Photo App Review: Tangent – Easy, Amazing Colors and Patterns
Version reviewed: 1.0.0
2013 has been a good year for great photo apps. Tangent, by Ben Guerrette, the developer of the excellent Deco Sketch, is another outstanding photo app to add to that group. Tangent is a unique, clean, colorful modern-style app. It’s extremely easy to use, yet the colorful geometric effects you create with it are amazing.
“Tangent provides infinite opportunities to transform your photos into amazing works of art that can be shared and enjoyed, no matter what your level of artistry. It’s an incredibly easy way to elevate your iPhone photos into a new realm of creative expression.” Yes, it does and it does so easily and elegantly.
Literally, I was delighted as I opened up Tangent and began to explore and create. Tangent gives you plenty of options to add colorful, modern, geometric shapes and patterns on top of your images. Using a variety of shapes, lines, frames, and patterns, Tangent lets you apply one-click effects or gives you the option to go deeper and create your own custom ones.
There are 15 excellent one-click effects that you can easily apply, position and share. Overlays can be easily moved, rotated, scaled and positioned. Unlike other, static overlay apps, this great feature allows you to much better position the effect to compliment the photo, rather than simply sit on top of it. The effects expand depending on the format of the photo. I really like that the effects retain their shape integrity whether or not your image is square format. The app works great with portrait, landscape or square images.
Tangent lets you tweak these preset effects with a number of shapes and textures, but it keeps these tools out of the way until you need them. One click of Tangent’s “Use Style” button takes you to a loaded but minimally designed toolbox where you can tweak shapes, patterns and colors. Going back and experimenting, you’ll find that there’s a lot you can do with Tangent. If it gets in the way of your photo, you can easily reposition it or change it. The “Start Fresh” button on the Main screen takes you to the same tools, but bypasses the app’s presets. From here, you add your own elements to create your own unique effects. Be careful here. Once you hit “Use Style”, there’s no going back to the main screen if you decide to make big changes. A better undo or a back button would be a good addition in a future update. As it is now, making changes at that point in the process is clunky.
For a buck, Tangent comes nicely stocked with shapes and patterns. There are two additional in-app purchases that unlock more. They’re $0.99 each. They’re not essential to using the app, but they are worth looking into. You’ll like having the larger selection of goodies in your toolbox.
For all it does, Tangent is amazingly easy to use. This easy learning curve really encourages exploration. The app is designed to take you through the process. The interface is very modern and minimal. It’ll look right at home in the upcoming makeover of iOS 7. There is no clutter in the interface and despite the fact that there are very few words onscreen, I was up and playing with this app in minutes.
Everything about Tangent is clean and focused. I love the look of the very modern effects. The color presets are chosen from some great vibrant, contemporary color palettes. And how the colors interact with your image when overlayed and blended often creates some wonderful surprises.
There are no retro analog camera effects here. There’s no image fixing toolbox. Tangent uses Apple’s “Open In” feature for easy processing in external apps.
I love this app and will be spending a lot of time with it. It has one or two quirks in this 1.0 release. Instagram is an institution in mobile photography and many of Tangent’s effects look best in square format. An option to crop your image square when importing would be a convenient addition.
Tangent lets you shoot in app or lets you import from your camera roll. You can share straight to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from the app. Tangent saves full 8 MP images on an iPhone 5 and 4S. It strips out most EXIF data including Geotags.
Tangent is an excellent app on many levels. You can use it to make wonderful modern creations. In a crowd of faux-retro Instagram clones, Tangent is an exciting and refreshing discovery. Tangent lets users of all skill levels easily create gorgeous, unique effects. It’s an awesome and really fun photo app.
Tangent is $0.99 with additional in-app purchases. 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 6.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.