Why it matters: Adobe's first version of Photoshop for Apple Silicon is now official, even if it misses some features that have yet to be ported to the new architecture. The company says the performance improvements are a big reason for the early push, and that the missing features are coming in the near future.
Last year, Adobe quietly released a beta version of Photoshop for Arm-based Windows and macOS machines which got people excited about not having to run it in emulation mode or through the Rosetta 2 translator in Big Sur.
After four months of chasing bugs, sifting through feedback, and optimizing for Apple's new M1 SoC, Adobe is now confident that Photoshop is stable enough on the new architecture to be used for actual work.
The company says you can expect some performance gains when compared to using a previous generation Intel-based Mac, with internal testing showing that most features work 1.5 times faster on Apple Silicon. This includes things like running filters, operations like Select Subject and Content-Aware Fill, down to simple tasks like opening and saving files.
The performance results have been independently confirmed by PetaPixel, who also found that Apple's M1 chipset performed particularly well in the PugetBench 0.8 Photo Merge test. The testing was done against an Intel MacBook Pro 13 and a Dell XPS 17 equipped with an RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU. The M1 chipset only lagged behind in the GPU test.
Adobe adds there's still room for improvement and notes that there are still some features that aren't yet ported to run on the M1 chip, such as Preset Syncing, Invite to Edit Cloud Documents, the Shake Reduction filter, or working with embedded video layers and .u3d files. If any of that is part of your workflow, the company recommends that you switch back to Rosetta 2 for now. It's also worth noting that legacy versions of Photoshop prior to Photoshop 2020 won't be ported for Apple Silicon.
Photoshop for iPad also received an update today that brings two new features: Cloud document version history as well as the ability to work on cloud files while offline. Every document that gets saved to the cloud will have versions dating back as far as 60 days, and you can bookmark the ones you don't want to expire.