photoshop adobe chromebook oh yes
Putting the OMG! into OMG! Chrome!

Photoshop Streaming, Adobe’s initiative that brings the full power of its premier design app to Chrome OS, has been getting the critical once-over in the press this week. 

Gifting various tech news sites 1-on-1 time with their innovative solution — we’ll assume our invite got lost in the post — Adobe will be pleased with the response they’re getting.

Photoshop for Chromebooks works fantastically, say reviewers.

“Frankly Boring” — which is good

Photoshop Streaming is a novel concept. You don’t download and install Photoshop locally. Instead, you install a small app from the Chrome Web Store than opens Photoshop on a Google virtual machine in a Google data center — delivering high-end performance on a low-end device.

Photoshop Streaming in the Chrome Web Store (image: Adobe)
Photoshop Streaming in the Chrome Web Store (image: Adobe)

It runs in its own window and looks, for the most part, like it’s running natively. With Chromebook screens averaging 11.6-inches, the lack of window chrome (no pun) means every pixel can be put to use. Files are stored in, opened from and saved back to your Google Drive.

Network Dependent

As with any ‘network computing’ solution, Photoshop Steaming will be useless without a network connection, and requires a stable 1MB/s one for the best performance. High-latency or slow Wi-Fi and every mouse click and keyboard tap sent will result in lag.

But with a decent connection, it does work — and work well. Cnet’s Steven Shankland sums it up in the most positively negative way imaginable, writing:

“Most of a Photoshop Streaming demo is, frankly, boring to anyone who’s seen Photoshop already. It’s the same old thing for the most part.”

Photoshop say they have no firm plans for a wider, commercial rollout (more’s the pity). But even confined to a cabal of lucky testers, in demonstrating just how well low-power devices can run high-end applications, they’re paving the way for others to follow.

Chrome Apps Chrome OS
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