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For frequent Photoshoppers, Adobe Nav is the most worthwhile of Adobe's trio of iPad apps, built on its new Photoshop Touch SDK. This $1.99 app displays Photoshop’s desktop tools on the iPad screen, allowing you to access them without touching the mouse. It requires Photoshop 12.0.4 or later -- that's CS5 or CS5.5, with a required update.
As with the other apps, you'll start at Photoshop’s new Edit > Remote Connections menu. Establish a service name and password, open an iPad app, and connect by tapping the familiar “Ps” icon in the lower-right corner. It was a snap to hook up our iMac and iPad on the same network.
You’re the boss with Adobe Nav with the ability to add or delete tools for your default set.
Nav defaults to the same toolset familiar to Photoshop users, but it’s easily customized with a tap on the Edit button—you can remove unused tools and drag new ones to the 16 available slots. Always-available tools include the foreground/background color palettes, Screen Mode (for switching in and out of full-screen view) and Actual Pixels, to show your work in the most accurate view.
Buttons on the bottom switch between tools and active Photoshop windows. The current window features a pulsing blue dot next to its name; tap to switch to another. Jumping between open windows is fast, and you’ll see full-color previews of your work in progress on the iPad. Add a new blank window in Photoshop by tapping New or the empty tile with a plus-sign inside.
Get a quick view of all your open Photoshop documents, including image details, from Adobe Nav.
Making Nav part of your daily workflow largely depends on how you use Photoshop. Since the app isn’t a full remote replacement for a mouse or trackpad, those with ninja-like keyboard shortcut skills are likely to benefit, with fewer clicks necessary to access lesser-used tools.
The bottom line. After shelling out $699 for Adobe Photoshop, another couple bucks to control it from your iPad doesn't seem like much. But with its notable omissions, Nav seems more of a "gee whiz" proof of concept than a must-have, at least for now.
iPad running iOS 4.3 or later, Adobe Photoshop CS5 version 12.0.4 or higher (Mac or PC)
Slick iPad extension of Photoshop. Real utility for a low price.
Requires Photoshop CS5 or higher.