Adobe plans to debut a pared down, web-only version of its popular photo-editing tool Photoshop, The Verge today. The company is currently testing this new freemium version with users in Canada, but will eventually make it available to a wider audience. For now, anyone in Canada who creates an Adobe account can access the free, browser-only version of Photoshop. Engadget has reached out to Adobe to find out when it plans to make the tool available to users worldwide, and will update when we hear back.
Photoshop has long been the industry standard for image editing, but its monthly license fee likely dissuades most from using it. Meanwhile, free or freemium photo-editing software like Pixlr, Canva and Photopea have embraced casual users and also grown more sophisticated in their offerings. As The Verge notes, Adobe is making its basic photo editing tools available for free in order to reach users that don’t belong to its usual audience. Adobe’s hope is that some freemium Photoshop users will become paying subscribers, especially since the company plans to offer more advanced features on the web-only version that can only be unlocked with a subscription.
If this sounds somewhat familiar, it's because Adobe launched its web-only version of Photoshop and Illustrator for subscribers last fall; though their functionality was limited to basic editing and sharing comments among collaborators on projects. This new, free web version of Photoshop significantly expands the available tools, and allows users to start new projects, as well as access more advanced color correction and editing tools.