Recently Adobe announced updates to its popular IOS app Photoshop Express. However, some changes to this app have been deemed controversial and it has seemed to upset more than just a few users.

The current app rating for the new version has only a 2-star rating in the App Store. The significant changes in the look and design, many users felt they lost the filters and extras they paid. This isn’t actually true though, they were just renamed. However, some of the free effects in the previous version are now part of paid effects in this update. In addition, instead of having controlled adjustment of effects, some users now call it a glorified Instagram.

I got in touch with Adobe to build a list regarding the changes and tips to adjust to a new workflow with the upgrade.

In-app purchases have been renamed:

  • The Effects Pack that you previously purchased has been renamed Premium Looks Pack. According to Adobe, you still have access to these effects.
  • The Camera Pack, which provided Noise Reduction, is now called Noise and can be found in the Corrections slider menu. However, this is now a paid feature. If you go to the settings (gear icon), you can select ‘restore purchases’ to restore your previous in-app purchases.

Other changes:

  • Previous Effects and Borders have been replaced with Looks, Premium Looks, and Borders. Some of the new looks replicate many of the most popular effects. Adobe plans to add new borders, looks and sharpen controls in future releases.

The icons mean:


  • Overlapping circles icon– Looks/Premium looks
  • Crop icon– Crop (also straighten, rotate, flip)
  • Correction Sliders icon– Contrast, noise, clarity, exposure, highlights, shadows, temperature, tint, and vibrance
  • Eye icon– Red eye Fix
  • Border icon– Borders

Image corrections:

  • Instead of selecting the sun icon as you did before for exposure, brightness, contrast, hue/saturation, and tint/temperature, you can now use the corrections sliders for contrast, noise, clarity, exposure, highlights, shadows, temperature, tint, and vibrance.
  • The corrections sliders are the third icon on the bottom. You can also get photos from and save photos to Adobe Revel, which is Adobe’s sharing and storage service they are promoting.

Here is an explanation as to how most of the previous adjustment options can be accomplished with options in version 3.0:

  • White balance can be accomplished by a combination of tint and temperature changes.
  • Brightness, is accomplished using contrast, exposure, shadows and highlights.
  • Noise reduction is now in the corrections slider area
  • Contrast is a choice in the corrections slider area.
  • Hue can be modified by changing tint and temperature, choices in the corrections slider area.
  • Saturation Similar results can be accomplished by vibrance, except vibrance will preserve the skin tones and saturated colors.
  • Sharpen Sharpen is not currently available in version 3.0. You can try clarity for now, which is somewhat similar.

Final thoughts

My opinion is this: It’s a free app. If you paid for something, and it’s not what you want, then request your money back. If its free, then either find something else, or adjust to the new upgrade. Changes are always going to happen whether it’s this app or another one. With that said it’s an easy enough app to use and might be worth trying out.