If the idea of the most powerful image in the world running on a tablet makes you worry about the compromises that would have to be made, prepare to be surprised. Of course Adobe has not been able to bring the full Photoshop experience to iPad, but the company has done an excellent job of bringing the most useful tools to Apple's tablet.
Right from the start, you are presented with an entirely familiar interface, and because all of your work is automatically saved to the cloud, it is easy to just from laptop to desktop to iPad and continue working on the same documents.
The fact that you can work directly on the screen with a stylish makes for an incredibly interactive, hands-on experience. In many instances this can be an improvement on using the desktop version of Photoshop with a graphics tablet! There's full support for layers, so whether you are starting a piece of work from scratch, or continuing to develop something you started on a different device, you still have the same level of fine grain control you've become used to.
Adobe has been clever in adapting to the smaller touchscreen of the iPad. As well as implementing a series of gestures to provide shortcut access to various tools and options, the user interface is intelligent enough to only display the tools and options that are relevant to the work you are doing. This means that your workspace is not too cluttered and you can focus on what you're working on.
But Photoshop on iPad is still in it youth. We're only at version 1.5 just over half a year after the initial release. There is an impressive range of brushes, and a number of powerful selection tools – including Select Subject for when you are working with portraits. Photographers with appreciate the improved RAW support, and the inclusion of masks allows for far greater creativity than you might have expected from a tablet-based image editor.
Even if you don't have a Creative Cloud subscription at the moment, you can still try out the iPad app for a full 30 days. But if you already have a qualifying Adobe subscription, you need simply log in and you can use the app without limitations for as long as your subscription runs.
Adobe has done an incredible job of transporting such a heavyweight application from the desktop to the iPad. It would be crazy to expect to get the full Photoshop experience on a tablet, but everything you need for getting creative on the move is here – and there are big plans for improving things further in future versions.