How to Use Adobe Photoshop Express App

Adobe Photoshop Express screenshot on Samsung tablet

As a photographer, the ability to quickly refine, enhance, or totally transform your photos on the go is crucial. Recently, I’ve been trying out Adobe’s Photoshop Express app – and I’m pleasantly surprised with their range of adjustments and features for a free app!

The Photoshop Express app provides a suite of tools that are both powerful and accessible, making it an ideal choice for both amateurs and seasoned professionals. In this guide I’ll walk you through the essential steps and tips to master this versatile app, ensuring your photos stand out.

Downloading and Installing Photoshop Express

Before diving into the creative process, let’s start with the basics.

Downloading and installing the Photoshop Express app is straightforward. It’s available on iOS, Android, and Windows, you can find it on respective app stores. Once installed, you’ll need to sign up or log in with an Adobe ID.

This ID is your gateway to syncing your work across devices, accessing cloud storage, and potentially integrating with other Adobe services if you choose to expand your toolkit in the future.

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Navigating Photoshop Express

Understanding the layout of the Photoshop Express app is key to utilising its full potential. The user interface is designed to be intuitive. When you open the app, you’re greeted with a clean, uncluttered view of your photo library.

Selecting a photo to edit takes you into the editing workspace where tools are organised by function—such as crop, adjust, and filters—making them easy to locate and use. Familiarising yourself with this setup will streamline your editing process, saving you time and frustration.

Adobe Photoshop Express app library screen

Basic Edits: Cropping, Straightening, and More

Getting started with basic edits is a great way to begin your Photoshop Express journey. The app offers essential tools like crop, rotate, and straighten which are indispensable for improving the composition of your photos.

Experimenting with these can significantly impact the overall appeal of your images. Cropping helps to focus on your subject by removing unnecessary elements, while straightening ensures your horizons are perfectly level.

Adobe Photoshop Express app cropping tool

Enhancing Images in the Photoshop Express App

Once your composition is set, adjusting exposure and colour is your next step. Photoshop Express provides sliders for exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, temperature, and more.

These tools allow you to correct lighting issues and bring out the best in your colours. For instance, increasing exposure can brighten a too-dark photo, while adjusting temperature can correct white balance issues or add a warm or cool mood to your image.

Adobe Photoshop Express app basic adjustments

Creative Effects: Using Filters and Textures

For those looking to add a bit of flair to their photos, the creative effects within Photoshop Express are a treasure trove. The app includes a variety of filters and overlays that can transform your images from ordinary to extraordinary with just a few taps.

Whether you’re looking for a vintage look, a black and white effect, or something more vibrant, there’s likely a filter that meets your needs. Additionally, adding textures can give your photos a unique finish that stands out.

Adobe Photoshop Express app filters and overlays

Advanced Features: Healing and Clone Stamp

To tackle more complex edits, such as removing blemishes or unwanted objects, Photoshop Express offers advanced tools like the healing brush and clone stamp.

These features are particularly useful for portrait and landscape photographers who need to ensure their scenes are flawless. The healing brush is perfect for small fixes, like removing spots or small distractions, while the clone stamp can handle larger areas, helping you maintain the natural look of your images.

Sharing and Exporting in Photoshop Express

After perfecting your photos, sharing them with the world or saving them for personal use is your final step. Photoshop Express makes this easy with options to save to your device, upload directly to social media platforms, or share via email. The app also allows you to choose the format and quality of your image, ensuring you have the best resolution for your needs.

Adobe Photoshop Express is another versatile photo editing tool from Adobe that caters to mobile users seeking quick and powerful editing capabilities.

Here’s how you can get Adobe Photoshop Express, its availability on different platforms, and details about its cost.

Adobe Photoshop Express app sharing and export options

Platforms Supported

iOS Devices: Photoshop Express is available for both iPhone and iPad. It requires iOS 12.0 or later, compatible with a broad range of devices, from older to the most recent models.

Android Devices: The app is compatible with Android devices that run Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later, accommodating a wide spectrum of smartphones and tablets.

Windows Devices: Photoshop Express is also available for Windows 10 and later, making it accessible on PCs and tablets running this operating system.

Adobe Photoshop Express app Google Play Store

Cost and Subscription Plans

Adobe Photoshop Express can be used under different terms, including a free tier and premium features that require payment:

Free Version: Photoshop Express offers significant functionality for free. This includes basic editing tools like cropping, rotating, adding text, applying filters, and more. The free version is robust enough for most casual users who need quick edits on the go.

In-App Purchases: While the basic features are free, Photoshop Express also offers advanced features and additional content such as premium filters, advanced healing tools, and cloud storage options through in-app purchases. These features enhance the app’s functionality and are available either individually or through a subscription.

Adobe Creative Cloud Integration: If you already subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, some features of Photoshop Express might be included in your plan, especially if you have an all-apps subscription. This integration allows for a more seamless experience across Adobe’s suite of products.

Free Trials and Adobe Creative Cloud Membership

Free Features: Unlike many other Adobe products, the core functionality of Photoshop Express does not require a subscription as many features are available for free.

Optional Premium Features: For additional premium features, users can opt to make in-app purchases. These purchases enhance the functionality of the app significantly, particularly for users looking for a more in-depth editing tool on their mobile or tablet.

Adobe Photoshop Express is designed for efficiency and accessibility, making it ideal for quick edits and social media-friendly visuals.

It’s a convenient option for those who need reliable, straightforward photo editing capabilities without the need for the full power of desktop Photoshop or other more comprehensive Adobe tools.

Whether you are a professional looking to make quick edits on the go, or a casual user wanting to enhance your photos for social media, Photoshop Express provides a strong set of tools to help you achieve your desired results.

Adobe Photoshop Express app on Adobe Creative Cloud website

Differences in Features and Capabilities

Adobe Photoshop Express

Simplicity and Accessibility: Photoshop Express is a streamlined version of Photoshop designed for quick edits and easy photo enhancements. It includes basic tools such as crop, straighten, rotate, and auto-fix, along with filters, effects, and simple retouching options.

It’s primarily a mobile app, available on iOS, Android, and Windows phones and tablets, making it ideal for users on the go. Unlike Photoshop CC, Photoshop Express does not support advanced layer management, which limits its use for more complex graphic design tasks.

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Adobe Photoshop CC

Comprehensive Editing Tools: Photoshop CC is a full-featured desktop application that includes advanced tools for detailed and complex photo editing, graphic design, and digital art. It offers sophisticated capabilities like layer manipulation, advanced compositing, and more.

It’s aimed at professionals and serious hobbyists who require a deep set of tools for precise control over their images and designs. Users can extend its functionality with numerous plugins and perform non-destructive edits using adjustment layers.

Adobe Photoshop Express app before and after comparison viewAdobe Photoshop Express app before and after comparison view

Syncing and Connection between Express and CC

While both Photoshop Express and Photoshop CC are part of the Adobe ecosystem, their ability to sync directly with each other is limited:

Both apps can access Adobe Creative Cloud, but they do so in different capacities. Photoshop Express can upload images to the Creative Cloud, and users can then download these images on their desktops to edit with Photoshop CC.

There isn’t a direct sync feature for ongoing projects between Photoshop Express and Photoshop CC. For example, layers edited in Photoshop CC will not be editable in Photoshop Express if transferred back and forth because Express does not support these features.

Which Photoshop App is Right for You?

Photoshop Express is for…

  • Photoshop Express is aimed at casual photographers and social media users who need quick edits.
  • Mobile users who want to enhance photos directly on their phones or tablets.
  • Beginners who are not yet ready to invest in or learn the more complex Photoshop CC.


Photoshop CC is for…

  • Professional photographers and graphic designers.
  • Users involved in digital art, web design, and film production.
  • Enthusiasts and professionals who require detailed manipulation capabilities.
  • Limitations of Photoshop Express Compared to Photoshop CC
Luminar and Photoshop by

Differences Between Photoshop CC v Express

Photoshop Express has several limitations when compared to Photoshop CC, including:

Tools like the Pen tool, Channels, Advanced Masking, and more are unavailable in Photoshop Express. While Photoshop Express allows for basic adjustments, it lacks the fine control over parameters like curves, levels, and detailed colour grading. Unlike Photoshop CC, Photoshop Express has limited support for RAW files, which can be a significant drawback for professional photographers.

Advanced compositing, text manipulation, and graphic design capabilities in Photoshop CC are not present in Photoshop Express. In summary, Photoshop Express is best suited for quick, on-the-go edits and for users who require an easy-to-use app without the need for complex features.

Photoshop CC, on the other hand, is aimed at professionals and serious enthusiasts who need detailed control and advanced functionality for their photo editing and graphic design projects.

EXCLUSIVE: How to use Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop - Which Photo Editor is Right for You?
Adobe Photoshop CC Interface

Photoshop Express: Summary

By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the Photoshop Express app. Each tool and feature offers a pathway to enhance your photography, ensuring every image you produce is stunning.

With practice, you’ll find that this app becomes an indispensable part of your photography process, allowing you to express your creative vision with ease and efficiency.

Dive into the world of Photoshop Express and watch your photos transform from simple pictures to works of art.

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