Adobe released a Photoshop CS6 beta on March 22, giving anyone a chance to download it and explore its new features. The early reviews are in...
Don't forget to check out our Photoshop CS6 review
Writing in PC Pro, Tom Arah says that Adobe is "making Photoshop CS6 available as an open beta to ensure that the final release is rock-solid. There are some bugs to iron out, but the real reason for throwing the doors wide open is clear: Adobe knows once you've tried Photoshop CS6, you're not going to be happy with anything else - including Photoshop CS5."
The technology blogs have been quick to share their opinions and put up quick-fire Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta reviews. Here's what Wired's Scott Gilbertson thinks:
"This release has video editing tools, a more photo-friendly interface, better production-minded features, and some cool whiz-bang brushes for 'magically' editing people, objects and backgrounds out of photos that anyone can find a use for. It's a more capable program designed to appeal to a wider range of potential users."
Concentrates on the basics
"I'm in love with Photoshop CS6," writes Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo. " For the first time in many years, this one is a must-have update... [it concentrates] on the basics, that 10 per cent that does the 90 per cent of the work." In fact, he calls the beta the 'best update in recent memory'.
Largely the same
None of these early reviews will offer the sort of in-depth analysis that many people are looking for. They're impressions and hands-on reviews of the beta software. Tech site The Verge is less impressed.
"Photoshop CS6 may look like a huge visual refresh -- and it's certainly the most drastic one in recent memory - but it's largely the same Photoshop, good and bad, underneath."
The single most important fix...
Writing for TIME's Techland blog, veteran journalist Harry McCracken describes the Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta as "magical". But although there are some impressive features like the Content Aware Patch tool and layer searching, McCracken highlights something smaller...
"One of Photoshop's most mundane enhancements may be the single most important fix: It finally has an auto-save feature." (Good point. Who hasn't lost work in the past due to a failure to save and a Mac crash?)
For MacWorld's Michael Burns, it's the GPU acceleration "that nudges this release towards being a must-buy. The numerous other timesaving controls and tweaks crowd take precedence over 'whizz-bang' features this time around."
Have you downloaded the Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta yet? You can get it free from Adobe Labs (opens in new tab) for the duration of the beta period. And with Adobe avoiding any mention of a firm release date for the final software, who knows how long that will be.
If you're a designer, illustrator or photographer, let us know what you thought of the beta (and whether you'll be upgrading to Adobe CS6) in the comments below.