Tech

Adobe exec defends Photoshop for iPad after app falls flat

Adobe Inc. debuted its most important mobile application ever this week when it finally released Photoshop for Apple Inc.’s iPad. But with key capabilities missing, many within the company’s vast fan base have panned the application, prompting the app’s overseer to publicly defend his product.

Scott Belsky, chief product officer of Adobe’s Creative Cloud division, tweeted about the “painful” early reviews for a product his team has worked on for years. Right now in Apple’s App Store, Photoshop for iPad has a user review rating of 2.3 out of 5 stars.

Belsky tweeted a screenshot of the metric, saying it made sense that a re-imagination of a popular 30-year-old product would displease many. Bloomberg News reported last month that the beta version of the touchscreen Photoshop app upset testers who missed many of the popular functions they’d grown accustomed to over the years.

“If you try to make everybody happy w/ a v1, you’ll either never ship or make nobody happy,” Belsky tweeted. “Such feats require customer feedback to truly exceed expectations. You must ship and get fellow passionate travellers on board. But for a team with the right vision and commitment, being doubted and critiqued is motivating and informing.” Belsky also responded to users who tweeted about not enjoying Photoshop on Apple’s tablet, recommending they try Adobe’s drawing app, Fresco. While it’s hard, it’s important to build products “with customers” rather than “hidden in the lab,” he added.

Adobe has embarked on the arduous task of bringing its most successful software franchises to mobile devices to maintain its stature as the world’s largest maker of creative software. The San Jose, California-based company said this week it will bring Illustrator to the iPad in 2020.

While the apps cater to creative professionals seeking the ability to work on the go, Adobe also is trying to expand the appeal of its photo-editing and illustration software to hobbyists. The strategy may boost revenue growth for the Creative Cloud unit. Adobe projected in September that sales growth for its smaller marketing software unit would slow down in the current period, raising pressure on the main creative business.

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