Snapseed – Review – Edit and enchance photos with extraordinary ease

On March 22, 2012

App Type: Uncategorized

Snapseed – Review – Edit and enchance photos with extraordinary ease

Our rating:

By: Nik Software, Inc.

Version #: 1.3.1

Date Released: 2011-11-07

Developer: Nik Software, Inc.

Price: 4.99

User Rating:

Snapseed is an iPhone app available for $4.99. If you’re wondering why its price is a bit high, it’s because it’s a universal app (so you can use it on your iPad as well as on your iPhone and iPod touch) and, more importantly, because it’s a really well-designed app. Snapseed has been praised by some of the most prominent figures in digital photography circles, and with good reason—it’s a photo manipulation app that is packed with features as well as executed with a winning interface.

Snapseed supports an assortment of tasks related to editing and enhancing photos, and it presents them in a bar at the bottom of the screen when the iPhone is in portrait mode or in a pane at the left of the screen when in landscape mode. Obviously, Snapseed works in either mode, but as this is an app that is heavily invested in the appearance of images it’s better operated in the mode that matches the orientation of the image being edited. Either way you’ll have all the same set of tools at your disposal and the same interface niceties to work with.

It may be a tad intimidating to use Snapseed for the first time, especially at the sight of the numerous editing tools available. Snapseed’s feature set of tools include Auto Correct, Selective Adjust, Tune Image, Straighten & Rotate, Crop, Details, Center Focus, and Tilt-Shift, as well as a number of filters and frames. It’s one thing to know what the names of these tools mean; it’s another to know how to properly use them. Fortunately there’s an instruction overlay that appears every time you try a new tool. Several tools’ intructions vary from others’, but only slightly.

The basic method of editing, once a tool has been chosen, involves swiping upward or downward to select an enhancement and swiping leftward or rightward to adjust the parameters of the selected enhancement. Pinch and drag gestures work intuitively as well. A preview icon can be pressed to compare the edited version to the original, and an opposite-facing pair of arrowheads can be tapped to either cancel or apply the actions so far performed. On the iPhone these arrowheads bear no labels, so it’s easy to mistake them to have “next/previous” functions. The left arrowhead should’ve been just an “X” for “cancel” and the right one should’ve been just a check mark for “apply.” It certainly makes for a more straightforward approach.

You can take a new photo to edit immediately or you can load a photo from you device’s library into the app. But be mindful of the limitation regarding image resolutions: Snapseed supports images with resolutions of up to only 16 MP, so don’t be surprised when, after all the enhancements you’ve applied to a vacation photo you took with your high-end camera, you end up with an image that’s significantly scaled down from the original. Don’t let this proviso hold you back from downloading Snapseed, though. Its trouble with higher resolutions notwithstanding, Snapseed is a must-have photography app.

Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Yes.

Learning Curve:Low, thanks to the help overlays.

Who Is It For:Professional and budding digital photographers.

What I Like:An interface that’s easy to learn and use. Numerous editing tools, filters, and frames.

What I Don't Like:Odd choices for “cancel” and “apply” icons. Scales down images with very high resolutions.

Final Statement:Drop Photoshop. Use Snapseed on your iPhone (or iPad) instead.

Read the Developer's Notes:
** iPad App of the Year!**
(App Store Rewind 2011)

Snapseed is the only photo app you’ll want to use every day. It makes any photograph extraordinary with a fun, high-quality photo experience right at your fingertips.

Anyone can enhance, transform, and share their photos with ease using incredibly advanced features from the leader in digital photography software.

“Snapseed…first-class photo-editing software.” ~~Roy Furchgott, New York Times

“Snapseed app brings pro-level photo editing to iPad” ~~Charlie Sorrel, Wired

“…hands down the best photo app for the iPad to date.” ~~ Scott Kelby, President, National Assoc. of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP).

• Easily adjust your photos with a single tap using Auto Correct
• Tweak your photo to perfection with Tune Image
• Use Selective Adjust to enhance specific objects or areas in your photos
• Experiment with fun & innovative filters like Drama, Vintage, Grunge, and Tilt-Shift
• Add Image Borders for a finishing touch
• Share your creations via email, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter

• 6.25 MP images for iPad, iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch (3rd & 4th Gen), 16 MP images for iPad 2 and iPhone 4, 4S (larger images will be automatically down sampled)
• JPEG and TIFF photos
• RAW photos (requires iPad or iPad2) transferred using the Camera Connector Kit (if files show up as a small thumbnail, go to Settings > Location Services and turn this setting to On for Snapseed. This is required to allow Snapseed to use the iOS RAW processing)
• Language support: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)


• Twitter: @snapseed
• Facebook: snapseed
• Flickr: groups/snapseed
• YouTube: niksnapseed


== Basic Adjustments ==
• Auto Correct - Automatically analyzes your photo and adjusts color and exposure to perfection.

• Selective Adjust - Make precise selections and enhancements to specific areas of your photos in seconds with Nik Software’s revolutionary U Point technology.

• Tune Image - Use Ambience to create depth and vibrancy that uniquely adapts to colors and textures. Adjust White Balance, Saturation, Contrast, more.

• Straighten & Rotate - Rotate 90° and/or straighten photos with simple gesture controls.

• Crop - Easily crop images to remove distracting parts of your photo, now with standard aspect ratios.

• Take Photos – Open photos from the Camera Roll or take new photos.

== Creative Enhancements ==
• Black & White - Get that classic Black and White look with this darkroom-inspired filter.

• Vintage Films - Make any photo look like a vintage color film photo from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.

• Drama - Add style with a custom effect specifically tailored to your photos, ranging from subtle textures to wildly artistic effects.

• Grunge - Give your photos a totally unique, hip, and dingy look.

• Tilt-Shift - Create a narrow in-focus area designed to simulate depth of field, common in a Miniature Scene look.

• Details - Enhance details with traditional sharpening or the unique Structure control found in the Nik Software professional products.

• Center Focus - Draw attention to the subject of your photo by blurring the surrounding background.

• Organic Frames - Add stylized borders to photos for the perfect finishing touch.

== Sharing ==
• Email - Send images at original resolution.

• Social - Share on Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter (using iOS5).

• Print - Print wirelessly using Apple’s AirPrint technology

== Help & Support ==
Get started quickly with help overlays, tutorial guide, and videos. If you ever get stuck, our support team can help.

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