Adobe details ‘Project Rigel’ image retouching app after discontinuing Photoshop Touch

Project Rigel

Ahead of its annual Max conference in October, Adobe is talking up its new photo retouching app dubbed Project Rigel that is expected to debut at the event this fall. As we learned in late May, Project Rigel is a new Adobe mobile app in development set to replace and improve the image retouching tools previously available in the discontinued Photoshop Touch iOS app. 

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Photoshop has long been the go-to image editor for pros on the desktop, but trying to bundle the best of its functionality into a single mobile app designed for touch input as Adobe tried with Photoshop Touch was ultimately a miss in the end. Adobe stopped selling that app at the end of May and pointed to new standalone apps including Photoshop MixShape CCColor CCBrush CC, and Comp CC as better solutions while promising more apps to come.

Now in an interview with CNET, Adobe has shared new details beyond the initial teaser video released earlier this year about what to expect from the Project Rigel app once it’s complete.

The new app will be free for users unlike Photoshop Touch, which ranged in price from $5-$10, using Adobe’s subscription based Creative Cloud for revenue. Adobe is also treating the Project Rigel app as a friendlier photo editor with descriptive function labels like lighten and darken rather than using professional terms like dodge and burn.

The upcoming app, which is centered around “crop, adjust, liquify, heal, smooth, light, color, paint, defocus and vignette” functions, will even include some features not yet offered on the professional desktop Photoshop app, the report adds:

The new face-recognition tool is in the “liquify” menu. When it detects a face, it overlays control points atop eyes, nose, mouth, chin and cheeks. Those dots let people subtly resize or move facial features around.

“It might seem a little cheesy, but this is something we’ve actually worked with professionals on,” Anand said. Even though the face-specific tool isn’t available in Photoshop for PCs — that’ll come later — its changes are compatible with the PC version’s liquify tool.

Serving as a gateway app for novice photo editors, the free Project Rigel app won’t require Creative Cloud subscriptions for use as photos from Dropbox, Facebook, the iOS Photos app, and other sources can be imported. The Project Rigel app (presumably with its finalized app) is expected to debut in October on iPhone and iPad with Android coming sometime after. You can find all of Adobe’s current iOS apps on the App Store.

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  1. Tom Who (@TommieWho) - 7 years ago

    Like Google with Google+, is Adobe starting to finally realize forcing people into their overpriced Creative Cloud is unpopular? I hope so.

    • WaveMedia (@WaveMedia) - 7 years ago

      No. Because it isn’t overpriced or unpopular. Maybe if you’re someone who previously just stole it all the time or don’t actually use it, but as someone who makes their living with any one of the included tools it’s a very worthwhile thing. They even have options for those who need it only occasionally so even if you’re a freelancer and need it for a project you just bill a months worth in your price and there you go.

      As far as their mobile apps go they’re… crap. All of them. Lightroom Mobile is especially crap and in no way deserving of the name.

  2. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    I could think of a different product they should discontinue.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.