Photoshop Express, Adobe's online photo-editing and storage platform, was temporarily closed late last week as they performed maintenance and added some new features. We now get to see what those features are. In addition to the new tools and abilities they added, one of the most notable additions is the new Adobe AIR-based app, the Photoshop Express Uploader, which allows for uploading photos from any internet-connected computer.
The new Adobe Photoshop Express Uploader lets you browse for photos to add to the uploader tool. As you add photos, you can choose to add them to one of your existing albums in Photoshop Express or you have the option to create a new one. In order to use the uploader, you'll need to sign in with your Adobe ID. (Since their launch of the Adobe online office suite available through Acrobat.com, all their apps now recognize a commonly-shared set of credentials: your Adobe ID.)
Other new features now available in Photoshop Express include:
- The ability to get prints of digital photos from Shutterfly
- The ability to add music to slideshows (pick a track from the Settings panel)
- A new resizing tool that lets you pick a preset image size for mobile, web, profile, or email - resize with one click or choose custom to set your own width and height
- Tagging photos is now possible
- The ability to download photos from anyone's public album or straight from a slideshow
One Small Problem: It Doesn't Work
Unfortunately, upon testing the new AIR app, I ran into a problem - it simply did not work. As I attempted to upload some small JPG images, I would receive an error message reading that the files were "unsupported." According to the message, the JPGs needed to be less than 10 MB in size and smaller than 4000x4000. Well, they were. I tried multiple files with the same results, so clearly there is something wrong there. Photoshop Express also only supports JPG photos so I could not attempt to upload any PNGs.
For the casual photographer, it's difficult to see how Photoshop Express can really compete here - especially now that Flickr provides basic photo editing tools, too, courtesy of Picnik. The niche they've carved out for Photoshop Express is very small: either you're deeply embedded with the Adobe line of products or you need better tools than Picnik and don't want to pay for either Photoshop Elements or Photoshop itself. That isn't a whole lot of people just now.
Adobe would be better off figuring out how to integrate the program into their suite of online office products. Imagine the value in being able to insert photos into Buzzword from Photoshop Express, and, after editing, having Buzzword automatically update itself with the revised photo. Now that would be something! Instead, we have an isolated app and a broken AIR uploader. We know Adobe can do better than this, so we're still optimistic that they will do so soon.