A Dropico app with High Res? Yep.

wowfx for iPhoneUPDATE: WowFX is FREE for one day only, Thursday, December 13, 2012.

Dropico apps are known for having tons of effects and low, 700×700 resolution. If you only upload and share to Instagram, the trade-off is probably worth it. You’ll may never need a larger image and having the variety of effects may be more important to you.

WowFX just got a big update — big being the operative word. For the first time that I can recall, a Dropico photo app now has high (not full) resolution. But the app takes away a lot of filters from the previous versions and moves them over to a pretty pricey in-app purchase model that a lot of current users will not be happy about. >>>

WowFX screen shots, iPhone 5

WowFX is actually a pretty good photo app with over 300 filters, elements and effects to add and layer to your images. Effects come in a wide variety of styles. The app has a powerful toolset to tweak the effects. Among the editing features I like are the ability to layer multiple effects on top of each other. The app has a very nice effects masking tool that not only lets you mask out areas where you want or don’t want an effect toshow, but the tool has a very handy floating loupe feature which helps makes a more precise mask. You can even blend multiple images together for a double exposure effect. It’s a powerful image editor on its own.

The new 2000×2000 high resolution output is a nice bump in image quality. It’s even a respectable 1536×1536 on an iPhone 4. 4MP is a good, usable resolution for online sharing, especially with more high resolution Retina-style displays being sold, and printing. You can make some fairly good sized prints with a 4MP image.

In addition to elements overlays (more on those below), there are a number of adjustable, standard analog-style filter presets to add color and tonal effects to your photo. This update contains several new filter effects, but has deletred several of the old ones including the saturated Neon and Hotflash filters and the high contrast Erradical filter.

New Effects In-App Purchases

Effects are easily manipulated. You can move, pinch and scale them before applying and the overlay is seamless.

New in this update are the 10 new photo effects sets that you can purchase in-app. This is where most of the 300+ effects elements and overlays are. In previous versions of the app, all of these overlay elements were included in the purchase price. There are still a good number of free elements to choose from in several free sets. But now, not only are most of the new effects available through in-app purchases, but in order to use many of the original free effects, you’ll have to purchase several of the new effects packs at $0.99 each. Kind of a lame deal. This includes many of the original Space and Nature effects. Many of the light effects seem to have been removed from the available free elements as well, including most of the bokeh effects.

I don’t have a problem with developers offering new features as an in-app purchase. I understand there’s little incentive to keep upgrading software if there’s no monetary reward. But I have a pretty big problem with an update that takes away features that were already purchased by a user and now offers to charge you for the very same features that used to be free — even if it’s only a bunch of filters. To me, that’s pretty sketchy. A lot of users are pretty hacked off at this and it’s reflecting in the App Store user reviews for this update.

If you do choose to purchase a filter/element set, there’s no quick and easy way to preview the filter packs in the app without a fast internet connection. Frustrating.

File size on this update has gone for about 42 megabytes in the previous version to over 125 megabytes in this version to accommodate the higher resolution graphics. You should be aware of this if space is a concern on your iPhone. This hefty update will need to be downloaded over WiFi.

WowFX 1.2 is an impressive collection of effects and overlays to add to an image. If you’re a new user, the app is very usable and gives you a lot of options for adding fun effects to your snapshots. If you’re an existing user, the resolution bump is nice and you still have access to many of the elements you’re used to in the previous version, but there are also a lot of effects that will now cost an additional buck or so to restore and many of your other favorite effects may be missing in this update as well.

WowFX is $1.99 with several in-app purchases available. 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 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

WowFX - Dropico