After a beta period of several months, software company Adobe has released a version of its Photoshop image editing software that runs natively on M1 Macs, such as the late 2020 models of the MacBook Air, Mac mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro.
In a blog post announcing the release, Adobe’s Pam Clark claims Photoshop will now run “significantly” faster on M1 Macs. Here’s an excerpt:
Our in-house testing reveals a wide range of features that are on average 1.5 times faster than comparable previous generation configured systems. Our tests covered a wide range of activities, including opening and saving files, running filters, and compute-intensive operations like Content-Aware Fill and Select Subject, all of which feel noticeably faster. Our early benchmarking also shows that some operations are significantly faster with the new chip.
Of course, Adobe says it plans to continue to optimize and improve the Apple Silicon version of Photoshop. The blog post lists some features that didn’t make it through this initial public release for the architecture: “Invite to Edit Cloud Documents” and “Present Syncing”. There are a few others that aren’t mentioned in the post, but the post points out that they’re mostly features that were only recently added to other Photoshop builds.
The announcement about M1/Apple Silicon support was accompanied by the introduction of an all-new feature that: is however, available on this platform: the Camera Raw plugin gets “Super Resolution”, which is basically a machine-learning-driven version of the oft-derided “enhance!” functionality appear in TV crime trials and sci-fi movies. Super Resolution is trained on a large data set and tries to double both the vertical and horizontal resolution of an image. It improves on similar features that were already available in Photoshop, but had more limitations.
(On a related note, Adobe also says it has added two new features to Photoshop for iPad: “Cloud Documents Version History” and “Make Cloud Documents Available Offline.”)
Adobe had already brought its Lightroom photo editing and management application to Macs running on Apple’s new chips, and it’s working on others as well.
All in all, this has been a relatively eventful week for M1 software support. Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code first received a generally available M1 version a few days ago, and we’ve also seen Apple roll out Silicon-native versions of CorelDRAW, Octane X, DaVinci Resolve, and 1Password this week.