One of the most anticipated features of iOS 5 was the photo editing capabilities. The edits that are now possible in the Photos app are helpful and in some ways plenty, but there are times when more editing is desired, causing a return to a computer to do a more complete job of editing.
Most of the photo editing apps just don’t seem complete enough. Filterstorm is the exception to that rule. It has more options than I would probably ever use, and is definitely the most complete photo-editing I have seen for iOS, to the point that I think my daughter, a photography student, would be able to make great use of it.
Right out of the box, Filterstorm gives you more options than you’d have with other photo editing apps. Instead of just offering you options to import photos from your iOS device, it also allows you to paste in a copied photo. When you’re done, you can close it out, as it doesn’t automatically close after you export it. In the settings icon with an exclamation point on it, is the EXIF metadata, showing all the particulars of how the photo was originally taken.
After choosing the desired image, going to the Canvas tab allows for the standard cropping and scaling options, as we all as rotate, flip, and straighten. Additionally, pictures can also be scaled to fit a particular size. This was a 4 x 6 shot that I was scaling to fit a 5 x 7 frame.
Additionally, you can set a background canvas color and size, and also apply borders. I initially applied a white border here and had it add the text. I could have added that to the bottom or the top, and could also choose the size and color.
Right about now, you’re thinking many photo-editing aps do all this. And yes some of them do, but this part of the process is where Filterstorm seems to go the extra mile. Instead of just adjusting the brightness and contrast, you can apply it to only half the screen initially so that you can get a side-by-side comparison. Additionally, you can apply this to the whole image, or to a mask that you set up. In fact, most of the filters can be applied in a mask.
There are so many more filters that can be applied and/or adjusted than just brightness and contrast. Non-photographers won’t have a use for all of them, as it’s similar to the options in Photoshop. I eventually brightened the photo, adjusted the contrast, sharpened the image, and played around with the hue and saturation.
Text can be added to an image as well, with an infinite number of options. You can set the color and the font, and can also set the transparency of the text. Unlike some apps, the color options are infinite, as they can be applied in RGB or off a color wheel, instead of just having a certain number of colors to choose from. Just like with the other filters, the text can also be applied in a mask.
Initially I got a little discouraged with the text, as I couldn’t find an “undo.” I couldn’t find a way to take the text out once I’d added it and saved it. What I was missing is this menu option that looks like a clock face. It allows you to step back to different points in your processing, whether it’s to jump back one step or two steps, or to go all the way back to the beginning.
The exporting options go further than other apps do as well. While you can export to your photo library and email, you can also export to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, FTP, SFTP, and Dropbox. You can set and save the export options to automate the process more, as you are most likely always exporting to the same places.
In fact, you can automate much of the processing in Filterstorm. This is great for doing batches of photos. However, doing this takes away the fun of playing with the photos and discovering new options. In the meantime, I’m deleting all the other photo apps I have on my iPhone and iPad, as this one does it all, or at least all that I need.