Photoshop Touch SDK drives Three Adobe iPad Apps

Adobe's traditional user base of creatives are some of the most computationally resource-intensive folk I can think of (along with hard-core gamers and scientists). So how does a company like Adobe jump on the tablet money train without having to develop a host of new applications? Let others do it for them. And voila: the Photoshop Touch software developer's kit, which will make it possible to create an ecosystem of tablet-based products capable of driving Photoshop. Along with the SDK, Adobe's delivering three iPad apps designed to use it: Color Lava, Eazel, and Nav.

It's a great idea; since a tablet is too underpowered to do "real" work, why not make it the interface to a computer that does the heavy lifting? Of course, it's not a new concept--just a thin client reborn for the 21st century, or alternatively, turning your PC into a cloud. It will enable app development for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS platforms, in addition to Mac OS and Windows systems.

Plus, since the apps only work with Photoshop CS5 (with a free update patch to 12.04), it may serve as an inspiration for all those laggardly CS4 upgraders to cough up the bucks. Or subscribe. By default, the SDK communicates via iTunes and Bonjour, if you don't have either, you can configure it to operate via a peer-to-peer network.

In my mind, the three apps aren't terribly useful, except as illustrations of a few types of ways the SDK interacts with Photoshop.