Adobe's Latest Updates Bring Desktop Power to its Mobile Apps

The brand announced several improvements to its AI models across Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator and more.

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Adobe announced a host of updates across its portfolio at its recent MAX London event, including a new Photoshop (beta), the third iteration of its AI image generating model Firefly, and upgrades to its Express suite of mobile apps adding functionality once limited to desktops.

Taking place in the middle of Battersea Park – coincidentally just a stone’s throw from Apple’s sprawling south London campus – MAX London built on the brand’s event in Los Angeles this past fall, demonstrating the pace at which it’s bringing its innovations to market.

The newly released version of Photoshop (beta) has seen improvements to its AI driven Generative Fill feature. Now, instead of just accepting text prompts, users can upload visual ones, too. The new feature is being called Reference Image and can be used together with the existing text prompt functionality, not instead of, opening up a whole new world of potential as the AI now uses the user’s own images for generative inspiration. Another new feature is Generate Image which, according to Adobe, brings “full text to image capabilities directly within Photoshop for the first time.” Improvements to Photoshops’s AI functionality doesn’t stop there, though, with Generate Background, Generate Similar, and Enhance Detail rounding off the generative updates, respectively allowing users to make and replace backgrounds with ease, use already generated images as generative inspiration, and fine-tune the sharpness and clarity of their generated imagery. All in all, these updates make getting the most out of Photoshop’s Generative Fill feature a lot easier. In fact, during the opening keynote at MAX London, Creative Cloud’s SVP Ashley Still said one of the company’s goals was “to remove any boundaries” when it comes to creativity and creative output.

As well as updates to its AI-based features, Photoshop (beta) now includes some new functionality that will help users on the most basic levels. One of these new features is an improved fonts browser that’s built directly in to the app, allowing users to search through over 25,000 fonts without ever leaving Photoshop. Fonts can also be previewed directly in app in real time and, whilst this feels like a simpler update when compared to some of the AI-driven ones, it’s something most users are likely to find useful in a fundamental way.

Whilst AI is nothing new – Adobe’s press release states the brand “has over a decade-long history of AI innovation” – the pace at which it is developing before our eyes is quite something. Firefly, the company’s machine learning model for AI-generated images, was launched in March 2023 and is already on its third iteration. It has seen vast improvements between versions and, since its launch just over a year ago, Adobe claims its users have generated over 7 billion images with it. Firefly 3 is claimed to “have a better understanding of text prompts and scenes” with other notable updates being in the way it renders people “with detailed features and a variety of moods and expressions,” according to the brand. The photorealism of its renders has also been improved greatly, with lighting, moods and positioning all looking noticeably better when compared to Firefly 2.

Adobe also announced that its Adobe Express apps have been updated to include much of the innovation previously restricted to its desktop apps. Features like Generative FillText to Template and Text to Image amongst others are now available on mobile, as the brand double down on its push to make editing and creating on the go just as fruitful as being at home or in a studio. In Premiere Pro, for example, users can now use remove the background in any video right on their phone with a simple action, an edit that would have once upon a time needed a serious editing rig and lots of time.

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