Requiem for Photoshop Touch: an app users loved or hated

— by Hans Hartman

Adobe Photoshop TouchAdobe announced here that it will discontinue Photoshop Touch, its comprehensive photo editing app, as part of a strategy to release apps with narrower use cases, such as Photoshop Mix (compositing), Photoshop Sketch (drawing), Adobe Shape (bitmap-to-vector conversion), and the soon-to-be-released Rigel, for retouching.

Customer Feedback
Let’s look at what Photoshop Touch users thought of the app. We did a qualitative analysis of 125 iTunes reviews in March of 2013, back in the heydays of Photoshop Touch for iPad (the iPhone and Android versions came out later), as part of an analysis of the potential for tablet-specific photo apps (although dated, there might still be valuable takeaways in the white paper; you can download it here).

Three things stood out:

  • Photoshop Touch’s overall user ratings were low (3.5), as was the case for some other well-known and not “mobile-first” brands that struggled to make their mark in the app world (Shutterfly for iPad was even lower, at 2.5).
  • “Features” were an important factor as to why some liked Photoshop Touch and others didn’t. They liked the features because there were so many of them – not unlike Photoshop on the desktop. They didn’t like the features because they were hard to master and, most importantly, because retina support was missing at the time. Telling for the perceived complexity of the app was that quite a few reviews blamed Adobe’s tutorials for their struggles, e.g. “The app is fantastic if you know how to use it. But if you do not and try to follow the tutorials, you will just end up confused and frustrated. Please improve the tutorials.”touch postive
  • As one of the highest priced photo apps ($9.99), price was actually an important reason why they liked the app, summarized as e.g. “Are you KIDDING me? I can hardly believe all I can accomplish in this one app. And, seriously, it’s TEN DOLLARS people. The desktop version is SIX HUNDRED.”


Justifiable Strategy
The last point is one that Adobe is not highlighting in its discontinuation announcement. With a slew of excellent, multi-faceted photo editing apps on the market – many of them free and virtually all priced less than $10 – Adobe was simply not in a position to raise its Photoshop Touch price anywhere near enough to that of its desktop program to mitigate cannibalization from the mobile app with many of the same features.

From Adobe’s perspective, the discontinuation of Photoshop Touch and release of single use case apps makes a lot of sense. With its Creative Cloud service in place, Adobe can now offer narrower use case apps, allowing its customers to access their images and continue working on them in different single use case apps and even on different devices.

In addition, Adobe can now afford to offer these apps for free and attract new users to its 25-year-old Photoshop franchise, making the connecting glue – an upsell to a Creative Cloud subscription – the real winner, while killing any cannibalization in the interim.

Hans Hartman is president of Suite 48 Analytics and co-host of the Mobile Photo Connect conference.



Interesting ad approach: Olympus will “cure DSL-ARM”

olympus slr arm

in an effort to promote the size and weight benefits of its smaller interchangeable lens cameras, Olympus is lampooning a poor enthusiast picture-taker whose arm has stretched grotesquely due to his SLR’s weight.

“Many people living with DSL-ARM are suffering silently,” the video proclaims, “unaware that there’s a cure… DSL-ARM can only be cured with a smaller, lighter camera. …You’ll get all the power of a DSLR without all the size. Don’t you think you’ve suffered long enough?… Let the healing begin.”

What do you think — a good approach to marketing the completive differences in ILCs?

Here’s the video.

Apple acquires multi-image sensor developer LinX

linx module

SLR image quality in a phone?…
Last year we reported on the LinX’ technology that captured high-resolution images using an array of lower-res sensors. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reportedApple acquired the developer for approx. $20 million.

The Israeli company last year claimed it could match SLR image quality with lower-cost components thanks to its arrays and algorithms.

In 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, the developer of a 3D-sensing imager.

From our previous coverage:

Mobile module combines cameras
“The image quality of mobile cameras has reached a dead end,” claims LinX Computational Imaging. So, of course, they say they have a new route, by developing miniature multi-aperture camera modules.
The mobile modules “are nearly half the height of a standard mobile camera and are capable of creating stunning color images,” the company says… Its ““multi-aperture imaging technologies” combine multiple images “captured from different points in space.” It also has overcome problems such as registration errors and occlusion-related artifacts arising from combining multiple images. The technique also captures accurate depth information, and creates a depth map that can be uses for 3D reconstruction.
There’s more information here.

PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax honored with Small Business of the Year Award

MullinaxGaby_2013PMA President Gaby Mullinax, owner of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, Calif., is having a good year. In January, she was honored with the PMDA Visionary of the Year award, and, of course, the following day, she was elected president of PMA – becoming the first female president in our 90-year history. Now, she is being honored again, this time with the Small Business of the Year award, presented by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Business of the Year award recognizes businesses for extraordinary achievement in a number of key areas, such as involvement in the community, service above self, outreach, ethical business practices, length of service, innovation, leadership, environmental awareness, and ability to promote wellness and learning for employees.

“Those of us in the imaging industry are very familiar with Gaby’s remarkable vision, her business acumen, her creative genius, and her generous spirit, so it’s certainly no surprise to see her being recognized once again for her achievements. That she is now being honored by her local community with the Small Business of the Year award is just another reason for us to be proud and confident to have her leading PMA as president in this critical year of reinvention,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe.

The Small Business of the Year award will be presented to Fullerton Photographics at the Chamber’s Business Achievement Awards Dinner on June 17.

Photo organizers unite


The Association of Personal Photo Organizers is now officially affiliated with The National Association of Professional Organizers, as NAPO focuses on “building collaborative relationships with organizations whose missions are in alignment with NAPO’s focus on promoting professional organizer and the organizing industry.”

At the NAPO2015 conference in Los Angeles this year, APPO will lead a session on best practices in the growing niche of digital photo organizing.

APPO says it now has more than 500 members throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom. They offer monthly training and certification.