For decades now, the performance of working with digital tools has been contingent on one’s hardware setup and needless to say, you got what you paid for (and still do).

Adobe has been working on obliterating the need for expensive hardware as more services start operating out of the Cloud with the development of their Photoshop Streaming app that aims to put professional-quality processing into the hands of $200 netbook users and others who aren’t fully-committed to forking over thousands of dollars for a workstation.

The working prototype, Project Photoshop Streaming, is now available for select education institutions based on the premise that very few members of this demographic rarely have the expensive hardware seen in professional design studios that are capable of handling gigabyte-sized PSD files.

In partnership with Google, Adobe plans to offer the beta exclusively for Chromebook and Chrome users. The two companies have been working for nearly two years on the project together and are rumored to be 90% of the way towards launching the product to the general public after this Education Exchange-focused beta testing round.


Like other apps that run within Chrome, a user downloads the Photoshop Streaming app via the Chrome Web Store and operates the program from within their browser. Once connected, your browser is actually working from a server running the desktop version of the latest update of Photoshop CC.

As for usability, the UI of the desktop is projected to your browser via video from the server while javascript relays send commands back to the server from your machine for a seamless loop of remote interactivity.

As expected, while the need for powerful hardware goes down with the rise of Cloud-based apps, the need for more reliable and fast connection speeds goes up. In order to use Photoshop Streaming, a minimum of 4 mb/s is needed for any sort of a non-lagging experience. Needless to say, expect coffee shops surrounding design schools to have sudden drops in bandwidth speeds in the near future.


Project Photoshop Streaming includes:

  • Creative tools: Streaming access to Photoshop with other products coming soon
  • Access Capabilities: Access from any Windows device with a Chrome browser or from a Chromebook
  • Learning tools: Access to Adobe Education Exchange learning content and an in-app Learning panel called ‘Learn Now’
  • Support: Project Photoshop Streaming Feedback and Forum support

As for storage, Adobe is working on connecting the service with their steadily-rising Creative Cloud platform but for the time being, users can use Google Drive with immediate access…no uploading required.

Stay in the loop or get your school signed up for the beta over at Adobe Education Exchange.

(Feature image and luggage sketches via Spencer Nugent)

(DeWalt Rendering via KeyShot)


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.