Celebrating 22 Years of Adobe Photoshop – Timeline

Adobe’s Photoshop has been a part of every web designer out there and I’m sure that they would agree with me on this. Adobe Photoshop has not only made a designer’s life easier with the new features and technologies that are released in new versions, but has also helped in expanding the peripheral vision of creativity, art and imagination.

For the last two decades Adobe Photoshop has been the world’s most popular image editor and today the Adobe team is celebrating the editor’s 22nd anniversary.

The story of the World’s most popular image editor began in 1987, when Thomas Knoll programmed a pixel imaging program he called Display. Primarily, the tool displayed grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, Display did create a strong foundation for what has now become the world’s most popular image editing tool.

Knoll Brothers

Adobe licensed the software in 1988 and renamed it Photoshop, and shipped the very first version of Photoshop on February 19, 1990, at a price of $895.

Adobe predicted that they would sell 500 copies of Photoshop per month, but with the unique features it offered, Adobe managed to beat those projections. Today, the software is being used by over millions of people worldwide.

Here’s a timeline of how Photoshop kick started and went on to become the world’s popular image editing tool –

1987 – Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, develops a tool called Display for his Mac Plus with a capability ofAdobe Photoshop 1.0 displaying 256-share grayscale images on black and white screen.

1998 – Adobe licenses Display and renames it to Photoshop. Approximately 200 copies of the version 0.87 were shipped in bundle with the scanners.

1990 – Photoshop 1.0 is released with system requirements of an 8MHz processor and 2MB RAM. The main features of Photoshop 1.0 were color correction, image optimization for output, Curves, Levels, and the Clone tool. The software could easily fit on 3.5-inch floppy disk.

1991 – Photoshop 2.0 (codenamed Fast Eddy) is released with CMYK support, Path tool, and the rasterization of Illustrator files. Abode also released an SDK for third-party plugin developments.

1993 – Photoshop 2.5 (codenamed Merlin) is released for Windows as well as Mac. It ships with 16-bit image support, Quick Mask, Dodge and Burn Tools, and visual color-correction tool.

1994 – Adobe releases Photoshop 3.0 with key feature – Image Layers, one of the most important features ever added in Photoshop. In the same year, Alien Skin Software developers the first drop-shadow effect plugin for Photoshop.

1996 – Adobe Photoshop 4.0 (codenamed Big Electric cat) is released with key features including, adjustment layers, macros, Actions, grids, Free Transformation tool, and a new user interface.

1998 – Adobe releases Photoshop 5.5 (codenamed Strange Cargo). Includes features like the History palette, layer effects, spot colors,Adobe Photoshop 5.5 and the Magnetic Lasso tool. This is first ever version of Photoshop that supported integrated online updating.

2000 – Adobe Photoshop 6.0 (codenamed Venus in Furs) is released with feature including Layer Styles, layer-based slicing for HTML development, Liquefy filter, and a redesigned user interface.

2002 – Adobe ships Photoshop 7.0 (codenamed Liquid Sky). Photoshop 7.0 introduces new features like, Healing Brush tool, custom workspaces, and a spell checker.

2003 – The release of Adobe Photoshop CS (a.k.a Photoshop 8, codenamed Dark Matter). This version features layer groups, Lens Blur Filter, keyboard shortcuts, and JavaScript support.  This is very first version to require activation, and came with a PDF manual.

2005 – Photoshop CS2 is released (codenamed Space Monkey) with Bridge, Smart Objects Spot Healing, HDR merging, and Lens Correction filter.

2006 – Adobe released a beta version of Photoshop Lightroom, an image management tool basically created for professional photographers.

2007 – Photoshop CS3 (codenamed Red Pill) is released with Smart Filters, the ability to import and process videos, Black and White conversion tool, and a improved Clone tool.

Adobe Photoshop CS4

2008 – Adobe Photoshop goes online. Adobe creates a Flash based Photoshop Express app on Photoshop.com, offering limited image editing features. In the same year, Adobe release Photoshop Lightroom 2.0. Adobe also released Photoshop CS4 (codenamed Stonehenge) offering features like Content Aware Scaling, RAW image processing, and auto layer alignment tools. A 64-bit version for Windows Vista was also released.

2009 – Photoshop.com is available for the iPhone as a free mobile edition image editor. Adobe releases a public beta of Lightroom 3.0

2010. Adobe Photoshop turned 20 years. Releases Photoshop CS5 with better Edge Detection and Masking, Straighten and Multilayer Opacity, improved Content Aware fill, and improved Spot Healing tool.

2011 – Adobe releases Photoshop for Android and the iOS operating system. Also, Adobe Photoshop CS5.5 is released in May.

2012 – Adobe celebrates 22 years of awesomeness.

The All New Content-Aware in Adobe Photoshop CS6 is Awesome

The new Content-Aware feature in the upcoming Adobe Photoshop CS6 just blew my mind. Adobe’s Senior Product Manager, Bryan O’Neil Hughes, came up with a video demonstrating the latest feature in the CS6. With the new Content-Aware feature, you can seamlessly move or remove objects from an image. The new feature includes a whole lot of improvements to the CS5 Content-Aware technology.

All of the tricks shown by Bryan in the sneak peek guide can be recreated in the earlier versions of Photoshop. However, to accomplish the end-result the task certainly is time consuming. With the new features added to CS6, it clearly makes work much easier, faster, and more flexible.

In the demonstration, Bryan uses the concept of Content-Aware that was introduced in the CS5. Added to this is the Content-Aware Move, Extend, and Patch tool in the Adobe Photoshop CS6.

In the video, Bryan wants to move an entire object to the center of the image. Using Content-Aware fill certainly is not a good option. He showcases the new option provided in CS6 – Content-Aware Move Tool. With this, Bryan first selects the object that he wants to shift and then with the Move tool, moves the object to the desired location. The Content-Aware tool then magically removes the original object and adjusts the background by filling in the white spaces. All of this is done effortlessly and in seconds!

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Content-Aware

Other changes we notice is the Photoshop interface, which is much darker compared to the earlier version.

So, how do you find the new Content-Aware feature? I can’t wait to get my hands on this feature and try it out myself!

Apple Hires Adobe Executive Todd Teresi to Run iAd Program

Two years ago, Apple introduced iAds, which is Apple’s mobile advertising platform for its iPhone, iPod touch, and iPhone line of mobile devices. Last year, it was reported that  Andy Miller, the former founder and CEO of Quattro Wireless who was the vice president of mobile advertising and head of the iAd program at Apple, left the company. Since then, Apple has been looking for a replacement for the  executive.

Today,  Bloomberg‘s Adam Satariano reports  that Apple has hired Adobe executive  Todd Teresi  to lead its iAd mobile advertising unit. According to the report, he has been lured away from his position, VP and GM of Media Solutions at Adobe to take place of former Apple Vice President of Mobile Advertising, Andy Miller, who left in August 2011. Teresi will be a key player in Apple’s online marketing presence when he takes over the iAd division. According to his LinkedIn profile, Teresi worked his way through many  management  positions  at Yahoo!  including  Senior Vice President, and served as Chief Financial Officer at Quantacast before taking his most recent job at Adobe.

Before Teresi, Eddy Cue has been temporarily  overseeing  the iAd division at Apple.


Adobe Flash Player Updated To Add Support For Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

It has been an year full of ups and down for Adobe’s Flash Player. While the late Steve Jobs  publicly  criticized Flash and said that it’s going to die soon, Android fanboy’s always said that Flash is far from dead and is required for a ‘full’ PC like web browsing experience on a handset.

However, Adobe itself killed Flash last month when it stated that it will stop the development of Flash Player for Mobile. The company did promise though that it will continue to roll out security fixes for Flash, and even update it to support the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, before the year ends.

Adobe Flash Player did get updated twice in the last one month or so, but none of the updates added support for Ice Cream Sandwich. Thankfully, Adobe pushed out an update late last night which adds support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running handsets, including the Galaxy Nexus.

This is the last time Adobe has updated Flash Player to support a new version of Android OS. The company won’t be updating the plugin to support future versions of the Android OS.

Galaxy Nexus owners, and other Android users who are running an Ice Cream Sandwich based custom ROM on their handset can download the latest version of Flash Player for Android from here.

The Death of Mobile Flash

The Beginning of the End

Apple was the first to announce that it wouldn’t be supporting Flash on iOS. At the time of the announcement, Apple was severely criticized for not offering Flash support, as Flash was almost ubiquitous on the web.

Initially, when Android was still in its infancy, it was one of the few reasons, why anyone would choose Android over iOS. Flash support on Android pretty much sucked, but at least it was there.

It was assumed that Apple would see the error of its ways, and eventually work with Adobe to include Flash support on iOS, but that day never came.

Et Tu, Windows?

When Windows 8 was launched, Microsoft announced that it wouldn’t be supporting Flash support in the Metro view of Internet Explorer, which pretty much confirmed that even Microsoft didn’t believe Flash could ever perform well on mobile devices. Since the launch of Windows Phone, it was assumed that Flash would eventually come to the platform, but even that never happened.

Adobe Gives Up

Finally, around two weeks ago, Adobe gave up on Flash on mobile. It announced that it would be ending all future development on Flash player for new mobile devices, and would instead focus on HTML 5. Here’s why: Why Adobe Had to Kill Flash for Mobile

Today, Google confirmed that Flash won’t be available for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android.

However, they also said this:

Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS. Google

So we don’t really know whether or not Flash is going to be available on Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s very likely that it won’t be.

With the top 3 mobile platforms – iOS, Android and Windows Phone – officially not supporting Flash anymore, it’s dead.

Maybe Steve Jobs was right all along. Flash was never meant for mobile.

Update: Adobe seems to have confirmed that it will ship Flash for Android 4.0 before the end of 2011, but that it will be its last Flash release for Android.

Adobe Plans to Offer Flex to Apache Software Foundation

After a long battle with HTML5, Adobe has finally given it up. The company has planned to “donate” the code for its Flash-based Flex framework along with BlazeDS to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

We are actively working on the proposal for incubating Flex SDK and BlazeDS at the Apache Software Foundation. Once the proposals have been accepted, both Adobe and community contributors can begin committing contributions. We will share an update when the incubator proposal has been posted we expect this to happen over the course of the next few weeks.

According to Adobe, this move to ASF is not intended to abandon Flex SDK, or let it die. The company says that they will continue to provide significant improvements for many years to come. It also plans to steadily contribute to the projects which are currently working under the Flex community. It is also said that that Adobe is finalizing the development on Flex 4.6 SDK and it will be released on November 29th 2011.Adobe Flex

The Flex SDK includes a compiler and a number of library files which are used to build cross-platform Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that run on Adobe Flash. Earlier in 2008, the company announced and place the SDK under an open source license.

Adobe’s announcement of their plans to donate:

  • Flex SDK – a framework used to create Flash applications
  • BlazeDS, – a component used to push data in real-time to Flex and AIR applications
  • Several more minor development components like Falcon, an ActionScript and MXML compiler

Falcon is currently under development, which is supposedly the “next-generation” MXML and ActionScript compiler, and will be contributing it to the ASF when completed in 2012.

Along with these tools, Adobe will also have a team of Flex SDK developers contributing to those new Apache projects as their full-time responsibility.

Also Read:  Chief Engineer, Mike Chambers Explains Why Adobe Had to Kill Flash for Mobile

The ASF now will gather votes on whether to accept Adobe Flex or not. ASF has not provided any statement as of now, but we can expect a quick response from them very shortly.  Last year, Apache announced that the foundation adopted Google’s online real-time collaborative editing tool, Google Wave, which is now called as Apache Wave.

Is this an “End of Flex”?

Well, sort of. Adobe states that “HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.” This clearly indicates that Adobe has not just been forced to concentrate on HTML5, but also shows signs that they are now very much interested in the latest web standards.

Although the company has made it clear that it believes in HTML5 as the future, it still is being very diplomatic about Flex. In a blog post, the company mentions that even though HTML5 is widely accepted, Flex has some advantages over HTML5 for enterprise application development –

  • Flex offers complete feature-level consistency across multiple platforms
  • The Flex component set and programming model makes it extremely productive when building complex application user interfaces
  • ActionScript is a mature language, suitable for large application development
  • Supporting tools (both Adobe’s and third-party) offer a productive environment with respect to code editing, debugging and profiling

Earlier this month, the company had to oust 750 full-time employees in North America and Europe as a part of its efforts to focus more on Digital Media and Marketing. Adobe’s President and CEO, Shantanu Narayen stated –

“Our mission is to produce the world’s content and maximize the impact of that content. Adobe is doubling down in the Digital Media and Digital Marketing categories, markets rich with opportunities for innovation and growth.

Chief Engineer, Mike Chambers Explains Why Adobe Had to Kill Flash for Mobile

Adobe announced that the company has finally decided to bid adieu to its once-upon-a-time popular tool – Flash for mobile platforms. The news came in as good newsfor Apple, since the tool falls short in the area where the mobile era is bound to – Less battery usage, touch interface and open web standards.

Adobe’s chief of developer relations Mike Chambers explains us clearly why Adobe decided to end Flash for mobile platforms

The decision to stop development of the Flash Player plugin for mobile browsers was part of a larger strategic shift at Adobe, one which includes a greater shift in focus toward HTML5, as well as the Adobe Creative Cloud and the services that it provides.

Flash Lacks in Universality

Mike states that “the Flash Player was not going to achieve the same ubiquity on mobile as it has on the desktop.” He also added that (and mainly points out), since HTML5 is widely accepted across all platforms, and the fact being that Apple’s iOS is not going to allow Flash in the browser, it is very much understood and observed that the tool will never achieve the same universality on mobile as how it achieved on the desktop.

Adobe Kills Flash on Mobile Platform

He stresses on the point that even if Adobe continued with Flash, there was no way that Apple would adapt the tool on their iOS anytime in the future. This clearly indicates that the move to kill Flash comes after an intolerable pressure from Apple for excluding Flash on iOS.

HTML5 vs. Flash – HTML5 it is

It’s a known fact that HTML5 is universally accepted and supported by most mobile browsers, and having a strong base with strong
HTML5 - Flash
support on smartphones and tablets, this enlightened Adobe that Flash would never be able to compete with the latest standards of HTML. This is one of the main reasons why Adobe decided to kill Flash, and as Mike stated – Adobe is now more focused toward HTML5.


Making Flash work on mobile platforms effectively, requires Adobe to have resources more than what is expected. This means that the Adobe had to work with multiple hardware manufacturers like Motorola and Samsung, Mobile OS vendors like Google and Apple along with component manufacturers (like Nvidia). That would take considerably much time. “This is something that we realized is simply not scalable or sustainable.”

However, Mike does not mention about how Apple’s users were affected and what led the company to exclude Flash from iOS, which in fact is the reliability and battery drain life.

Although Adobe suffers with the death of Flash for mobile platforms, they still have a ray of hope since Flash for desktop platforms are very much alive and kicking. Having said that, it’s uncertain what the future of Flash (for desktop platforms) would be, since the widespread acceptance of HTML5 may perhaps lead the way for Adobe to ultimately kill Flash on all platforms.

And to what Steve Jobs said  and expressed his thoughts on  Flash  way back in April, 2010, is pretty much true –

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 250,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

Adobe Slashes 750 Jobs, Cuts off Flash on Mobile

In aggressive pursuit of a Digital Media and Digital Marketing strategy, Adobe made a layoff of 750 people from North America and Europe. According to official statements, this will help  Adobe restructure  itself.

In order to better align resources around Digital Media and Digital Marketing, Adobe is restructuring its business. This will result in the elimination of approximately 750 full-time positions primarily in North America and Europe. We expect to record in the aggregate approximately $87 million to $94 million in pre-tax restructuring charges.


The last layoff at Adobe was around two years back, which affected nearly 9% of the workforce. This time too, the layoff affects 9% of the standing workforce. However, the employee strength is not the only thing that went down at Adobe. Apparently, they are also killing the Adobe Flash plugin across all mobile browsers. Going further, Adobe plans to work with Adobe Air and HTML5, instead of Flash. It has also expressed plans to work with digital content, now that Air allows Adobe to work outside the browser as well.

Adobe will continue providing security updates to Flash on Android, for source code licensees. However, it will not develop Flash for mobile, anymore.

This might come as welcome news to Apple, which hates Adobe flash and almost went to cold war with Adobe over it. However, a number of web-services and websites still use adobe Flash, in spite of people speculating about its death over the last few years. Finally, this withdrawal might be the first indicator; towards a wipeout of Adobe Flash from the web.

Adobe Enters 3D gaming with Flash Player 11 and AIR 3

Adobe Systems has announced Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3 software to enable the next generation of immersive application experiences across devices and platforms. Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will allow game publishers to instantly deliver console-quality 2D and 3D games over the Internet to anyone with a PC, tablet, smartphone or connected TV.

By the end of 2011, Adobe expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets including Apple iOS devices to support Flash based applications via Adobe AIR. Adobe AIR, a superset of Flash Player, enables developers to leverage existing code to create and deliver standalone applications across devices and platforms.

Flash offers the best way for content owners to deliver their most demanding experiences, including games, premium video and sophisticated data- driven apps, to all of their users, while HTML 5 tools such as Adobe Edge and Dreamweaver are ideal to build interactive web pages, rich ads, branded microsites and general-purpose mobile applications.

– Danny Winokur, Vice President and General manager, Platform at Adobe.

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 offer full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics that enables 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2. Also, Flash-based applications on Apple iOS devices can now display full frame rate videos using H.264 hardware decoding. Rich applications on televisions will also be  able to deliver HD video with 7.1 channel surround sound.

Adobe Flash Player 11 + Adobe AIR 3

Although facing tough competition from HTML5 capabilities and the non-availability of Flash in browsers on most smartphone platforms, Flash Player is supported on more than 98 percent of Internet connected PCs today. More than 70 percent of casual games on the Web are based on Flash, although mobile-gaming has seen exponential rise in last few years. According to an IDC report from May 2011, total market revenue of casual gaming should rise to $3.5 billion  by 2015 and the number of gamers should rise to 138.2 million.

DigiNotar Hack: Adobe set to patch Acrobat and Reader tomorrow

Adobe logo  Tomorrow,  Adobe will be releasing an  Adobe Reader and Acrobat  security update which will remove DigiNotar certificates from its trusted list. The update will be available for both Windows and Mac. Once installed,it will remove DigiNotar certificates from the Adobe Approved Trust List program’ or AATL. AATL basically is a program that allows users to create digital signatures so that a PDF signed with it is trusted whenever it is opened using Acrobat or Reader of version 9 and above.

This update is a result of the DigiNotar security breach in which a hacker supposedly generated hundreds of rogue SSL certificates. These certificates were used to spoof content, perform phishing attacks and more notably in man-in-the-middle attacks. All of the major browser vendors have now removed DigiNotar certificates from their trusted lists. Both Microsoft (Security Advisory 2607712) and Apple (Security Update 2011-005) have also released updates revoking trust of the DigiNotar certificates.

The Adobe update is rated as critical  and it is recommended that all users of the aforementioned software install this update as soon as possible. The update can be downloaded from here once it is released. Adobe has also indicated that they will be enabling dynamic updates of AATL with a future update so that a user doesn’t have to manually install a patch to update the trusted list in scenarios like this.

In case you want to manually remove the DigiNotar certificates from AATL, instructions for both Adobe Reader and Acrobat can be found here.