Snapseed’s Surprising New Update

I’m surprised by this new Snapseed update simply because it’s out.

The new Snapseed update is in the App Store, with new features and a new, much lower pricetag — It’s now free. Many longtime users may be hacked off that the app is now free. What’s most surprising to me is that the update is even out.

I’ve got more info on this update after the jump. >>>

Snapseed is one of the more powerful image editors available for iOS. It’s user interface was designed for the screen space limitations of iPhone and iPad rather than trying to cram Photoshop’s interface onto an iPhone.

The new Snapseed 1.5 update comes with a new icon and prominent Google+ sharing capability one of few photo apps that share directly to G+. Now that Google owns Nik Software, this is a cool feature and not surprising. Personally, I’d like to see more G+ sharing in photo apps. This would help turn the social network into a truly viable alternative to Twitter and Facebook.

Snapseed gets the new Retrolux filter which adds an old retro look for your photos. Am I the only one who notices the tonal similarities between Retrolux and Instagram’s now-deleted Gotham filter? Snapseed also  includes a broader selection of new, high quality photographic frames. You can colorize the frame edges to match the look of your image or switch to square mode with a single tap.

The most talked about new feature will certainly be the price. Snapseed is now priced at free, down from $4.99. If this pricepoint sticks and there’s no reason to think otherwise, this makes Snapseed the best free photo editor for iOS hands down. Better than Aviary Photo Editor. Better than Adobe Photoshop Express by a mile.

This is a completely free app right now. It’s the same Snapseed iPhoneographers have grown to love. It’s not feature-limited with an in-app purchase to unlock filters, functionality or resolution. The app still supports greater than 8 MP files on an iPhone 4S and 5. There are no ads. This is a very awesome deal. Thank you, Google!

There has been some pushback from users over this price drop. I dropped five bucks for the app a while ago. I am not upset about this price drop. The app was worth what I paid for it. It’s been free off and on since its introduction in the App Store. Basically, if an app offers features that I feel are worth the asking price, then I don’t have a problem paying the current rate at that time for it. I’d be more upset — really upset, in fact — if this update was free but also reduced the feature set in favor of unlocking functionality through in-app purchases. This is the same app. Now more users get to enjoy it.

What’s the most surprising to me about this update, though, is that it’s even out. Snapseed has been curiously absent from Nik Software promotional pieces since the Google acquisition. Many of us thought Snapseed would be quietly killed.

The Google+ implementation is a pretty significant new feature. APIs had to be written to add that functionality. The new filter and icon may be leftovers, or they may be an indication that serious development is still ongoing for this app. Does this indicate that Google has future plans for Snapseed that don’t simply involve occasional bug fixes and letting Snapseed whither? I hope so.

Snapseed is now free. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.



About Marty Yawnick 1808 Articles
Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.
  • @PaulHurwood

    I would be interested to know if the desktop version is due for an update also. I know I was lucky to manage to snag the iOs version on a freebie but I did spend £20 on the desktop version as my eyes aren't the greatest and I occasionally have problems editing on the phone, so an update on the desktop would be great also.

  • DLuker

    Here’s another hopeful that the Mac version gets the same update. Loving what they did with the iOS update!

  • Digital Artist

    I was so excited when I saw the update to Snapseed and downloaded it right away,

    Then when I started to play with it I found the new Retrolux filter addition which is cool and a nice addition to say the least. The frames as it was in the older version were nice that one could adjust the thickness but the new version seems to taken that away for some reason, it wold be great to have it back!!!.

    All in all its still Snapseed… 100% the best!!!

    Things change sometimes for better or worse, this change was for the better and happy to see it as such.

    Kudos to the Nik team which I came to know well in the past and to Google for keeping the app up to date with new additions and eye candy for the iPhotographers toolbox.

    PS… I archived the older version just in case.

  • David

    Well, I'm not sure if to be happy, yet. I love Snapseed, it's one of my best apps but not thanks to Google but to Nik Software. Now they released also the version for Android and put the app free. I don't care about the price and I'm agree with you, I bought the app while ago and I'm happy with it but I think every product should be independent and I hope this won't be the beginning of a slowly decadence. I don't really like these giants buying everything around them just to push their market and make war to each other. I prefer teams that are passionate with what they do and care about their customers that share the same feeling. We acquire an app for free that everybody of us would have paid for in any case but we lose a bit of poetry. My 2 cents!

  • nicholas

    Do not forget, Google has only one real revenue stream which has no real competition – Adwords – and that brings in a fortune, all their other software is free. Free is a completion killer – and now the other good iOS photo editing apps will get a kick in the teeth – difficult to compete with free.

  • @skiphunt

    I would normally be irritated when an app I paid for goes free, but I bought this a yea ago and have definitely got more than my $5 worth out of it. I've even sold/profited from images I've edited with it, so I can't complain.

    Only thing that's annoying is that I was about to buy the desktop version, but don't want to buy & discover its gone free the next day.

  • Mr. John

    Sadly, it appears the icon has been "Googlized" — redrawn in the bland, flat style that's pervasive across Google's apps. I much prefer the original icon.

  • Old Fartographer

    I can't understand why they "dumbed down" the frames – removing the possibility to change the width and structure of the frames – instead introducing some one click preconfigured stuff. Sucks big time and I won't upgrade on my iPhone until they return the full functionality. Unfortunately I upgraded my iPad before I realized that they crippled my favourite editing app. Can you recommend any photo frame app with Snapseed's old features? Other than the frames it seems to be the same good old stuff.