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Snapseed App Review: A Touch-Friendly Photo Editor for iOS

Sections: Phoneography, Photo Apps

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Snapseed is a photo editor for iPhone and iPad that’s designed explicitly for touchscreens. Its interface uses a variety of gestures to tweak photo properties instead of sliding bars. Vertical swipes are used to change the property being adjusted, and horizontal swipes to adjust the value.

Feature-wise, Snapseed comes with auto-correction tools, the ability to adjust five different properties, cropping and straightening tools, overall a fairly standard set of features for a photo editor. As well, the app has several filters that can be customized to add effects like tilt-shift, and vintage looks.

The auto-adjust section, which offers contrast and color correction, seemed best when left untouched, as utilizing the standard tuning mechanisms provided the best results with the photos that I used. However, on some dark photos, it helped to improve the photos; as with any auto-adjust feature, do not take its output as gospel, do not be afraid to play with individual settings.

The individual adjustments option, which allows for smaller sections of a photo to have properties adjusted, is useful for making small tweaks, but can also easily cause odd effects in photos, especially if the adjustment point is moved around. Up to 8 adjustment points can be made, and they can be shrunk or increased in size through pinching and expanding two-finger gestures.

I used this app to improve some photos that were taken in dim lighting conditions, and they did a great job at making them look like they were taken in brighter conditions, once adjustments like the ambiance setting were adjusted. The gestures are an interesting way to interface with a photo editor, and one that makes sense on iOS. They work great with small adjustments as well, and the interface works great between both the iPhone and the iPad.

Snapseed also makes it easy to export photos to services like Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s even possible to open up photos in other compatible photo apps like Photogene 2 and Camera+, and to export the photos via Dropbox.

Snapseed is not a perfect photo editor for iOS, but it has some great benefits to it. The interface is very user-friendly, and probably the strongest part of the app. The app’s features make it more suited for a casual photo editor, one looking to add basic post-processing to their images, so experts may want to look elsewhere for the photo app of their choice, despite Snapseed‘s inherent usability.

Snapseed is available from the App Store as a universal app for iPhone and iPad for $4.99.

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