If you're a creative soul armed with an iPhone, don't miss this! Stephanie Chu reviews two apps that might change the way you create imagery on-the-go.
Whether you're in transit on a bus, train, ferry, or simply sitting around with creative ideas, you now have a couple iPhone apps to help. We review Layers and Photogene this week on AppJudgment.
With hundreds of apps to choose from for your iPhone, Android or whatever smartphone you may have, how do know what's worth the download? AppJudgment is your daily source for phone app reviews and previews.
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What is it?
- An advanced drawing app for the iPhone and iPod touch with a clearly talented developer
- Set of 10 brushes that can change size, opacity and color
- A generous 30 levels of undo (and redo) history even if you leave the application
- Unique feature: Contains the ability to work with up to 5 layers. Files are compatible with Adobe Photoshop upon export to your computer.
- There is a free, supplemental Layers Replay Viewer that allows you to export and sync PSD or JPG drawings to your Mac up to a resolution of 4096x4096 pixels, or create Quicktime movies of your artwork from start to finish.
- If you don't want the extra software or don't like syncing, you can email your file.
Who is it for?
- Serious artists who embrace technology and desire to be creative on-the-go.
Who is it not for?
- Artists who naturally prefer traditional mediums, like pencils and ink on substrate.
- Casual doodlers who won't use the app often enough to warrant the cost.
If you're looking for something to play-tic-tac toe, try the free Whiteboard Lite: Collaborative Drawing app.
Version 1.2 | Developed by J Benjamin Gotow | $5
- Easy learning curve in understanding the UI
- The only app we found available with Layers PSD support
- Advanced brush size, color and style definitions
- Opacity settings for brushes and erasers
- Generous undo/redo history
- Easy export by email or sync
- Import images from photo library as a layer
- No opacity settings for entire layers
- No vector drawing
- No blending modes or smudging
- Can't change canvas size
- Awkward to draw on an iPhone, even with zoom
- Not a replacement for Photoshop
- Only syncs with OS X, not Windows
It's hard to not be impressed with the possibilities of Layers and the all development that went on behind the scenes to create this type of workspace for mobile devices. Artists who embrace technology will love this without a doubt. But for the casual user, drawing with a finger on an iPhone will not be practical enough to warrant using this in the long run, despite the unique Layers feature. I'm all for having the ability to sketch on the go, but unfortunately I vote to not download Layers.
Eileen introduces Trapster for the iPhone, which may help you avoid tickets while driving!
Layers might be the creative tool for new artwork, but Photogene is our pick for improving existing photos on your phone.
What is it?
This app is both functional and fun. After importing an image from your Photo Library or shooting straight from the app, you can use Photogene's tools to crop, rotate, increase sharpness, adjust color, contrast and exposure, resize or add fun embellishments like vignetting, reflection, borders, and comic quote bubbles!
The most impressive part of this app that I personally use all the time is the levels adjustment. Use sliders to define what level of highlights and shadows you want.
When you're all done, you can save and email your photo at your preferred size up to 2048x1536 pixels, which is the 3GS' camera resolution.
Version 2.1 | Developed by Omar Shoor | $2.99
- Practical, every-day useful tools
- Quick performance
- Color correction and overall improvement of iPhone photo quality is top notch
- Resolution preferences upon save or emailing
- Copy and paste images into email, which is a nice workaround for not being able to create attachments starting with the Mail app.
- Only the last session is still editable - can't save projects
- Silly con, but quote bubbles can't rotate
- Limited font choices
Stephanie Chu gives her final judgment on Layers and Photogene.