Adobe has started testing a free-to-use version of Photoshop on the web and has plans to open the service up to everyone.
The company is now testing the free version in Canada, where users can access Photoshop on the web through a free Adobe account. Adobe describes the service as “freemium” and eventually plans to seal off some features that will be exclusive to paying subscribers.
“We want to make [Photoshop] more accessible and easier for more people to try it out and experience the product,” says Maria Yap, Adobe’s VP of digital imaging.
Now, any Photoshop subscriber can log in and start a new document straight from the web.
Adobe’s goal is to use the web version of Photoshop to make the app more accessible and potentially attract users who’ll want to pay for the full version in long term. The company has taken a similar route with several of its mobile apps, including Fresco and Express. The web version of Photoshop is an important offering since it opens one of the company’s most powerful tools up to Chromebooks, which are widely used in schools.
“I want to see Photoshop meet users where they’re at now,” Yap says. “You don’t need a high-end machine to come into Photoshop.”
The company is updating Photoshop for the web with more tools, including refined edge, curves, dodge and burn tools, and the ability to convert Smart Objects. The web version is also getting mobile support for reviewing and commenting on images.
Adobe also previewed a new AI-powered Neural Filter today that’s coming to Photoshop proper. The new “photo restoration” filter can take a beaten-up yellowed photo and automatically clean up scratches and restore some of its colors. When combined with Adobe’s existing colorize filter for adding color to black-and-white photos, the two filters can quickly bring an old photo to life.