As popular as Adobe Photoshop is, it’s also notorious for its high entry price. Adobe may be trying to expand its userbase by lowering that barrier of entry with a free option for Photoshop’s web-based version which is now trialing in Canada.
The Verge reports that Adobe is testing a free web version of Photoshop, accessible to any user in Canada with a free Adobe account. Currently, the app seems to be fully featured (for a web version anyway), including new functionalities Adobe just announced like Curves, RefineEdge, Dodge and Burn, and Smart Objects conversion.
Adobe is branding the tool as “freemium,” and will eventually lock some features behind a paywall. It’s expected that Photoshop’s core functions will remain free to provide a more accessible entry point for the normally-expensive service, though for now Adobe hasn’t revealed what those “core features” are, when the paywall will arrive, or when the free Photoshop tier will expand beyond Canada.
Photoshop’s costly subscription has driven many users to free and cheaper alternatives like Affinity Photo, GIMP, or Pixelmator. The free version of Photoshop will have to compete with them when Adobe fully releases it, however, web-based Photoshop can meet more users where they are, like on Chromebooks. It will also receive a feature to let users review and comment on images while on mobile devices.
This week, Adobe also gave Lightroom some basic video editing tools and users can now copy and paste settings and adjustments between photos and videos.