What you need to know
- Adobe is experimenting with a free version of Photoshop on the web.
- It includes the basic functions of the tool, with premium features locked behind a paid subscription.
- The freemium version is currently available as part of a limited test to users in Canada.
Adobe Photoshop is a household name in photo editing, but its license fees have unfortunately created a barrier between the service and some customers who prefer free or cheaper alternatives. Adobe is finally filling that void by introducing a free version of the photo-editing service on the web.
The company is now testing the free web version of Photoshop in Canada as part of a broader effort to make the tool accessible to more users, according to The Verge (opens in new tab). It remains unclear when the free offering will become available to everyone. We've reached out to Adobe for a statement, and will update this article once we hear back.
In a statement to The Verge, Maria Yap, Adobe’s vice president of digital imaging, said the goal is to make Photoshop "more accessible and easier for more people to try it out and experience the product."
When it finally goes live for everyone, you'll only need a free Adobe account to access most of the editing features that were previously limited to the paid desktop version, which costs at least $10 per month. This includes the core features like adjustment layers, resizing tools, mask creation, healing brush, and more.
However, some functions are expected to be locked behind a subscription. The Verge notes that Adobe’s goal seems to be to entice free Photoshop users into its paid plans by offering free editing features alongside the more advanced, premium options.
Last fall, Adobe launched the web version of Photoshop on PCs and many of the best Chromebooks, but it was only a stripped-down version of the full-featured desktop software. This means the tool only provides a limited set of features on top of sharing and commenting on files through a web browser. It's primarily geared toward collaboration.
It will be interesting to see whether Adobe's latest move will lure more people into the web-based Photoshop and turn them into paying subscribers.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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