APP OF THE DAY – Photo fx Ultra (iPad)
While games on phones, tablets and, even, TVs are all well and good, and make for excellent AOTDs, it's nice to have a change with something so mind-numbingly practical and useful that it's a wonder that it costs so little.
We're big fans of photo manipulation at Pocket-lint, and use Photoshop on a daily basis. However, filters for Adobe's software can often cost a fair penny, and be system intensive. That's why the following is our App of the Day...
Photo fx Ultra
This app is absolutely essential for the keen photographer, but so simple that it could be used by anyone. Let us explain...
It's an application made up of a multitude of photo processing filters from Tiffen, a company best know for it's Photoshop (and other image manipulation software) add-ons. That's it. Cunningly simple.
However, the graphical user interface is so intuitive, and the processing modes so quick, that it turns snaps into professional looking photographs with, seemingly, such little effort that you need never go back into the dark room again.
We've found that photography and the iPad are happy bedfellows. Even if you're simply viewing pics as a slide show, its form factor, portability and touchscreen are perfectly suited. And, as long as you're indoors, that screen shows even the most basic holiday photos at their best.
Therefore, it only seems natural to use the tablet device as a portal to a photographic studio - one touch of a finger, or a drag here or there, can work wonders.
And that's what Photo fx Ultra capitalises on. It offers all of its various filters and processing modes (68 in total, in 7 categories, and split into hundreds of defaults) in easy to access menus, all of which pop up at the tap on the screen. But, and this is the best bit, no matter what filter you're viewing, an instant thumbnail preview will give you a good idea of the final result.
Each filter and option comes with a set of sliders to alter the fx further, and you can add layers to effect more filters on top of each other. Plus, there are rudimentary picture sizing, cropping and rotating modes to help even further.
You can also export your settings via email, and there's full compatibility with the still image editions of Tiffen's desktop computer-based Dfx Digital Filter software.
Indeed, there's even more options than we can list here, but half the fun is playing around with the software, as we do on a daily basis. You aren't even limited to manipulating shots captured on the (elusive) iPad Camera Connection Kit, as it'll happily munch away on pictures you've dragged across via iTunes.
So, there you have it. It's not funny, or silly, but Photo fx Ultra is a very worthy App of the Day.