Photoshop CS6 Beta free download released

Adobe has released Photoshop CS6 Beta, a free preview of the company's upcoming refresh to the much-loved image editing app, and bringing with it a range of new Content-Aware tools. The new Content-Aware Patch, for instance, can easily duplicate an area of an image elsewhere as a fill, while  Content-Aware Move makes shuffling a section of an image elsewhere in the frame more straightforward.

The Beta also includes the CS6 Extended 3D editing features and quantitative imaging analysis tools, to give users a taste of what they can expect from the more expensive Photoshop CS6 Extended release. Adobe hasn't confirmed pricing for either it or the regular CS6 at this stage.

Under the hood is Adobe's Mercury Graphics Engine, which promises more speed in the Liquify, Puppet Warp, and Crop tools, along with a new UI with a darker color-scheme. Quick-search for layers, new type styles and custom strokes have also been included; there's more information in the Photoshop User's tutorials.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta is a free download from Adobe Labs for Windows and OS X, with English and Japanese versions available. No purchase is necessary, but you'll need an Adobe ID during the install. As for the full version, that's expected sometime in the first half of 2012.