Version reviewed: 1.0
Price: $0.99 (introductory)

Rating 3 stars

Bottom Line: A good app for exploring effects when you’re not sure what to do with an image. This version is pretty unstable, though.

Gridditor is a new photo effects app from the developer of Filterstorm. Unlike its sibling photo editor, Gridditor doesn’t let you apply precision effects to your image. Rather, it lets you see, preview and explore options among various filter combinations.

It’s an interesting app, but version 1.0 has some stability issues that you’ll have to tolerate or wiat for a bug fix release.

Gridditor is an excellent app to use when you don’t really know what to do with an image. After loading an image, you are presented with four effects possibilities on a directional 7×7 grid. The working version of the image is always in the center position. The grid previews the effects combinations based on position and distance from the base image. Effects intensify further out.

Workflow in this app is designed for exploration and experimentation. It presents pairs of contrasting effects. Selecting a combination moves you to the next screen and a different set of effects. In this way, you can layer multiple effects on an image. The purpose is to combine effects styles that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of combining. Gridditor achieves this very well. After a few iterations, you can build some interesting effects.

The effects are fairly basic and range the gamut, from sharp, contrasty, desaturated, highlight emphasis, toy camera, 1970’s, vibrant, sepia and others. It’s how they are combined and explored that really sets Gridditor apart from other apps with a similar toolset.

Not happy with an effect? Gridditor has both Undo and Redo buttons — an excellent tool found in most desktop applications but missing from many iOS apps.

Although Gridditor has tools for brightness, saturation, contrast, etc, it’s not possible to make the precision adjustments of a bona fide photo editor. Tweaks are incremental.

A big problem I have with this first release of Gridditor is that it’s very unstable in iOS 6 on an iPhone 5. It crashed on me often, even after quitting all apps and rebooting. It often crashed when trying to save an image causing me to lose all of my edits on the image. After rebooting, the app worked fine for me for a while, but it was still unpredictable for me and crashed at least 20% of the time. Until this is fixed, expect to lose any edits you do, but be pleasantly surprised when the app works.

Apps like the excellent Plastic Bullet and Jazz come to mind when using Gridditor. Both of those apps also let you explore various looks with an image before saving. Unlike both of those apps, Gridditor gives you more options and tools to play with while experimenting. Overall, effects are well-rendered. They tend to lean towards a standard analog photo look.
However, I think the effects of Gridditor are overall more subdued than the rich, lush looks of both Plastic Bullet and Jazz.

Gridditor supports full resolution on an iPhone 5 and 4S. It’s optimized for the larger screen of the iPhone 5.

When it works, Gridditor is a good app to easily apply effects on top of effects to see where it leads. It’s an easy workflow to let you explore unlimited possiblities and filter combinations on an image. But, I’d like it more if it were more stable. It would get a higher rating from me if it were a lot less cranky.

Gridditor is introductory priced right now at $0.99. 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 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Gridditor - Tai Shimizu