Well, if you were hoping to be able to use Adobe Photoshop on your Chromebook . . . for the time being, you’re out of luck. A partnership was formed between Adobe and Google to bring Photoshop as a cloud service to use in conjunction with Google Drive. Unfortunately, the program isn’t accepting any more applicants for the Photoshop streaming beta project at the time of this writing.
Also see our article Chromebook Guide: How to Screenshot
Bummer—we know. Lucky for you, though, we’ve found some alternatives to Photoshop for you to use on your Chromebook. Since you can’t use Photoshop on your Chromebook right now—and possibly for the foreseeable future, as far as we know—why not take a look at our list?
Pixlr has been called the free version of Photoshop among its users. It integrates well with Google Drive; and if you’re a heavy Chromebook or Google User, you should be happy about that. The Pixlr Editor works online from your Chrome Browser.
Navigate to the Chrome web store and add Pixlr to your Chromebook’s launcher. The only caveat we’ve found is that everything you do in Pixlr is entirely online—which isn’t a bad thing, but on a small 11.6” Chromebook screen, an advertisement takes up a good part of screen real estate on the right-hand side while you’re editing within Pixlr.
Pixlr remains on the top of our list for alternative Photoshop applications on a Chromebook—aside from the inclusion of ads. It’s chock full of options and features, so definitely have a look at it. Oh, did we mention it’s totally free? Yeah, it is . . . which is probably why it’s the most preferred, as it highly resembles Adobe Photoshop.
Polarr Photo Editor
The Polarr photo editor uses a much simpler interface than Pixlr and doesn’t have any advertisements blocking your work space. Even professional photographers find it a joy to use. Polarr can be used in offline mode as well as online.
Once you open Polarr, it walks you through an initial tutorial on how to use it. It’s straightforward and very user-friendly. Polarr has lots of free choices and options; but to get all the features, you’ll have to be willing to shell out $19.99.
Still, that’s much less than you’d pay for the original Adobe Photoshop application—therefore making it worth your investment (especially if you’re a photo-editing guru).
Piconion Photo Editor
The Piconion Photo Editor is the last Photoshop alternative on our list. There’s a free version for online and offline use, but if you desire fuller control in the application and use of all features, you’ll have to pay $1.99 monthly. The application developer states that the monthly fee helps to improve and continue work on the app to make it even better.
Piconion could use a bit of a face-lift. It’s not the prettiest photo editing app out there, but it does the job and covers the basics that anyone should need. Also, the other reason Piconion came in at the end of our selection is that it isn’t very intuitive. Once you get into it, you’re left wondering whether it could be a smidge more user-friendly. Perhaps it’s just something that comes with time and use of the app.
That concludes our list of choices for Photoshop alternatives to use on a Chromebook. These three photo editing applications are the ones that stand out from the others.
If you’re looking for the most functionality and features at the cost of, oh, nothing—we highly recommend Pixlr. When you need something that works independently of the Chrome browser and is very user-friendly, then you’ll want to go with Polarr. Piconion is worth a look; maybe it’s better for some of us than others.
We’re sure one of these photo editing applications will fit the bill for any user out there, and they are the best Photoshop alternatives we’ve found for Chromebook use. Hopefully, we’ve helped you to find your Photoshop alternative for your Chromebook.