Once the generally accepted leader in iOS camera apps, Camera+ has a lot of competition these days. Last week the folks at tap tap tap released Camera+ for iPad—which is a completely different app than Camera+ (for iPhone)—hoping to bring a completely native iPad editing and photography experience to the iPad.
I bought the app over the weekend and…well I’m glad it was only $0.99.
Here’s the deal. First, I don’t really take pictures on my iPad. I really don’t like looking like a doofus holding up an iPad to take a picture. Sure, I’ll take a shot now and then when my iPhone is out of reach or I need to add a still to a video I’m shooting (if the iPad is set up and the shot framed I might as well), but by and large I use my iPad to edit photos.
And editing photos on the iPad is, frankly, freakin’ awesome. Fire up (fill in app here), grab my stylus (generally a handy tool for photo editing), and I’m off and ready. Heck, I’ve even gotten my wife addicted to editing on her iPad so much that I haven’t seen her fire up iPhoto on her MacBook Air in months.
My go to app for photo editing is iPhoto $4.99. Yes, yes, Apple fan boy…but frankly it’s a really nice editing experience. I like the toolset, the workflow and how touch is a big part of the experience. My backup app is Snapseed $4.99, again wonderful tool and touch is a huge part of the experience (sometimes frustratingly so).
Then there is Camera+ for iPad.
While tap tap tap talked about it being designed for the iPad, I think all they really did was make better use of the iPad’s screen real estate for tool areas. They didn’t take advantage of the biggest thing the iPad has going for it—you can see more of the picture at once, so you can touch parts of it accurately. Camera+ on my iPhone was one of my favorite apps for a long, long time. I loved the easy and powerful editing experience. An experience optimized for the screen size of the iPhone. You didn’t need to be able to touch or tap parts of a picture to make changes. The tools and adjustments to the tools (more or less of whatever you’re editing) were off the picture so you could easily see the results. Brilliant. No, I didn’t really care for having photos out of Photo album and I often cleaned house to move them all to the make Photo Album (for Photo Stream if nothing else), but I could deal because of the results.
Then I started doing more with iPhoto. Which also meant that I needed things in either the Photo Album or Photo Stream (or both), so I started to use the default camera app more (also because I can get to it from the lock screen). This, then, also played into editing photos I took with my iPhone on my iPad. Which means that I am much more flexible about the editing apps I use on my iPad, since I’ll just pull them from Photo Stream (or import them from my iPhone if need be).
All this comes back to Camera+ for iPad.
I really wanted to like this app. I wanted to fall in love with editing photos in it, but I just can’t. The tools are all there (good), they are still easy to use (also good), but the app was sluggish I thought. Maybe this is an iOS 6 issue, but am using a 3rd gen iPad here, so I’ve got the hardware to handle editing tasks. While I like being able to “stack” adjustments that you start making so you can re-tune one as you tune others, I just miss being able to swipe across the picture to see the results. Also Camera+ for iPad applies edits in an “all or nothing” fashion. Both Snapseed and iPhoto let you “paint” parts of the image with selective adjustments. This gives you not only flexibility in precisely fixing pictures, but also creativity in applying edits and effects. I just think tap tap tap, if they were truly making a native iPad app that people would have to buy, should have spend more time making the iPad really iPad centric. Take advantage of the fact that people can paint edits and effects onto photos (because the room is there).
All this said, since both iPhoto and Snapseed are $5 and Camera+ for iPad is $0.99 (for the time being they say), if you don’t have a photo editing app on your iPad, it’s a great deal. If you have Snapseed or iPhoto I don’t think you need to bother with it, unless just want to have all the apps or want to see for yourself (since $0.99 isn’t too much to pay for an app).
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