Chances are, you don’t own one of Google’s cheap, cloud-based “Chromebook” laptops, but they accounted for 21% of all laptops sold last year in the US. And designers may have new incentive to drop $200 on their next knock-around computer because Photoshop is coming to Chromebooks.
Adobe and Google made the joint announcement today. Dubbed Project Photoshop Streaming, the cloud app will stream through the Chrome web browser onto Chromebooks or Windows PCs rather than being installed locally on a computer, and all project files will be stored in Google Drive. Other apps in Adobe’s Creative Cloud will be supported “soon.”
We’re curious to see just how well the experience performs, and whether there will be any discernable lag or oddness to the UI’s feel. We’re also wondering if there really are advantages to operating Photoshop via Chrome rather than via a more universal web app. But if it works, Photoshop via Chrome is a promising milestone in Adobe’s new strategy. For decades, Adobe’s software has driven the arm’s race of buying faster computers. Now, they’re taking a more populist approach with software that works on less-powerful platforms, like Chromebooks and iPads, by handling more files and computation in the cloud.
To try Photoshop on your Chromebook, you’ll need to have an existing Creative Cloud subscription, be enrolled in Adobe’s education program, and then apply for the beta.