I’ve been revisiting some of the apps I’ve previously reviewed to see what changes have been made to them recently and how they have developed. One of these apps is Adobe Photoshop Express for the iPad. This app is free but it does have some in app purchases – one of which – the Camera pack that includes Noise removal – you can safely ignore. I think it is expensive and not worth the $4.99 that Adobe charges for it. However, ymmv.

The free Effects in Photoshop Express are pretty limited and there are just nine of them so unless you buy the add on Effect Pack ($2.99) you won’t have a lot of creative options. That said, the Effect Pack has a lot of fun effects in it. You could get access to similar effects for free in other apps, but if you want everything in one place you might consider this pack worth shelling out for. There is also a Border pack for 99¢.

Like many free apps the add on borders and effects are shown in the app so you can see them but not use them unless you buy them. You can’t hide them either so this might be a bit off putting – personally I’d rather not see what I don’t own, but that’s my take on it.

One change to the app that I like is the on screen prompts showing you how to use the app. This was a huge complaint that I had initially with the app as it had no indication as to how you made your adjustments. I thought at the time that this made it very hard for inexperienced users to use the app as it wasn’t clear how to do so. In a free tool aimed at beginner users I thought this was inexcusable.

Now the first time you choose an option like Brightness and Contrast an overlay appears showing you how to adjust these options. It’s much less confusing and a whole lot easier to work with. So much so that I’d wholeheartedly recommend this app for beginner to intermediate users.

In Photoshop Express you can edit images from your Camera Roll or capture images using the app. What you cannot do is upload images to Adobe Revel – the new online replacement for photoshop.com (and which was previously called Adobe Carousel – have I confused you yet?). You can also not download images from Adobe Revel to edit them in the app. Since Adobe owns all these sites and apps it would be nice if all its apps and storage locations talked to each other instead of operating in isolation.

Other changes I noticed is that the feature for adding effects and borders has been revamped allowing you to see the full range of effects and borders in one large screen already in place on a small version of your images. Those that are not enabled have a blue mark on the corner and there is a shopping cart link in the bottom right of the screen that you can use to buy add on packs, if desired.

So far as sharing is concerned, Photoshop Express is light on options when compared with some other apps. You can share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email images but that is all. You can also save images to your Camera Roll.

In all, the changes to Adobe Photoshop Express are welcome and make the app a lot more usable for its target audience. I now actually like this app and would heartily recommend it particularly for beginner to intermediate users looking for a simple and easy to use photo fixing tool.

Helen Bradley