Iris Photo Suite Finally Updated. Now Laminar Express. Read This Before Updating!

Laminar Pro, formerly Iris Photo Suite

Laminar Express, formerly Iris Photo SuiteThe always full-featured, once popular photo editor Iris Photo Suite for iPhone hasn’t seen an update in over 18 weeks. Even then, it broke on the modern iPhones — the 4S and the 5.

Iris Photo Suite just got a big new update. It’s now transitioned to the Laminar name in an effort to standardize this dev’s product lines. Laminar Express a free update to current Iris owners. I’m super busy at Macworld this week, but iPhone beta tester Patrick Timney wrote to let me know of some of the bigger changes to the app that aren’t listed in the App Store. Keep reading to find out more about the update. >>>

Mr. Timney writes:

Don’t update your Iris Photo Suite without saving the old Iris file.

They didn’t inform anyone that they removed 50% of filters & textures from Iris & that these are not included in Laminar. I used Laminar Pro (not the lesser Express) to compare and calculate what’s been removed.

Removed from Iris Photo Suite

Filters: Dyna Range & Vignette

BWFX: Red filter  *also golden is incorrectly named SplitTone & you have 2 in a row named SplitTone.

Art FX: Crayons is totally different, Blueprint, Colorsketch

Vintage: Oldpaper 2, Burtpaper, Oldbook (fave), Oldbook 2, Memory (new hate it), Reminiscence (not same)

Grunge: Cracks, Classic Grunge 1&2, Space, Rusty metal, Stone

Surface: Poster, Wrinkled canvas

Lo-Fi: Instant, WWII, Plastic lens (only change of an old effect that looks better), Pinhole, Old Snap (original), 80’s, Holga

Some of the same old effects were tweaked and are now quite weak in comparison.

While the filter names are now more consistent with the previously released  iPad version of Laminar, Mr. Timney also says that the filter names now lack consistency.

“You can’t have an app you’ve had available for a few years and then change it and randomly decide to change the names of even some of the remaining effects & textures and then use the old name on a new filter/texture. That’s just confusing!”

I haven’t had a chance to test the new update to see how it stacks up both as a replacement to Iris and as an app on its own. If Iris Photo Suite is a favorite of yours and a staple in your production suite of apps, be aware of these issues in the new update.

UPDATE: By the way, the description for Laminar Pro, the Universal version of the app, is a little misleading. While it mentions Iris Photo Suite in the description, updating Iris for iPhone only gets you the lower-tiered Express version of the app.

If you’ve already updated and want to go back to the previous version, you can read how you may be able how to downgrade your apps here. Or, you could just use Snapseed….

Big thanks to Patrick Timney for sending this tip in.

If you’re not a user yet and would like to try the app, Laminar Express for iPhone is $1.99 in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.



About Marty Yawnick 1826 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.
  • WitChi

    How do you save Iris and can you have both apps on the iPhone????

  • OnionTears

    Updated before I read this! What is the difference between Express and Pro now? Looks to be identical? So basically the universal pro app is taking the place of Iris and express (that is if you have both already).

  • Hey guys,
    Just wanted to clear out some of the confusion that the new release might have caused.

    LaminarExpress is what supersedes Iris, and not Laminar pro.
    Users that had Laminar, simply get the Universal version of the
    app, so they don’t need the express version.

    Yes, we did leave out some old filters, and added a whole deal of new ones. Its’ part of the evolution. Layers, Masks, Annotation, Lighting engine, .. every aspect that you look is a fresh write.

    When bringing out an update that this big, it’s not possible to evolve, without leaving few things behind. Having said that, I would urge users to send me a mail about which particular filters, they miss, and we’ll just integrate them in the next update.

    Feel free to send me your feedback at


    • One thing I want to ask is, why don’t we get the Pro version? Why the lesser Express one? I bought Iris with the same money! If you want to replace it, which you did without properly telling us, at least you give us the same version! Why we have to settle for less, and even lesser in fact now that you’ve get rid of many of the filter.

      • Iris was for iPhone. I give you a version that’s for iPhone. LaminarPro and Express are essentially same except for the device compatibility. LaminarPro is universal.
        Feature wise the versions are same.

        FilterSet is more consistent with Laminar. LaminarExpress has all the same filters that we offered in Laminar.

        Again, I’ll try to integrate the filters not present in Laminar in the coming release.


  • Robyn | gemini606

    I saw the updat late last night and hesitated. I heavily use Iris Photo Suite and in comparing it to Laminar on my iPad, some of my favorite Iris filers were not in Laminar. I’ve gotten so acclimated to the layout of the app, I’m not ready to make that update.

    I used Old book, old book 2 and cracks a lot. Now they’re gone.

    My only teeny tiny gripe with the current Iris is it keeps rotating my image, but it’s a glitch I’m aware of and work around. But overall, the app allows me to quickly, easily and creatively edit my photos.

    Pranav, are you attending MacWorld? I’m going back to the expo on Saturday.

    • Hey,
      No, I won’t be attending MacWorld this year.

      And we would be adding the old filters back in the coming 1.9.5 update.
      So the ones you just mentioned should be back. Should be about a fortnight before update comes out.


      • Jimmy

        If you plan on adding filters back in on the next update, why did you take them out in the first place? Seems like you just made extra work for youself, while upsetting your customers who had a portion of the product removed.

        If you buy a car and take it to the shop because of a recall notice to correct a problem and they remove the radio, telling it that it’s part of the evolution of their brand, but they will put it back in next recall, you aren’t going to be happy with that.

        Why would you seriously think that it’s acceptable to take away filters that people use? You add, you tweak, you fix, but you don’t take something away from your customers. That is just unprofessional. It certainly doesn’t make me want to be your customer in the future.

        • Jimmy,
          All i have to say is that intentions were simply to not have a another product in same category, doing almost the same thing. We didn’t want that.
          We came out with the lite version so that people have a chance to evaluate.

          Iris is not just a filter app, it was meant to do a lot more. And transition to Laminar is to focus on the same.

          Answering your question of filters:
          Reason for change is to clean up what we offered, and we tried doing just that.
          Yes, we did miss out on couple of things, and we accept that, and all I can say is we’ll have them back. Isn’t that fair..

  • Mike

    To be honest I hardly ever used iris. I bought it long ago after noticing so many users mentioning it in their workflow, but I just never liked they layout of the app. After 30 minutes testing out the new update I love it! I could likely replace 4 or 5 other apps with this. Great job ventessa team!

  • Mr Timney

    Oh my I spent a long time using Laminar yesterday & it is absolutely awful. Plus there was features/functions stated it had that I certainly couldn’t locate. As well the UI etc is awkward to use, it’s not user friendly at all. The only part that is improved it the look of the apps UI background, other than that I absolutely hate Laminar Pro/Express these apps are horrible. Bring back my Iris Photo Suite to the AppStore as your replacement upgrade is an utter fail & a useless downgrade. I’m not impress or thankful at all! Huge deceiving disappointment.

  • Mr Timney

    I am a huge fan & supporter of Iris Photo Suite. The Filters & effects are great & the textures are some of the best seen in any iPhone app.

    Quote: “Iris is not just a filter app, it was meant to do a lot more. And transition to Laminar is to focus on the same”

    Well unfortunately you do effects, filters & textures fantastic. But everything else is very poorly done & seems awkward, not user friendly at all & honestly is done & developed better by other apps. A nice slick looking UI means nothing if the features & functionality is poorly executed.

    In all honesty I think you’ve lost focus & tried to do to much & more than you were capable of. I think you should truly focus only on effects, filters & texture & you will have an even more successful photography app. But as for Laminar & the update, it is a complete & utter failure.

  • SJacob

    I just started using Laminar Express. I really liked the UI and the way the developer has taken it to a new level. There are many new features like masking tools, annotation tools , social plugins. It is a holistic product. Job well done. Also I personally like the Icon much better now

  • MomentsForZen

    When you save an image, you have the option to downsize the image. In Iris, you could upsize the image, which I used to do quite often.

    Why did this disappear in the change to Laminar?

  • Suzé

    I agree that this update is awful. I’m not getting the reason that Iris needed a complret overhaul. It needed an update but not a redesign. The filters were great. I don’t like the fact the iPhone version has an obstructive interface when using layers.
    Not sure why the “express” version is the full- featured version as opposed to “pro” either. Reasonable to think that any app named “pro” would be the more robust one to have.
    Disappointing in every way. I’m downgrading back to Iris. Hopefully Pranov will make Laminar( where did THAT name come from? What was wrong with the sensible Iris?) a high res app and make the UI less clunky.
    I like change but IMO this app did not need a complete rehaul, it was pretty good as it was. And why remove any filters at all? Those were absolutely one of the strengths of Iris.

    • Allo

      So glad I kept Iris on my iPad. Truly, do not like this new operation. It doesn’t make sense to me. I use to see the full image while working it now partially hidden. And what happened to Dyna Range? How can I get Iris back for my phone? Unfortunately, that downgrade idea did not work for me!

  • Suzé

    I agree that this update is awful. I’m not getting the reason that Iris needed a complret overhaul. It needed an update but not a redesign. The filters were great. I don’t like the fact the iPhone version has an obstructive interface when using layers.
    Not sure why the express version is the full- featured version as opposed to pro either. Reasonable to think that any app named Pro would be the more robust one to have.
    Disappointing in every way. I’m downgrading back to Iris. Hopefully Pranov will make Laminar( where did THAT name come from? What was wrong with the sensible Iris?) a high res app and make the UI less clunky.
    And why remove any filters at all? Those were absolutely one of the strengths of Iris.

  • Suzé

    Marty, there is a bug when publishing a comment. It’s states ” it failed, try your comment again” but actually it is publishing it. I noticed duplicate SJacob posts and now mine. Sorry about that.

  • Jeff White

    Maybe it’s just time to move on. Some of the Iris filters are just as over used as the John S filmin Hipstamatic. Sure, the reason they’re over used is because they’re great but how many photos need to exist that are exactly the same? If the workflow of the app is the problem…use another app or write the dev some constructive emails. If it’s just the filters…move on, try something new, explore your talents…maybe learn more about composition and balance. With the cameras on the 4S and 5, maybe you could just take a picture. Remember those? I love editing photos just as much as the next guy but I also like to move in other directions once in a while.

  • Chris

    Hey Guys, I spend some time on the both new express and pro versions. I think there is a lot confusion around. Let me clear some which I figured out.

    1. Iris Photo Suite is renamed to Laminar Express. Laminar is a completely new app not just a mere update. so if you don’t want to lose old iris then save it beforehand OR you can try the new changes first by downloading the Laminar-Lite which is a free app.

    2. Laminar Pro is a universal app which means it has different versions or atleast I can see different UI for iPad and iPhone. Laminar express is just for phone, as was iris. Thats why I think its priced higher.

    3. @MomentsForZen. There is an image resize option in edit->crop menu where you can upscale the image.

    1. Laminar Express is a bigger super set of iris as it has most of the iris features and a lot of new features. I would say its one of the most feature packed app in the store.

    2. Iris users get a free update to this fully packed new app, as I see laminar is a completely new app

    3. UI is much more polished and professional than iris

    1. Change in UI. We have to move from Iris UI to Laminar UI which is completely different and have a bigger leaning curve but I think its just a matter of time. I had to spend some time on it but now I feel that with the amount of features it has its very simplistic UI on a small iPhone screen.

    2. Some filters I used to use are removed. This is sad but I am happy about so many other quality feature I got for free. And as developer has mentioned that (s)he will update the iris filters soon, so give him a break and rather than freaking out wait for sometime and spend some time in exploring the new features.

    I would appreciate developer’s effort, and request him to add the iris filters asap.

    Addon if I miss something

  • MomentsForZen

    Hello Chris.

    Thanks for your considered comment. I think that I have sorted out the situation, but I’m not happy about it :-((

    If I have any of this wrong, please correct me :-))

    I’m using Laminar Pro on an iPad 3 and iPhone 5.
    Basically, Laminar Pro looks completely different on the 2 devices.

    On the iPhone, it operates solely in Portrait mode – on the iPad, it is only in Landscape mode.

    Specifically, looking at the re-sizing options …
    Your comment regarding the edit menu refers to the iPhone version – Yes, this works perfectly, but sadly, I do all of my editing on my iPad, so this isn’t much help to me.

    On the iPad, you don’t have the same menu system … You have various buttons along the bottom of the screen.
    I select the crop screen via the scissors button.
    Along the bottom, I have buttons for Apply, Cancel, Ratio:Default, a slider for rotating the image, and in the bottom right I have the coordinates for the top left corner of the crop region and the size in pixels of the current crop area. There isn’t an option to re-size.

    Both the iPhone and iPad versions have a down-size option when exporting.

    Why are the interfaces for the same app so completely different on the two devices????

    And why is a feature available on the iPhone (i.e., up-sizing) that is not available on the iPad???

    Many thanks for any help from the community … MomentsForZen

    • Hey,
      You are right, Laminar for iPad does not have ability to upsize images.
      But, I knew the feature missed in Laminar, and that’s why specifically added the same in the iPhone version.
      This update replaces Iris, and it gives a version that offers this feature.
      You can use Laminar Express on iPad for the same. As I assume u were using Iris also on IPad.

      Also reason for different interfaces is that screen estate available on the devices is different. If we just scaled Laminar from iPad to iPhone, it just does not work.

      If possible send me a mail at,, and we could precisely discuss further over the same.


  • MomentsForZen

    Hello Pranav.

    Thanks so much for your response.

    I still don’t get the whole mess. Iris on the iPad used to be able to upsize. The replacement, Laminar Pro, doesn’t have this function. So, the update is in fact a step backwards!?

    But the lesser app, Laminar Express, which is not universal but can operate in 2x mode on the iPad, has this function. It is thus a more powerful app??? It also has a nicer interface in my opinion.

    On the iPhone, Laminar Pro and Laminar Express appear to have the same interface and functionality.

    Is Laminar Pro on the iPad going to be updated to at least match the functionality on the iPhone in the same app? And will Laminar Pro and Laminar Express on the iPhone continue to be the same app, as they are at present?

    Pranav, it would be terrific if you could continue to engage with the full community here in this thread, since I think many people are still confused over the present situation and the future plans.


  • Hi Pranav,
    Personally, with decade of experience in graphic design and photography, here is what I think of this app and the ongoing crisis in the community.
    1. Iris Suite was a good everyday photo editing app. Previous name was good enough, but u must have given obvious consideration for marketing and aesthetics reasons for new name and icon. There should be no fuss about this issue with users.
    2. As u have stated, this is not just an update, but whole new app submitted to AppStore. What was required from you as developer, was to inform the users more clearly about what u were planning to do. Purpose and features of the Universal pro app and express app should have been properly mentioned. Even though the users had option for Lite app for getting an idea, you knew what the users loved this app using for, and the essential filters etc. should have been mentioned in first place that they are not there or will be added in next update. It’s all about proper explanation, otherwise I think it’s not a big deal.
    3. There are so many dedicated apps for highly customizable filters, and the decision to revamp this app with amazing features, is so essential, amazing & welcome.
    4. The Layers, Blend modes, and Masking feature is amazing and works great. Now that’s alternative to photoshop’s selection capability. Please add ‘Feather option to selection’. I tried many options with blend and opacity modes, but the missing feather option is much required.
    4. Resize option (in express) is great and should be provided on ipad too otherwise it’s unfair to users.
    5. Exporting as PNG file is well thought of. I am not sure if the transparency of the layers can be preserved…if not than Pranav, pls give us that option – either in PNG, TIFF or even better as PSD. (I have no doubt now from ur work that you can’t integrate and code for – PSD !).
    6. As far as Filters is concerned, give all the disappointed users a surprising option by not only bringing old filters, but to import & customize filters by themselves. All the grudges will be lost if we can create our own grunges!
    7. The Text input in bubbles etc. has one big limitation – no option for font selection. Please add the feature to add atleast all the device fonts. It will be amazing if we can import fonts (like in Phonto an so many other apps).
    8. The UI is very smooth though some ppl will go through learning curve, but for’s so obvious to follow the workflow. Congrats on this.
    9. I noticed, that the app is storing the data from all the photos being edited/saved, and the size of the app swells like binge drinker in no time. There seems no option to delete the cache or data so as to free the space. My downloaded app was about 70mb, but now in settings, it shows holding 560mb of real estate. Am I missing something here? Pls let us know how to get it fixed. There is nothing that shows that this app is downloading any packs or filters/frames/decors etc.
    10. I noticed that when opening filters page and applying frames, the app shuts down. Seems like there is some memory instructions issues there. Pranav, I believe, u can avoid the feature where the app has to preview / show in realtime how the image will look with all the different filters, frames etc. that take lot of precious memory, and its not very big deal for repeated users. If u take this real time preview, the app’s engine will be more efficient. I am not expert, so just an idea.
    11. That’s pretty much for now, I am waiting for essential next update to see this app satisfying all the users (tho u can’t please everybody). I truly appreciate your work with this super Laminar app. Keep this innovation going and don’t stop here. one most important request is to add feather feature for selection. I am asking this from my heart..and I e feature at a time.
    Congrats to Mr. Pranav Kapoor…u r the rocks star of silicon app valley.
    Dr. Shaun Shergill

  • Mr Timney

    Something about the latest 1.9.5 Laminar UPDATE yesterday has me far to skeptical & seems shady to want to update the app.

    Pranav has removed/deleted the Laminar Lite (FREE Version) & the Laminar Express & in it’s wake all that remains is the Laminar Pro version. So that is a bit sketchy if you ask me! He removed our Iris Photo Suite the other week & Downgraded us all to a poor Laminar Express without informing his consumers we would be losing beloved content.

    Now he has updated Laminar Pro & supposedly added back the missing content (which I refuse to update to at the moment), as he has again removed apps Laminar Express & Lite from the AppStore without informing the consumer. So who’s to say he isn’t just going to remove our apps again from the AppStore? Pranav lacks communication with his user base & continuing to do business in what is perceived as in a shady manner isn’t going to gain your trust to your consumers who loved your apps.

    So I would say be cautious & aware before you update any apps & always keep a backup of the previous version on your computer just in case.

    • Did you even feel the need to ask about what you post? Just to confirm the information???
      I have not removed the Express Version, its under review and will be back soon. I have personally replied to each and every user that mailed to me.

      There was small change required with one of the icons inside the app. That’s why the versions had to be taken down from the store. Both the versions should be back in about a day.

      I have again and again clarified about the intentions, and why the change was needed.

      “Downgraded us all to Express Version”:
      How is it a downgrade, can you explain? I have clarified about the roadmap. You call adding almost 30 new functionalities a downgrade.
      I had apologised for missing the filters, and said that I would be added same again. It’s not that pro version had the filters?

      Just need to tell all the users, we tried to do something, and may have failed, maybe my execution was wrong. But atleast I tried.

      Even with Iris, we introduced functionalities which we thought were unique. That’s what we are trying again.

      • MomentsForZen

        Hello Pranav.

        Thanks for the Laminar Pro update.

        Can you estimate when re-sizing will be added back to the “Pro” version (as exists is in the Express version)?

        Thanks for being patient and tolerant – hang in there and keep smiling.


        • MomentsForZen

          Oh – I forgot to ask …

          Is there a pre-defined 1:1 image size ratio in either Pro or Express? There appears to be almost every other one there in the list, but when I want 1:1 (square), I have to go into Custom and manually configure the 1:1 ratio.

          Have I missed something?


  • Ernels

    I hate Laminar. I have PAID for IRIS, and NOTHING ELSE!
    You can’t replace Iris and think we swallow this.

    So, I will write a One-Star review for EVERY Laminar update! STAY TUNED, FRIEND!

  • ilphoto

    I have been a committed maker of iPhone images. About 80% of my image manipulation was with Iris. I have a show going up in a week. After the update, I no longer have the means to match what I have done previously. This is a major loss….

  • Todd F.

    Does Laminar not work with iOS 7? The app opens and closes immediately since the update. Anyone else having this issue?

  • Flex Paul

    I emailed support September 20 and got this reply: Yes. There are some breaking changes causing app to break in iOS7.
    We are aware and working on fix. It will be out soon.
    Apologize for the inconvenience!