Friday, March 20, 2015

Twenty iOS Photo App Extensions

Apple recently added photo app extensions to iOS, and we have added this feature to all our -Pic apps.   The thing that excites me the most about this is you can easily use a series of apps grabbing their best feature for a fluid editing pipeline.  To experiment with these emerging pipelines I have grabbed all the photo apps supporting extensions I can find.  Some of them don't work for me and I don't list those here (and stability of app extensions are improving so I will add them as they or Apple fix the issues).  I list them here, most of them with my test on a feature from each of them along with one of our apps. 

Afterlight is a popular general purpose app.  One of its most unique features is a big set of light leak effects.  Here it is being used with PicJr (a kids app with some over-the-top photo transforms) to make a very damaged old photo.
Left to right: original image, faded and distorted by PicJr, light leak using Afterlight.

Camera Plus is a powerful general purpose apps and I especially like their frames and lab features.
Using a frame, noise, crop/blur from Camera Plus

ChowPic, by my company Purity, LLC, improves food photos.

Before and after ChowPic

 Effects Studio has several neat specialized features and I am especially fond of its sharpen feature in conjunction with our StencilPic app.
Original image, sharpened with Effects Studio, and stenciled with StencilPic

Etchings is an NPR app that does engraving like effects mostly in bitone but some with color.  I am very impressed with their stoke generation!  I've enjoyed using it in series with our own StencilPic.
Original image,  after processing by Etchings app, and further processed by StencilPic

Filters+ has some unusual manipulations I don't see in any other apps such as "make a greyscale image from the max RGB component".  I have found these useful to get some good stencils from images that are otherwise problematic such as the one below where popping out the max component helps separate out the more saturated foreground.  Another cool thing about Filters+ is that it only runs as an app extension-- the app just opens a user guide.

Original image processed to get max RGB component in Filters+ and then sent to StencilPic

Flare Effects has many vintage and real camera filters.   I like to use the old CCTV to get scanlines and then stencil them for some cool aliasing color effects.
Original image, Flare Effects Old CCTV filter, and then StencilPic

Fotograph has a number of thumbnail and slider-based adjustments.  My favorite is their color temperature and saturation sliders which are very stable into even extreme territory.

Original photo, cool temperature, and large saturation in Fotograph app

Fragment has many kaleidascope inspired effects.  Of course I like to stencil them.
Original image, run through Fragment, and then run through StencilPic

LandscapePic is our own app that like all of those here also runs as an app extension.  It can ignore preserving skintones so it can let you turn everything to 11 (but you don't have to).
Original image and two selections from LandscpePic
MePic is designed to change skintone and contrast in selfies.
Original and three variations in MePic.  Original photo courtesy Parker Knight at flickr.

Paper Camera is an NPR app with a clever interface of three sliders and a set of preset positions for them.  It's of course good for a stencil pre-process too.
Paper Camera stylization followed by StencilPic.  Original courtesy Parker Knight at flickr

 Photo Wizard has a variety of filters and effects and also has stickers and drawing functionality.
Photo Wizard is used to add a sticker and then SepiaPic is used.

ProCam is a full-featured app with some very nice UI.  The tilt-shift has an especially nice pinch interface.
Original image, color transformed with LandscapePic , and tilt-shifted with ProCam.
Quick applies text on images with a nice simple interface.
SimplePic is used to darken background and Quick is used to add text

Rookie has many filters including some that add spatial effects such as the rain below.
Rookie is used to add rain effect and then StencilPic is applied

SepiaPic selects from four basic palettes and can combine the original image and the sepiatone.

SimplePic is our general purpose simple photo editor.  You have three screens to adjust contrast, color temperature, and saturation.
Original and processed with SimplePic

TattooPic is tailored to making tattoos look better.  This is the sort of special purpose app that runs as an extension we expect to get more common.
Before and after TattooPic
That is all the photo apps with extensions (that don't crash) that I could find.  Let me know if I am missing any!

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