Back in my TUAW days I had the opportunity to review Truefilm, at the time a $0.99 app that was a capable editor with filters.

The app has recently been re-released at $2.99 and it’s a complete rewrite.

The original features are mostly there, but much more has been added, while some things, like face tuning are gone.

The app wants to be a Lightroom replacement. And while Lightroom is available on the iPhone, Truefilm has some compelling features Lightroom lacks.


One big and impressive feature is building AI into the app. As you use it awhile, Truefilm learns from edits you make, and can get pretty smart about making suggestions for filters. Even coming into the app cold and loading a picture, Truefilm made some smart choices about useful filters to employ based on the color temperature and content of the photo. The more editing you do with Truefilm, the smarter it gets. The feature can be turned off if you like.

Truefilm has a unique GUI. Slide up and down on your image to see control options, then a control appears at the bottom of the screen which you swipe back and forth for adjustment. The adjustments assign numerical readouts, so you can easily repeat an edit you like. The Truefilm author call this Precision Control, and it’s aptly named. Other features you would expect are there, like highlight and shadow adjustment, clarity, brushes and graduated filters.

This latest version drops typography features. No frames, no stickers. That’s all fine with me. This is an editing app.

Using Truefilm

I put the app through its paces with some photos from my camera roll. The auto-filter selection seemed very good. They are about the same choices I would have made. Cropping is easy, Vignettes are simple to apply, and you can have positive (darken) or negative (lighten) vignettes. Again, every setting is numerical, and can be saved.

Straighten tools can interactively fix perspective issues in photos, like tall buildings. It’s very smooth and works well. Light and shadow control worked well, and helped me save some pictures that were a bit murky.

One great feature carried over from previous versions is the history option. It’s a bit like cover flow in iTunes. You can swipe through all your edits and changes. Then, tap on a previous state. It’s a great feature I’d like to see everywhere.

The app doesn’t mess with your photo resolution. Whatever size is loaded, is the size saved. Photos can be sent directly to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as emailed or saved back to your camera roll.


Once I got used to how things work, editing is rapid. When you first launch the app or any function you will see some help screens. They are needed, because everything is not obvious. Icons are pretty clear as to their purpose, but not all of them. I’d like to see more labels, and I’d like to able to work in landscape mode. Most of my photos are in landscape orientation, and it seems natural to let me edit that way.

The Bottom Line

Truefilm is a radically different app than the first version, which was quite good. It’s oriented more deeply into quality photo editing. It’s powerful and flexible. While there are many, many editors out there for the iPhone, Truefilm stands out as powerful and fresh.


App Store link: Truefilm – Marvin Lee

– Mel Martin

Truefilm 3.1.0

Effects Quality/Toolbox
Resolution and Image Quality
User Interface

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Powerful and flexible, while there are many, many editors out there for the iPhone, Truefilm stands out as powerful and fresh.

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