Photo App Review: Handy Photo® – Wow!
Version reviewed: 1.0
ADVA Soft, the developers of AntiCrop and TouchRetouch, have just released an extremely impressive new photo app called Handy Photo®.
Before snagging a copy for myself, I had a chance to see the Handy Photo app in action in person at Macworld. What does it do? Everything… quickly and easily. It’s really awesome!>>>
Handy Photo lets you perform image editing, color moves, cloning, basic retouching, advanced retouching, and about the most advanced clip and paste I’ve ever seen on any platform. Any….
The color adjustment tools are on par with other image editors and perform all the major color moves you expect in this class of app.
The advanced retouching tools are where Handy Photo does its magic! It combines the toolsets of their previous best-in-class apps, AntiCrop and TouchRetouch, expands on those, and adds a bunch of software magic to create one of the most powerful reality distortion apps available on iOS.
The Retouching tool lets you easily and effectively fix blemishes and other small glitches in an image. The content-aware fixes are among the best available on iOS. Results contained fewer artifacts than using similar tools in other apps.
Anyone familiar with Photoshop for Desktop’s Clone tool will be right at home here. The tool lets you easily select one area of a photo and paint it over another. Brush can easily be resized and hardness easily adjusted giving you more control over the edits.
Handy Photo also integrate’s AntiCrop’s excellent content aware resize and fill tool with its Magic Crop too.. It works best on more simple objects — all content aware tools do, including Photoshop. But this tool can make a photo by adding just a little more sky or beach when needed.
The money tool, errr…, the Move Me tool is really awesome! Using a combination of smart clipping paths and content aware fill, the Move Me tool lets you easily clip out objects from an image and move them, resize them, flip them … whatever. There’s nothing like it on iOS and there’s really nothing as quick and easy on desktop that I know of, either.
With a fairly isolated object, the smart clipping tool, which automatically fits a loosely cut lasso, works pretty darned good with minimal tweaking. You can also fine-tune your selection by painting or erasing the quick mask. It works impressively well for iOS.
Handy Photo also has a large set of good filters to choose from. While not as strong a set as some of the high-end dedicated filter apps, there are many here that are useful and well done. There are also an extensive set of frames.
Handy Photo not only has an excellent Undo/Redo tool, but it also has a History tab where you can go back to each individual step in your editing process and perform different edits.
Each onscreen editing tool works where your finger or stylus are placed. I like this workflow. For me, this provides better precision when the tactile point of edit matches the position onscreen. There’s a handy loupe just up and over from your editing point to give you precise visual feed back.
Need to work in close? Pinch and zoom the screen for a full resolution preview. The user interface is great. It’s slick, it’s fluid. The appropriate tools fly in when needed and are out of the way when not. Most tool settings are adjusted with a swipe onscreen similar to Photoshop Express, except that here there’s excellent visual feedback as well.
But wait! There’s more (sorry, I couldn’t resist….)! On an iPhone 5, Handy Photo is fast, nimble, stable, and responsive even with all of the data crunching it’s doing under the hood. Image saves are remarkably fast, especially considering all of the processing the app does.
Handy Photo supports larger than the 8 MP native resolution of an iPhone 5. I had no problems with a 14 MP image I’d imported. It supports up to 36 MP images on an iPad (I suspect on an iPhone as well). Handy Photo also preserves EXIF data, including Geotags.
The app has a great tutorial section as well as onscreen tooltips to get you started. I highly recommend you spend a little time with the tutorials to get the most out of this powerful app.
I only have one minor quibble with the app. Opening up the iPhone’s photo library takes you to a seemingly random jumble of all of your iPhone’s albums. I had to search a bit for Camera Roll, which is not at the top. That is my biggest (and probably only) issue with this otherwise excellent app.
The app is a huge 161 megabyte download. This is not surprising considering all the tools and features this app has. You’ll need to grab this one when you’re on WiFi.
Keep in mind, that you’ll get best results with good, bright, well-composed images. Handy Photo won’t work as many miracles on a busy photo. I was delighted at how quickly and easily the app made some very serious and powerful moves to my everyday images.
The showcase video seems a little heavy-handed, but really Handy Photo does it all just as easy as demonstrated. “Wow!” is a word I said repeatedly while watching this app demonstrated on an iPhone. Handy Photo is an app that exceeds its hype. Handy Photo® gets an very rare five-star rating from me.
(My test images were done to test the app and don’t really look great for publication. I’ll upload my test images soon. Until then, Handy Photo does everything as easily in the Demo Video above. =M=)
Handy Photo is introductory priced at $1.99. It’s a Universal app designed for both iPhone and iPad. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.