Connecting your iPad to Photoshop with touch apps

How to connect your iPad to Photoshop and a review of Adobe Nav iPad app

With the recent announcement from Adobe that the new Photoshop touch apps are available in the app store I was excited to start testing these out right away. Adobe released 3 iPad apps that let you connect with Photoshop and while these apps are not designed to be a mobile version of Photoshop they act like an extension of Photoshop to give you some additional features. The iPad apps all have a specific function and range in price from $1.99 to $4.99 and do require the most recent version of Photoshop CS5 (version 12.0.4 or above).

Connecting your iPad to Photoshop with these touch apps is a breeze and i’ll walk you through the process here along with a review of the Adobe Nav app.

To connect any of these apps to Photoshop it just takes a minute and here are the steps:

1) Open up Photoshop and in the Edit menu go to Remote Connections.
2) Enter in a name for this connection, password and check the box Enable Remote Connections.
ipad connecting to photoshop

3) Open up any of the 3 Adobe touch apps and click on the Photoshop icon in the lower right corner.
4) You will see the name of the connection that you just setup in step 2, tap on this and then enter the password in.
5) That’s it, now the Photoshop icon on your iPad will turn blue and you are ready to start.

Adobe Nav ($1.99)
Adobe Nav is basically a way you can access the Photoshop CS5 toolbar on your iPad. Instead of using your mouse to move from tool to tool in Photoshop you could use this app to tap from tool to tool to switch. I do have to admit that while its cool because its a new way to access your tools for productivity it might not make sense. If you are using a keyboard its much faster to just use the Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop vs. moving your arm over to the iPad to tap. As always it just depends on what flow works best for you and if you don’t use keyboard shortcuts this way would be faster compared to using your mouse.

The main screen on the app gives you some of the most common tools, the color picker (which you can only use to swap colors or reset to default not actually pick colors) and a quick way to change screen modes.

Adobe nav iPad app

Adobe nav iPad app main screen

You can customize this menu which is pretty nice, it will only hold 16 items so choose your top tool that you access on the menu. Just drag and drop any items into an available spot from the edit screen.

Adobe Nav for iPad

Adobe Nav for iPad

You can also use this app to browse the open images you currently have in Photoshop. Tap on the 4 squares on the bottom of the app and it will access a browser view of your open docs. Here you can double tap on any photo to see an info pane about that photo or pinch to zoom in and view the details of the photo. There are 2 types of views that you can switch from and they each behave slightly different so take a few minutes to get used to. The default that comes up is a grid view that will show 6 images per page, you can scroll up and down to preview the photos. As you browse through the open Photoshop docs if you tap once on a photo that will make that the active image in Photoshop. You can also tap and hold on a photo and then rearrange that photo in the grid view. This won’t change the order of the tabs in Photoshop just arranges the images on your iPad view.

Adobe Nav iPad app

Browse on Nav iPad app

If you pinch a photo this will take you to a carousel view of the images. Here the image is shown in the center and you can swipe left or right to view the other photos. You can also pinch here again to view the photo full screen and zoom in on the photo. One cool thing from here is if you tap and hold on a photo a dialog box will come up and you can save the image, which transfers it to the Photos app on your iPad. So if you are working on a great image in Photoshop you can easily transfer this to your iPad to take with you.

While the Adobe Nav app is a fairly simple app, the ability to connect your iPad to Photoshop running on your desktop will open up many cool possibilities with new ways for us to all work and be creative. I am pretty excited to see what the future of iPad apps will bring!

If you have downloaded this app already I would love to hear your thoughts, leave a facebook comment below.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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