3 of a Kind: Photo Editors

Danny Gorog
31 May, 2013
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App Guide

Displaying photos has always been a particular strength of iOS, whose gestures just make it fun. And as iOS devices have become more powerful, so their ability to edit photos has improved. There are now a large number of apps that not only let you file and share photos, but let you edit them too. 



Photo & Video


iPad $10.49

Voted as one of the App Store’s best in 2012 and inducted to the App Store Hall of Fame, Photoshop Touch is Adobe’s first serious foray into the world of mobile apps.

Photoshop Touch has all the features you’d expect from the desktop version of Photoshop, including support for layers, selection tools, adjustments and filters. But the Touch version introduces ‘touch’ only features like a Scribble Selection Tool that lets you extract parts of an image by simply scribbling over the image. Then, you can use your fingertip to refine the edge of your selection.

You can even use the iPad’s camera (first-gen iPads are not compatible) to fill an area on a layer and apply one of the unique camera fill features too. If you subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud you can automatically sync your projects and then finish them off on your Mac using CS5.1 or CS6. Photoshop Touch lets you work with files up to 12 megapixels, which may disappoint professional photographers who need to work with larger RAW files. There’s an iPhone version as well.


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iPhone & iPad $5.49

Like Adobe, Apple built a version of iPhoto from the ground up for iOS and the results are great. iPhoto is more of a rounded photo app than Photoshop Touch because it provides the ability to organise and sort images as well as editing them.

In terms of editing tools, iPhoto provides advanced multi-touch editing, so you can do things like touch and drag on an image to adjust the colours or saturation of an image. It’s fun to do and easy to revert back to the original. Apple has also provided some professional-quality effects you can use to make your photos look more interesting.

These are presented in a fun, card-like spread where you can choose the amount of an effect you want to apply. Lastly, the brushes feature lets you paint out blemishes and spots in an image with a simple tap or swipe.


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East Coast Pixels

iPhone & iPad $1.99

PhotoToaster is a powerful photo-editing app that provides easy access to many great filters and effects. It’s a bit like Photoshop Touch in the powerful editing it provides, but it has a simpler, more approachable interface. PhotoToaster puts a lot of emphasis on ‘one-click’ settings; there are 60 effects and 80 settings that you can apply in one tap. So it’s easy, for instance, to add a Deep Focus effect and a Vignette to your image.

For more adventurous photographers, there are plenty of more sophisticated tools to explore, like the 24 live slider controls that let you adjust an image and see the change on the fly. Once your masterpiece is complete, PhotoToaster lets you export it to a number of popular sharing sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


by Danny Gorog, Macworld Australia

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