Adobe launches Photoshop on the web beta — as well for Chromebooks!

Introduction

By chance, I looked into the keynote of this year’s Adobe Max. There was suddenly the talk of Photoshop on the web (beta) 😀.

You strongly pay attention as a Chromebook fan, especially since they also showed a Google Pixelbook Go [review by techradar] as part of the keynote. That’s the same device I’m currently traveling around the world with and wrote this post, for example 😉.

One of the killer arguments against Chromebooks or Chrome OS is that specific standard professional tools, such as Photoshop, are not available with an unrestricted feature set like on macOS or Windows. If Adobe changed precisely this in the wake of this news, it would, of course, be a big step for Chromebooks, if even the original is made available for it. 🙂

The news

I prefer not to beat around the bush and summarize the whole keynote here. Adobe unveiled great new features across the entire Adobe Creative Cloud product line.

You can watch the “Adobe MAX Keynote: Create Tomorrow Together” in full on YouTube here: Link. Starting at about 21:05 minutes, it’s about the news I’m referring to here. There, a Photoshop expert introduces Photoshop on the web. There is still an “alpha” at the beginning of the URL, but don’t let that bother you. He performs a few minor changes with it, which are not precisely earth-shattering if you’re used to Photoshop. Still, free tools or commercial alternatives already partially push one to its limits. What’s exciting is that it’s all done in the browser. 🙂

Adobe highlights the aspect of web collaboration here, based on Photoshop and a document in the cloud. (Comments ⇨ Markups ⇨ Easy editing options).

At 24:03, they did show the Pixelbook Go after a few other genres of devices, on which Photoshop will be made available to millions more on the web without installation. Great! 😀 Key Speaker Scott briefly introduced the collaboration with Google, without which this move towards Chrome would not be possible.

A Google representative is even on hand. Hiroshi Lockheimer. This one highlights the evolution of the web from static pages to today’s powerful web apps and that people now just want to use them. Like Google Maps, for example. He also points to new web technologies (“Web GPU” and “WebAssembly”) such as graphics card acceleration for web apps that will enable even more. That, of course, has a positive impact on porting Photoshop to the web. Listen to the conversation. It’s fascinating. Both companies are very motivated. 🙂

Here’s an overview from Adobe of what’s new in the different versions of Photoshop for desktop, mobile, and now web:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/whats-new.html

Here you can find a feature overview of Photoshop on the web (beta):

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/whats-new/web-2022.html

Here is an overview of the available tools:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/workspace-web.html

Illustrator is also supposed to be moved to the web soon.

Important Notes

Notes for beginners: My posts usually contain some basics that you can understand how to proceed. I partly repeat the basics in other posts, so you don’t have to jump back and forth all the time.

Here is the meaning of the abbreviations after the headings: [E] Everyone [A] Advanced [B] Beginner [P] Professional

If you still miss something, feel free to comment. The community will try to help you! 🙂

Notes for professionals: My posts usually have the form of a knowledge base entry and should be equally suitable for beginners, advanced users, and professionals. Just pick out what you need immediately. You can also find content specifically targeted to professionals. These are marked accordingly with [P] and other finger points.

Do you want to have more professional content on a topic? Add it to the comments 😉

Disclaimer of liability: As always on this blog, I warn you that all changes to your system mentioned in this post are at your own risk! It is theoretically possible that there are system or application errors that could lead to data loss and further problems!

How to test Photoshop on the web on your Chromebook?

Before you can start, you should first check the system requirements:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/system-requirements-web.html

Photoshop is also available in other languages like French, German, Spanish etc. on the web.

Unfortunately, you’ll need a relatively expensive Creative Cloud subscription and Adobe-approved beta access to the new Photoshop version. Once that’s the case, you’re good to go.

For now, it’s still a bit difficult to launch Photoshop on the web. Adobe’s blog links to the Creative Cloud as an entry point. You open that, sign in, open a Photoshop document from your Creative Cloud with the Cloud Viewer, and then say “Open in Photoshop on the Web (Beta)” in the top-right corner. Then you’re good to go. In Photoshop itself, you can then also create a new document.

Can’t picture it that way yet? Don’t worry. Below, I have illustrated this with a few screenshots.

Here is a small tutorial on how to make changes to a document with this restricted version:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/apply-quick-edits-web.html

You can find a small FAQ here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/photoshop-web-faq.html

What about in practice?

I took a vacation photo from Thailand for a test that was already with me in Creative Cloud as a Photoshop document:

Adobe Creative Cloud on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
Adobe Creative Cloud on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

I opened it on my Pixelbook Go:

A Photoshop document in Adobe Creative Cloud on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
A Photoshop document in Adobe Creative Cloud on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

As you can see on the top right, there’s now the option to open the document with Photoshop on the web.

No sooner said than done, but first comes a loading view:

Photoshop on the web is loaded on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
Photoshop on the web is loaded on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

Then I immediately inserted some text into the image:

Using Photoshop on the web on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
Using Photoshop on the web on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

You can also create a new document here. Then the following view appears:

Using Photoshop on the web on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
Using Photoshop on the web on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

On the Pixelbook Go, it all already ran quite smoothly in my current Airbnb with a 100 MBit 5G LTE connection. I am very pleased. 🙂

My assessment

Of course, this is still a beta. Adobe itself has made it clear that it is still a long journey to bring Photoshop to the web, and that this has only just begun.

However, at least some familiar tools, such as in the area of drawing, object selection, layers, and masks, are already available on the web.

You know me as an absolute fan of web apps and as light as possible Chromebooks that are fanless. I’d love to see Adobe bring the complete feature set of Photoshop to the web! Let’s see how this plays out. I’ll try to incorporate the beta into my Blogger workflow on Chrome OS.

Today’s alternatives to Photoshop for Chrome OS

For now, the best alternative to Photoshop for Chrome OS is clearly Photopea as a web app:

Using Photopea on the web on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
Using Photopea on the web on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

This app is incredibly similar to Photoshop and offers many professional features known from Photoshop.

However, there are some alternatives which aren’t web apps:

Photoshop Express is available in the Play store as an Android app: Link. That’s free at first, but then very limited. As always, if you’re a pro, you’ll need a Creative Cloud subscription, but even then, the feature set is much smaller than Photoshop on macOS or Windows.

You can install Gimp in the Linux mode of Chrome OS. E.g., via the Gnome Software Center (see my post about it: link) or KDE Discover (see my post about it: link). I’ll also talk about Gimp here in the blog when the time comes.

In addition, there are still countless Web-, Chrome-, Android-, and Linux-apps, but most of them do not come close to the functionality of Photoshop. I still owe you an overview of that, too. 🙂

Conclusion

That’s great news! Photoshop on a Chromebook would be one less killer argument against Chrome OS. 😉

Maybe more manufacturers like Serif will jump on the web app train and bring, say, an Affinity Photo to the web. I actually liked using that on macOS and Windows because it was similarly powerful as Photoshop, but much cheaper and without a subscription model. On Chrome OS Photopea, Gimp, Krita, and other small tools.

What do you think about this news? I’m very curious about your opinion! 😉

Which apps do you already use on Chrome OS for elaborate image editing? 😀


Words in italics may be registered trademarks or companies! Examples: Google, YouTube, and Android. Or they are technical terms from the IT world, which are described in various locations in the blog.

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Marcel aka Ravolos

Hey! 😀 I started this blog in 2018. Fitting the blog, I want to describe myself as a true “Google Sheep,” incredibly addicted to travel and open-minded. I've been traveling the world as a digital nomad since October 2021, creating digital content on Chrome OS, travel, and mobile work.

Marcel aka Ravolos has 47 posts and counting. See all posts by Marcel aka Ravolos

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