A few weeks ago, Adobe gave a glimpse of full Photoshop running on the iPad, but Apple’s not the only one getting some love; Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Extend will include an SDK for developers to interact with desktop Photoshop through their tablet apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook, iOS, and Android products. In order to demonstrate the SDK’s capabilities, Adobe has announced a few apps: Color Lava, Eazel (pictured above), and Nav. Color Lava is simply a way to mix up custom colours and send them to use in Photoshop with one button press. Eazel is a bit more full-bodied, allowing users to paint pictures on their tablets and send them to the desktop for further refining. Nav is what you might call a companion app which is used in conjunction with the desktop. It allows you to set up a bunch of easily-accessible shortcuts which, when tapped, opens up the appropriate tool on the desktop. Adobe is also suggesting that the SDK would allow you to quickly share pictures taken on a smartphone to the desktop over Wi-Fi. All three apps will be available in early May.
The additional screen real estate and processing power of tablets certainly lend them to full-blown desktop apps like Photoshop, but I’m dubious that they’ll be able to actually replace PC applications any time soon. Particular to Photoshop’s case is the issue of precision; fingers are fat, and sure, you can pinch to zoom in until strokes are exactly where you want them to be, but that could seriously slow down the editing process. That being said, I imagine something like the HTC Flyer, which comes with a dedicated pen accessory, will find a good home with artists, especially with the right software from Adobe. Tablets will also need to adopt USB host if they want to appeal to pro photographers who want to see and edit their shots live from the field on their tablet.
In any case, this is pretty cool stuff, and I definitely look forward to seeing what Adobe pumps out for smartphones. To see the new tablet apps in action, check out the video below. Motorola shows up prominently in the clip (both the Xoom and the Droid are shown), so I suspect we’ll see them getting involved with future Touch SDK announcements with Adobe. If you want to give the Adobe Touch SDK a shot, you can download it here.