Photoshop on the Web is now available in beta with limited features

For the longest time, Photoshop has been the household name when it comes to image editing and digital painting software. While it now has a bit more competition, it's still the de facto standard in the creative industry, despite and in spite of unpopular changes Adobe made to how it distributes the software. Its cloud-centric business model, however, may have its benefits, and one of those makes Photoshop nearly universal, by some of the app's functionality available on web browsers.

Browsers have come a long way in the past few years alone. The ability to access hardware like graphics processors has opened the doors to more resource-intensive applications, including 3D gaming. It has become a great platform not just for collaboration like sharing files but even for working directly on documents and, in this case, images.

Adobe goes into some detail about how it was able to bring Photoshop to the Web, and, in a nutshell, it took quite a lot of work and waiting for technologies and standards to fall into place. It also required collaboration with browser developers like Google to make sure that Photoshop actually performs and works properly on Chrome or Chromium-based browser. You still can't use the full suite of Photoshop's features, but the latest announcement opens some of that to the public.

To open a Photoshop file in web browsers, you naturally need to have access to Adobe Creative Cloud. While features like commenting and annotation have been available before, this beta version will let you make edits like manipulating layers, selecting areas, and applying masks. Adobe says that it focused first on the most common use cases that revolve around retouching and adjusting images for this initial rollout of Photoshop's web version.

Photoshop on the Web is only guaranteed to work with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, though there's a chance other Chromium-based browsers will work as well. Firefox is promised to come eventually, though no timetable has been given. Adobe says that it won't stop at Photoshop and Illustrator, either, and plans to bring the entire Creative Cloud to web browsers.