While Blackmagic might’ve beaten them to video editing, when it comes to photo editing, Adobe is first out of the gate with a new Photoshop beta for Apple’s new ARM-based Apple Silicon machines. Naturally, it requires one of the newly announced Apple computers, and a paid-up Adobe CC subscription.
But don’t get too excited just yet. Adobe notes there are some limitations. Not all of the features are… Well, they actually say that “many features” are not yet available and some may experience slow performance. But it is a beta, so what else can you expect?
Rather than tell you what it can do, it’s probably easier to list the things that it can’t do. Adobe stresses that this is an early version, and while it does offer many of the core features we’ve all become used to, there is a lot that’s missing. And some of it is pretty important for photographers… You know, stuff like Camera Raw.
- Many features are still not available in this version of Photoshop, and some features may experience slow performance. Please refer to the following known issues before submitting feedback.
- Features NOT PRESENT IN THIS VERSION:
- Camera RAW
- Select Sky/Sky Replacement
- Refine Hair (in Select and Mask)
- Liquify Filter: Face Aware features
- OilPaint filter
- Video timeline and file format support
- All CEP-based Panels (CC Libraries panel, 3rd party extensions)
- Adaptive Wide Angle
- Shake Reduction
- Face Detection underlying Color Range skin tones and Content Aware Move functions
- Match Font/Font Similarity
- Rich Tooltips, Coach marks for Discovery Panel tutorials
- Microsoft Dial support
- File Info Panel
- Layer > Smart Objects > Stack Mode menu item disabled
- Content Aware Fill
- Content Aware Scale
- Content Aware Move
- Focus Area
- Auto-Blend Layers
- Spot Healing Brush
- Patch Tool
- Healing brush
- Some File formats not supported:
- Features present, but with limitations or bugs:
- Import from Lightroom Photos via the home screen does not work
- Filter Gallery functions may seem to hang but will eventually succeed
- All 3D-related functions are limited; either very slow or not fully rendering 3D content; includes 3D printing, 360 panorama editing, normal and bump map filters, Lighting Effects
- Scrubby Zoom behavior is erratic
- Changing stroke pixel size not working as expected
- Opening hundreds of files could cause a crash
- Several features are running slower on M1 native devices; these will be optimized over time:
- Select Subject (may have bugs due to misclassification)
- Object Aware Matting (in Select and Mask)
- Object Selection
- Preserve Details 2.0 Upscale (Image Size dialog box
Oh yes, that’s quite the list, huh? Well, again, it’s a beta, so there are some things that are going to take time to redevelop for a whole new processor architecture. Adobe says that Mac users who rely on Photoshop should stick to the existing PHotoshop for Macintosh, and over time more features will come to the Apple Silicon-specific version.
If history is anything to go by, I think we can expect it to take a while before it’s available in any kind of form that can be used as a daily workhorse. Even the iPad version took a while to get working well, and the Apple M1 customer base just really isn’t that high yet. But, hey, Adobe might surprise us.
If you want to download the beta and check it out for yourself, you can do so from the Creative Cloud Desktop app. For more information, see the Adobe website.