Adobe Photoshop turns 30 today and to look at how far the photo editing software has gone, check out what version 1.0 of Photoshop looked like on a 1-bit Macintosh Plus 1986 computer with 8 MHz CPU and 4 MB of RAM. Uploaded by user j0han1, the video is actually speeded up twice because the original video exceeded the 10-minute limit of the YouTube video in 2009 when it was uploaded (another testament to how much 11 years had passed, let alone 30). This means that waiting for some features like blurring and image loading actually took twice as long. However, it is fascinating to see that many of the features we still use today have been introduced since the launch of the software.
Photoshop as we know it today is a powerful tool capable of manipulating images in an advanced way. It has given way to everything from professional photo editing to memes and gifts like Photoshop battles, but it has also opened doors for bad actors to take advantage of it to spread misinformation. The software has become so powerful that Adobe has had to think about ways to take responsibility, from previewing AI features that can tell when an image has been manipulated, to introducing the content authenticity initiative that aims to verify the online image sources.
Created by brothers John Knoll, who works in Industrial Light & Magic, and Thomas Knoll, a doctoral student in computer vision, Photoshop was licensed to Adobe and officially launched on February 19, 1990. You can watch Knoll recreate the first demo that have ever given up with Photoshop above. Knoll also works briefly on the world’s first photoshopped image (although Adobe doesn’t want you to use that word, because it puts them in danger of losing their brand), which is a photo of his wife in Bora Bora.
Although the UI layout and the toolbar on the back are remarkably similar to today, Photoshop didn’t introduce the layers until four years after its release. The timeline below shows which features have been added over the years to create Photoshop that we use today. To celebrate the birthday, Adobe is releasing improvements to Photoshop on the desktop and iPad, which can be seen in full on the blog. Highlights include improved content filling, dark user interface support in macOS and the object selection tool and type settings coming to the iPad.