Photoshop now runs natively on Windows 10 on ARM with a big catch

Whenever a new kind of computing device comes out that is targeted at professional work, one of the most common questions that come up is whether it can run Adobe Photoshop. That software, after all, has become the gold standard for professional creatives and has also become the measure by which those computing platforms are rated against. That has once been the question about the iPad Pro and even the new M1 Macs, both of which run on ARM processors. Now almost a year after promising it, Adobe has fully released a native version of Photoshop for Windows 10 on ARM, with some caveats, of course.

To be fair, Photoshop has been running on Microsoft's ARM-based devices for quite a while now, but only indirectly. It took advantage of Windows 10 ARM's ability to emulate 32-bit Windows programs in order to run some programs from Adobe's Creative Cloud suite. That, unfortunately, is also one of the reasons for the big warning that Adobe is making about this native version of Photoshop.

Photoshop for Windows 10 on ARM only works for the 64-bit version of the software since Windows 10 on ARM, by nature, is 64-bit. Adobe warns that if you plan on using other 32-bit products from Creative Cloud like Illustrator, you shouldn't use this native 64-bit Photoshop as you will lose access to all those other apps that aren't yet available natively for Windows 10 on ARM either.

The problem, however, is Adobe's pace of making these apps available on Windows' ARM incarnation. The Surface Pro X, for example, was launched back in 2019 and it took months for Adobe to actually push out even a beta for a native Photoshop version for it. In contrast, Adobe was faster to iterate over Apple's M1 Macs.

The native Windows 10 on ARM version of Photoshop also has other limitations in terms of features, including the Shake Reduction Filter or support for embedded video layers. Those are promised to come in subsequent releases but Adobe makes no mention of the schedule for those.