FilterMania 2
Version reviewed: 1.0
Price: Free, with planned in-app purchases

Rating 2 stars

Bottom Line: I don’t like it. Despite the large number of filters, the app is pretty crash-prone and only supports low-res output.


This weekend, Dropico has released their latest photo app, FilterMania 2. In its initial release, the app lets you choose from 300 filters (with the promise of regular updates to the filter market). If the app was stable and supported high resolution, it would be easy to get caught up in this “filter mania”. As it is now, it’s a versatile complimentary photo app for Instagram, but even Instagram has supported high resolution for some time.

FilterMania 2 is easy to use. It’s yet another square format photo app. Either shoot an image or import from your photo library. Filters are one-click and have limited customization. You can easily adjust the opacity and luminance of each filter. Filter effects can be stacked to combine filters or to add a frame on top of an effect.

The app comes equipped with about a dozen or so base filters. You can download many more from the app’s Filter market. The market is divided into twenty categories. Each filter in the market shows a live preview of the effect on the image — a handy feature. With 300 filters available, there is something for everyone. There’s also a lot of fluff. Many of the filters are merely static overlays — they won’t vary with each use. Filters have “cute” names, like Mooncloud, Kiloton, Purpleray, and Moses which I have to admit are fairly accurate descriptions of the filters they represent. But, do we really need a “Chocolate” filter which adds dripping chocolate syrup to an image?

I liked many of the retro and grunge filters. Many of the frames were a little too grungy and dirty. I would have liked to have seen some cleaner, more useful frames. Not all iPhoneographers want to destroy or trash up their photos. I suppose we’ll see more of those as the filter market expands. That’s one of the good things about an in-app filter market — updating filters is very easy from the development side.

There’s a lot not to like about FilterMania 2. On an iPhone 4S, it decimates resolution. Like many of Dropico’s other photo apps, FilterMania 2 only saves at 700×700 pixels — less than half a megapixel. Even Instagram now supports high-res images. Saving and sharing is limited to Facebook and camera roll only. Without direct to Instagram support, this adds several steps to upload your images to Instagram. I’m surprised by this as the original Dropico app had among the best photo sharing options available for iPhone.

Filtermania 2 was very, very crashprone for me, especially when downloading filters from the Filter Market. I was able to download a few filters before the app shut down completely. This was after shutting down all other apps and rebooting my phone.

For its debut weekend, Dropico is offering all of the filters in the app for free. You can’t conveniently download categories of filters at once; each filter must be downloaded individually. Supposedly, there will be a charge for filter downloads soon. I found most of the filters/overlays not unique enough or not outstanding enough to be worth an extra charge, especially when apps like FX Photo Studio by MacPhun have hundreds of filters, are stable, support high resolution and multiple sharing options.

Other than the Filter Market, which hopefully will fill in some pretty big gaps in the app’s effects, there is very little that’s outstanding or unique about FilerMania 2. There are some nice, usable filters in here, and one of the things that I like about the app is that you can pick and choose from the Filter Market so you end up with a custom set of filters that fits your style. However, I found the instability of the app and the lack of useful resolution support to be pretty frustrating.

FilterMania 2 is free in its standard configuration. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

FilterMania 2 - Dropico