New Windows 8.1 apps optimized for Surface Pro 3 announced

During this morning's press event for the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft showed off some upcoming Windows 8.1 apps that will be optimized to work with the screen and the pen made for the larger 12 inch tablets. One of them is a version of Adobe's Photoshop CC.

In a post on the official Surface blog, Microsoft expanded on the press event demo for Photoshop CC. This new touch-based version of the popular photo editing software is the result of a partnership between Microsoft and Adobe "to bring the full power of Adobe’s Creative Cloud to a powerful mobile experience optimized for touch and pen."

The Surface Pen accessory should be more accurate on the Surface Pro 3 in Photoshop CC than the Surface Pro 2, according to Microsoft. That's because the software will support higher frequency sampling. Also, there will be better controls made for accessing the app with the fingers on the touch screen. The blog states:

Pinch and zoom with your fingers or pan using two fingers on the screen. You can zoom and pan or zoom and rotate at the same time by coming gestures. Beyond these, by holding your fingers down on the screen for a few seconds, you can also move the canvas around in a completely free form way, just like moving a piece of paper around on a desk.

The icons and touch targets on Photoshop CC will also be 200 percent larger than the previous versions of the software for better access with touchscreens like the Surface Pro 3. So far, there's no word on when this touch optimized version of the software will be released.

In another blog post, Microsoft said that The New York Times will release a crossword puzzle app with an "exclusive pen experience" for the Surface Pro 3, along with a version of the screenwriter software program Final Draft. Again, these apps will join others optimized for the Surface Pro 3 sometime later this year but specific release dates were not announced.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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19 Comments

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This is my favourite bit of news from the whole session, followed closesly by the resolution and aspect ratio

What a fantastic device!

j2006 said,
And when he dropped it and it just bounced. I literally gasped but smiled when he did that... :D Can't wait

to be fair it was quite a soft drop (on the carpet). I guess it wouldn't come off unscratched if dropped on concrete or tiled floor.

Thankfully there's a reg hack for CS6 to scale the Photoshop interface on existing Surface Pros (and other HiDPI displays). Take a look over on SurfaceProArtist.

As for N-Trig over Wacom, I got the latest version of N-Trig in my Sony Flip and it's actually really good, and at least on a level with 2011 Wacom tech (my previous device was a Samsung Slate which is the main thing I have to compare it with). Sure it's no 1024 levels of sensitivity but that pressure curve was a real pain, imo. Nowhere near as smooth as on a true Intuos or Cintiq.

MS did invest in N-Trig a few years ago so it had a decent (and cheaper) alternative to Wacom for it's OEMs to include pen input more often. Hopefully now MS is leading the way (again) it'll drag the OEMs forward to start including a digitiser in more devices and more screen sizes.

Watching that guy use Photoshop flawlessly with touch/pen on Surface Pro 3 sold me... this will definitely replace my laptop now. Microsoft did everything right this time.. great job.

j2006 said,
Watching that guy use Photoshop flawlessly with touch/pen on Surface Pro 3 sold me... this will definitely replace my laptop now. Microsoft did everything right this time.. great job.

Yup. Out the window goes the awful Rumor that you can't run Photoshop with touch on a tablet...

Dot Matrix said,

Yup. Out the window goes the awful Rumor that you can't run Photoshop with touch on a tablet...


Its a different story when a pen and Wacom are involved.

Dot Matrix said,

Yup. Out the window goes the awful Rumor that you can't run Photoshop with touch on a tablet...

Remove the pen and photoshop becomes pretty useless. But for those of us who use digitizes this is awesome.

Though I wonder since they say this isn't a Wacom digitizer, how it's supposed to be better, especially since previous versions where compatible with other Wacom intuos pens as well.

That's why the Pro brings a pen since the original.

N-Trig isn't as bad as people put it, and Microsoft certainly worked some magic as they usually do with their own products.

Dot Matrix said,

Yup. Out the window goes the awful Rumor that you can't run Photoshop with touch on a tablet...

it wasn't a rumor before it was a fact. Microsoft just got around to working with Adobe to make photoshop more touch friendly.

Dot Matrix said,

Yup. Out the window goes the awful Rumor that you can't run Photoshop with touch on a tablet...

I think you should re-word this because you are ignoring the little piece of hardware that makes this work.

techbeck said,

it wasn't a rumor before it was a fact. Microsoft just got around to working with Adobe to make photoshop more touch friendly.

Meh, photoshop already had this functionality since wacoms intuos digitizes already has combined touch and pen control which Photoshop cc supports.

HawkMan said,

Maybe not, but it's not Wacom, and it's not Wacom intuos compatible.


Blame it on Wacom. Pretty sure they are scared as #### because SP series will eat up their entry level tablet market.

Crimson Rain said,

Blame it on Wacom. Pretty sure they are scared as #### because SP series will eat up their entry level tablet market.

Not sure how the surface would be a threat to pro level equipment like a cintiq with a calibrated high end graphics screen integrated. As for the non screen tablets, entirely different kind of beast. The intuos series would hardly be under threat even if they share hardware to some degree.

The cheaper bamboo series(now also named intuos) are dirt cheap and not threatened by an expensive ultrabook tablet as it's aimed at a lower market.