said.

Adobe has developed three initial Photoshop Touch apps: Adobe Color Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav.

Adobe Color Lava

Adobe Color Lava allows creative professionals to use their fingertips to mix colours on the iPad, creating custom colour swatches and themes to transfer back into Photoshop.

Adobe Eazel

Adobe Eazel, which takes advantage of cutting-edge painting technology, lets digital artists create rich and realistic 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 taking the artwork further.

Adobe Nav

Adobe Nav increases workflow efficiency by letting users select and control Photoshop tools using the iPad as the input surface, customise the toolbar, browse and zoom in on up to 200 open Photoshop files or easily create new files. All three applications take advantage of the iPad tablet’s touch screen for a truly immersive, tactile, on-the-go experience.

While the first applications available are for the Apple iPad and the iOS, the Photoshop Touch SDK makes development possible on other devices, including Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com