Free Photoshop anyone? Adobe tests a freemium web version of its photo editing app


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Adobe wants to get more people on its platform and using its apps. No surprise there. But one way it is opting to do that is by offering a free online version of Photoshop to everyone, according to a report by The Verge. Well, not just yet, but that’s the idea.

For now, the online free-to-use version of the app is only being tested in Canada. Hopefully, the test goes swimmingly, so the rest of the world also gets free access to the powerful photo editing app.

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Don’t expect the full-fat version of the app though. Adobe says the service will follow a freemium model. You’ll have access to most of the core tools of Photoshop but some features will only be available to those that choose to pay for them.

Maria Yap, Adobe’s VP of digital imaging, said to The Verge, “We want to make [Photoshop] more accessible and easier for more people to try it out and experience the product.”

From where we’re sitting, a free web-based app is the right way to do that. It lowers the cost of entry as users won’t need a powerful workstation when they’re trying things out for the first time. Not to mention students at schools that use Chromebooks. It also allows casual users to explore the app at their own pace without the implicit pressure a timed free trail carries.

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For a casual user looking to get started, a week or month long free trail might not be enough time to make the most of the advanced features. By following a freemium model, users can get acquainted with the app first and then pay for the advanced features when they’re ready. This could be what saves aspiring designers from being replaced by AI that can create images from a text prompt.

Unfortunately, Adobe didn’t say when the freemium version will roll out to the rest of the world. Free users won’t be able to escape the grips of an Adobe account either. You’ll have to log in before you can make use of the app. A small gripe for some.

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