Free, Simplified Photoshop Goes Online

Photoshop Express logo

Adobe Photoshop Express has gone online — a free product from Adobe. I haven’t dug into it to see what it does and doesn’t do. The reviews that I’ve seen aren’t crazy about it. It’s designed for rank amateurs. It interfaces with some online photo sharing apps, and at least one review said it will work with Flickr soon, although other reviews say it’s not as good as Picnik.

It also offers a variety of sharing options, including emailing, building one’s own online “Gallery” hosted by Adobe, and embedding or linking photos hosted by Adobe to social networking sites and blogs. There was an uproar about the terms of service and ownership, which Adobe says it’s rewriting.

What I find interesting is that these online editing tools may make more sophisticated photo editors and, eventually, photographers of people who don’t know that much about photography by offering them such functionality as exposure compensation and white balance. If it does make posting and sharing easier, then it’ll encourage more of that, too.

Like other Adobe apps, however, the documentation is terrible, and the app is definitely not self-explanatory to its supposed target audience of people who’ve never used Adobe. Adobe’s big Achilles heel is its documentation, with usability not far behind.

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