Adobe Photoshop now runs like a dream on Apple M1 Macs and Surface Pro X tablets

Adobe Photoshop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Creative software giant Adobe has released beta versions of Photoshop that run natively on Arm-powered Windows and macOS devices.

Previously, the popular image editing software has had to be emulated on machines that utilize Arm processors, via Windows on Arm or Apple Rosetta for macOS.

With the new versions, however, owners of affected devices - which include the Surface Pro X tablet and new M1-powered MacBook Pro - will no longer have to suffer the inevitable performance drops brought about by emulation.

The best photo editor overall is: Adobe Photoshop

The best photo editor overall is: Adobe Photoshop
If you're serious about photo editing, or are thinking about turning your hobby into a job, you can't beat industry standard software Adobe Photoshop. It's certainly not free like the photo editors below, but it's surprisingly good value with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Adobe Photoshop for Arm

The arrival of Arm-native versions of Photoshop will be a relief to users that have struggled with emulated versions in the past, but also to anyone planning to invest in the latest Apple products based on the M1 chip - the firm’s new Arm-based custom silicon. 

According to an Adobe support post, the beta versions of Photoshop for Arm will “offer many of the core features you’ve come to rely on for your day to day editing needs” and users with qualifying Arm-based devices should find the relevant installer under the Beta section of the Creative Cloud desktop client.

The new versions should improve the speed at which users can perform resource-heavy functions, render large images and more.

The main caveat, however, is that not all Photoshop tools will be present in the beta versions. For example, the patch tool, healing brush, and content-aware fill feature will all be lacking at first, although Adobe hopes to be able to reintroduce them in the coming weeks.

The firm is actively soliciting feedback on the beta versions, but cautions users to familiarize themselves with the known limitations (of which there are many) before submitting questions or complaints.

Adobe is also expected to publish Arm-native versions of other products in its Creative Cloud suite - which includes Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver and more - although the company has not yet shared concrete roadmaps.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.