Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are coming to the web with big Chromebook implications


Chrome OS has a ton of great things going for it, but access to familiar software tools has long been a sore point. We’ve got Android apps, sure, and more recently Linux programs, but for a large part users on Chrome OS are restricted to using whatever’s available on the web. That’s meant no programs like Photoshop and Illustrator for Chromebooks … at least, until now. Chromebook users (and web users in general) will be glad to know Adobe is launching a web edition for both Photoshop and Illustrator, so your Windows friends can finally stop mocking you for not having a “real computer.”

Adobe announced this devlopment during its MAX 2021 conference. It’s important to note that, at least right now, these web services are by no stretch meant to replace the traditional Photoshop and Illustrator programs. Those are some powerful tools that would likely be pushing the limits of what’s possible in a browser. Instead, Photoshop and Illustrator on the web are lighter versions with fewer features: you’ll be able to navigate layers and make quick edits with a handful of tools, but deeper changes will be best left for actual Photoshop. Similarly, web Illustrator supports making basic tweaks to your graphics while out on the go. With both, you’ll also be able to leave comments as a collaborator if an artist shares their work with you.

Photoshop Web

Even in light of those limitations, this is still a big step forward. Adobe’s Chief Product Officer, Scott Belsky, hinted that more features might be coming soon, mentioning that “we’re not bringing all the features on day one” in The Verge’s Decoder podcast. We’re not sure whether it will end up becoming as fully featured as regular Photoshop, but it might get pretty close — this does, after all, require a Creative Cloud subscription just like other pieces of Adobe software do, so it’s not like it’s free-to-use software. It’s meant to allow you to make quick touch-ups to a PSD or AI file, but Adobe is probably not expecting you to sit down and do heavier design work on this.

Photoshop for the web is now available via a public beta — you can access it by clicking “Open in Photoshop on the web beta” while seeing a PSD file on your browser. For Illustrator, though, you’ll have to apply to a private beta. If this doesn’t sound like a good option for you, there’s still a handful of Chrome-friendly alternatives for you to choose from.


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