Library of photos: Photoshop Express allows users to store up to two gigabytes of photos on its servers. As shown above, a library of photos can be edited, displayed publicly in galleries, and transferred to other sites such as Facebook, Picassa, and Photobucket.
As it is, Express has a number of appealing characteristics. The interface is easy to use and intuitive. It’s exceedingly simple to update photo libraries and edit pre-existing photos on sites such as Facebook. The service includes thumbnails that give the user an instant glimpse at how a specific editing decision will change the picture. And importantly, it’s easy to see the changes you’ve made to the picture and retract any of them individually using the toolbar on the side of the screen. For instance, if you’ve cropped and rotated a picture, changed the white balance, and converted it to black and white, a check mark appears next to these editing options in the toolbar. To retract an edit, simply click the check mark.
One drawback to Express is that it’s impossible to edit pictures while waiting for others to upload to Adobe’s server. Baum says that future versions might address this problem, especially if they incorporate Air, Adobe’s forthcoming software that allows online applications to run without an Internet connection. “We’re planning on taking certain components of Photoshop Express and putting them on Air so you can use them in a connected or unconnected environment,” he says. For instance, in the future, you might be able to edit pictures offline, and Air would automatically update your photo library when you connect to the Internet.
Baum says that Adobe has a few plans on how to make money from Express, even though the company is giving it away for free. For instance, while the two gigabytes of storage will remain free, Adobe will likely charge for certain advanced editing tools and more storage. Additionally, the company could license Air-enabled desktop components for Photoshop Express to computer manufacturers when they include the software on new machines. But another part of the plan, says Baum, is to give a younger generation a glimpse at Adobe’s capabilities and hopefully interest them in more advanced (and expensive) Adobe products. “It’s about connecting with an audience we hadn’t had a lot of sway with,” he says.