MonoPhix 3.0 (and a couple of bug-fix updates bringing it to 3.0.2) was released recently. Imagine taking an excellent iPhone app and then piling about 200% more excellent on it and that’s the latest update for MonoPhix. It’s really that good. The latest version of MonoPhix builds on the already top-notch monochrome converter by adding a bunch of great new features, creating a more unified interface with the iPad version, and doing it all without piling much overhead on the app.

All of the original black & white conversion tools are still here, including separate controls to adjust highlights and shadows. The limits of shade intensity controls has been expanded and they now adjust up to 20 for even more extreme contrast.

There are two new buttons, Processing and Vignetting, which add several new, well-done tools to the app. With the new Monochrome Alpha tool, you can now adjust the saturation of the monochrome effect over the color to create some interesting fades. The new Posterization tool lets you change the number of grays in your photo from smoother to a more stair-stepped effect.

I love the new Noise Generator that allows you to add noise to an image to simulate film grain. At the low and moderate levels, this tool adds softer noise to an image,unlike the more harsh, high-contrast, high grain noise of some other apps. The effect is a natural-looking film grain to enhance the analog film look of your photos.

The new Vignetting feature is probably my least favorite of the new tools. The “burn” of the vignette seems to be a little on the overall side and darkened my entire image at varying levels. I’ll still probably use other apps to add vignette. In addition to a Radius slider, a vignette (blur) size slider would be a huge improvement to this tool.

All of this greatness requires a bit of screen real estate. And not only does MonoPhix 3 have a ton of new tools, but it now has a much requested larger preview area. Another new feature of the app is the ability to easily hide the tool overlays by simply pushing the appropriate tool button at the bottom of the screen.

How does it compare to Monochromia, another major monochrome conversion app? Both do an excellent job of black & white conversion. MonoPhix 3 has more tools for greater control over the conversions. There’s greater control over all the tools, allowing you a lot more precise conversions than Monochromia. All of MonoPhix’s tools are available in the flyaway toolbar — some of Monochromia’s tools are hidden in the app’s settings. Monochromia has better vignetting, but still doesn’t have an adjustable vignette blur. Monochromia also has a lot of monotone filters, allowing you to colorize your image after the black & white conversion. While I like Monochromia, for black & white conversion, I prefer the toolset and implementation of MonoPhix.

MonoPhix supports your device’s full resolution, and I think it supports the even larger images of the resolution enhancement camera apps. Even with all the new features, MonoPhix for iPhone and iPod touch is still only $0.99. It’s still old iPhone friendly and will work on any iDevice running iOS 3.1.3 or newer.

MonoPhix has long been my go-to app for converting to monochrome. The new 3.0 update is definitely very highly recommended.

MonoPhix - Vintage meets Technology - UIC Phoenxsoftware