Last fall, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen spoke out at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, revealing his company's plans to deliver all of its software as web-based services within a decade. Some of those services would be free, like the Premiere Express web-based video editing tool that came out last year, and others would be subscription-based, Chizen suggested.
Adobe has taken another step toward the brave new world of web services. As the AP reports, the software firm has finally released a public beta of its web-based Photoshop spinoff, Photoshop Express. The spinoff can be reached at photoshop.com/express, and it's free to use provided users take a few minutes to fill in a few details and and sign up. Folks can also take a "test drive" of the web application to get a feel for its features and inner workings.
Photoshop Express is by no means a full, web-based version of Photoshop, though. Rather, the app is more consumer-centric, and it focuses on image galleries and basic photo touch-up features like cropping, rotation, exposure compensation, white balance tuning, and red eye removal. The application nonetheless features some neat filters and tools, like a selective color change filter, a rudimentary clone tool, a "sketch" filter that makes a photo appear hand-drawn, and a "fill light" filter that attempts to light up shadowy areas of an image.
Photoshop Express is entirely based on Adobe's Flash plugin, which makes it both fairly snappy and in theory compatible with any browser that supports Flash. The application can also tap into Facebook, Photobucket, and Picasa image galleries, although fetching images from a Picasa account didn't seem to work when we tried it. Check out our image gallery below for screenshots of Photoshop Express in action.