If you were going to imagine an app for iPad that could help you use Photoshop more effectively, what would it be? For me, it would be along the lines of what Adobe came up with in Nav for Photoshop.
What is it?
Nav is one of Adobe’s first Photoshop Touch apps, and possibly the most obvious of the bunch. It turns your iPad’s screen into a set of buttons for quick access to some of your most used functions and tools in Photoshop CS5.
How does it work?
Quite simply. There’s a grid of 16 buttons, each with an appropriate image depicting its function. On the right are the two colors currently in use, a button for Screen Mode and one for quick access to Actual Pixels zoom. You can also switch to a document view that allows you to pick which active document you’d like to be accessing. Everything works exactly as you’d expect with minimal lag.
If you don’t dig the standard 14 buttons, or are bothered by the fact that you’re not getting full use out of your button space, you can add, remove or replace buttons quite easily. Just hit the edit button and pick from the available buttons. Buttons are easily dragged into place, exactly as expected.
Is it contagious?
Yes. This is the easiest of the Adobe Photoshop Touch apps to recommend since it’s one of the most natural ideas. Instead of always using keyboard shortcuts to access commonly used tools inside of Photoshop, you can just use a customizable interface on the iPad. It just makes sense.
I do think there is still room for improvement, though. The full screen space is not being utilized, so I think it’d be nice to be able to use more than 16 buttons, or have pages of buttons. I think the latter makes sense since you might only need eight or so buttons to accomplish a routine task, but then have a different interface for other tasks. It’d be nice to set this up once instead of modifying the interface every time it is used.
Still, I really like Nav, it’s easily my favorite of the Photoshop Touch apps. Even better, it’s the cheapest of the bunch.