Adobe: Photoshop is a lot faster on Macs with Apple silicon

Adobe has released its flagship Photoshop product as a stable native release for Apple's M1 Macs.

After three months of testing Photoshop graphics editor for Apple's new Arm-based M1 Macs, Adobe has released a stable version of the app. 

This is the first version of Photoshop that runs natively on Macs with Apple's new M1 chip and follows the beta release of Photoshop for M1 in November

"Our internal tests show that Photoshop delivers significant performance gains across the application for customers using these latest Macs," said Pam Clark, who leads Photoshop product management at Adobe.

"Our internal tests show a wide range of features running an average of 1.5X the speed of similarly configured previous generation systems," she said.

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Apple is part way through its transition away from Intel chips and towards its in-house designed Apple silicon and Adobe has long been a cornerstone of Mac's appeal to graphic designers. 

The tests covered opening and saving files, running filters, and using computationally intensive operations like Content-Aware Fill and Select Subject. They're all "noticeably faster", according to Adobe. 

"Our early benchmarking also shows that some operations are substantially faster with the new chip," Adobe claims. 

Adobe notes that there are some features that haven't been ported to the M1 chip yet, including Invite to Edit Cloud Documents and Preset Syncing. 

"However, the performance gains across the rest of the application were so great we didn't want to hold back the release for everyone while the team wraps up work on these last few features," Clark said.

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If those features are necessary, Photoshop users can switch to the Intel version of Photoshop using Apple's Rosetta 2 translation layer until the features arrive in the M1 native build.

Adobe details several known problems with Photoshop for M1 in a new support note. These issues affect Photoshop when exporting SVG files, and bugs when merging to HDR Pro workspace is too large when maximized. Also 3D features are not optimized for native M1 performance, while there is a black-screen issue when viewing a 3D document.