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Adobe adds three Photoshop-centric iPad apps to lineup

Adobe plans to demonstrate three iPad apps designed to work in conjunction with the forthcoming Adobe CS 5.5 update. Rather than representing a standalone implementation of Photoshop running on the iPad (as demoed earlier this month), these apps are more like enhancements to the existing toolsets running in Adobe CS on a PC or Mac.

One program, Nav, allows users to use the iPad to switch between tools or opened photos on the main computer running Photoshop. A second app called Eazel works as a finger-painting app that can send anything generated on the iPad directly to the PC or Mac. A third app called Adobe Color Lava is essentially a high-tech version of a traditional painter's palette.

While none of these apps are as ambitious as a full-fledged iOS version of Photoshop, they're intriguing steps in that direction. All three apps demonstrate that Adobe is interested in the future of the iPad, and they show a sort of "outside the box" approach to apps on the iPad, utilizing the tablet as an accessory to a standard computer rather than thinking of it as a computer in its own right. Adobe is also introducing a Photoshop Touch SDK that will allow third-party developers to come up with even more ways to integrate the iPad with a full instance of Photoshop running on a PC or Mac.

All three apps are expected to hit the App Store around the same time as the Adobe CS 5.5 update, currently scheduled to debut on May 3, and they'll cost between US$1.99 and $4.99 each. CNET has brief reviews of all three apps to give you an idea of what you're in for when they debut on the App Store.

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