Using Photoshop on iPad

Can you really use the full Photoshop [not the free app] on your iPad? Is there, as the ad going around claims, a “secret way” or “trick” that allows you to do so? We decided to take a look. Let me give you the raw answer right now: don’t bother, you cannot.

See, when I read that there’s a way to run Photoshop on the iPad, what I understand this to mean is: someone has found a way to jailbreak the iPad and install PS (which, I must admit, sounds farfetched already).

That “trick” being advertised [yes, it’s simply an ad] is for a paid app that lets you access your desktop from your iPad. And, of course, once you’ve accessed your desktop, you can run any application residing on your desktop accessing the files and images residing on your desktop. There’s value to that, though you’ll have to fork out US$29.99.

But that’s accessing your desktop from your iPad — that’s not the same as running PS on your iPad. There is a big difference, and it’s not just semantics. See, you cannot use the PS residing on your desktop to edit any image residing on your iPad.

So there you have it. If you are a photographer wondering if you can run the full PS to edit images residing on your iPad, the answer is, No, you cannot.

(2010-07-19) Editor’s Note: SInce we wrote the above post, there is now a way to wirelessly tether the iPad to a MacBook Pro and use it as a secondary monitor and do some editing on the iPad while PS runs on your computer.


  • There is an alternative to logmein. It uses the same idea you have to install a program on the host computer but it is free. It is called TeamViewer. It is free for non-commercial users and gives the same usability as logmein. I have used log me in for a few years and while this does not beat it it is a very very close second. Plus it’s a free app.