There are several AMAZING image editing apps for iOS. I have several of them on my iPhone and iPad. However, what I’ve come to realize is that I rarely open most of them. It’s not that they aren’t great. It probably has more to do with the fact that I just don’t need to do a ton of detailed image editing on my mobile devices. If I capture an image with my iPhone it’s usually to share right then and there or shortly thereafter. At this point I may want to do some global adjustments such as exposure, shadows and highlights and perhaps a crop. Well iOS 8 pretty much has that covered now built-in. So when would I need more? When I want to do a few more things to the image such as add a border, add text and perhaps a couple of local adjustments such as spot removal. That’s when I need an App and like I said there are lots of great apps out there. However, I’ve found that Photo Editor by Aviary has the most straight forward and easy UI. Launch the app, open your photo and simply slide to the desired edit that you wish to perform. The edits are fast and good.
There are more filters than I can count. This App does what I want to do 90% of the time. I especially like the Meme Text feature! It took me a minute to find it, but Undo is a gesture. Swipe left under the pic to undo and right to redo and yes it has multiple undos and redos.
Once you’re done with your photo you can share it in all the usual places and even upload to Walgreens to Print it.
What doesn’t it do?
There are no layers. If you’re looking to do compositing and removing backgrounds, then this is NOT your app. You’re better served by Adobe Photoshop Mix or Photoshop Touch.
The Bottom Line
Yes there are Apps that do more. However, for my day to day image editing needs on my iPhone and iPad this one hits the sweet spot of offering just what I need and doing it in a clean fast way.
You can get Photo Editor by Aviary here from the
BONUS: If you have an Adobe ID you can unlock Aviary’s complete collection of photo editing supplies (a $200 value) for a limited time. Once unlocked they’re yours to keep forever!
For many of you at this point you’re holiday shopping is probably well underway. However, for many more of you you’re probably procrastinating as usual I’ve used my favorite gift list app for the last few years and it’s really good because it’s not really focused just on Christmas. However, the app also hasn’t been updated in a while and “The Christmas List” app came across my desk. I decided to check it out and it instantly became my favorite. It’s really hard to explain other than it simply has an easier workflow. What I expect from the “Best Christmas List App” is that it will allow me to easily add people from my contacts along with their photos. It will easily allow me to create a budget for each person and the ability to add a list of gifts for each person. I also expect it to have a passcode feature and the ability to easily check off the gifts as I get them. As a matter of fact without these basic features the App will likely get deleted from my iPhone. The Christmas List App has all of these basics and more. First off even with the basics it’s really well thought out and quick and fast to make the entries. You can easily add people from your Contacts or create them manually. You can then assign each person a budget.
After that you can easily add one or more gifts to each person including the ability to add a photo of the gift as well as the price and even a priority rating. Lastly you can even choose the store or add it if it’s not in the list. This will help with shopping lists by store. If you’re giving the same gift to multiple people you only have to enter it once and then assign it to everyone that you’re giving that gift to.
It’s gets better. You can not only assign a passcode, but you can even use Touch ID on iPhone 5s or iPhone 6/6 Plus. You get a countdown in the App for Shopping Days til Christmas and in iOS 8 you can even add it as a widget to your Notification Center. While this is called “The Christmas List” app, it’s not actually limited to Christmas. You can add additional “Groups” for any other holidays that you want to celebrate and buy gifts for. You can share your lists via iMessage/SMS, AirDrop as well as Email and Print. While checking things off as you buy them is a must have, it certainly not the only thing to consider. Did you wrap the gift? Does it require shipping? You can not only mark a gift as Purchased, but also Wrapped, Shipping or Received.
While The Christmas List app is GREAT and my new favorite, it’s not quite perfect. There are a couple of things I would like to see. First and foremost I’d love to see an iPad version. Not sure why so many of these type of apps leave out the iPad? I’d also like to see cloud syncing of lists to iCloud or Dropbox between devices. It’s great that you can add photos of the gifts, but you can only do so with the built-in camera or from the Camera Roll. I’d also like to see an integrated Google search for pics of gifts. It would be so much faster to search for say an Xbox One, find the pic online and insert it rather than having to leave the app to do all that manually. It would also be nice to be able to add countdown dates for the other groups that you create. With a few additions like these I could easily use this app for ALL occasions. Outside of these wishes, it’s still the Best Christmas List App that I’ve seen to date. I also appreciate the fact that it has a “clean” look without too much “Christmas” decoration (ie. tacky clipart).
You can get The Christmas List App here from the .
Be sure to check out 2014 Holiday Gadget Gift Guide for ideas:
As much as I love the thought that someone can put into a gift, I’m also just as happy (if not more so) to receive a gift card to one of my favorite stores. It really hard to go wrong these days giving someone a gift card (unless perhaps it’s your significant other and they’ve been dropping hints for 6 months that you haven’t picked up on. What’s wrong with you?). I reviewed the Gyft app a long time ago when it first appeared on the App Store and I’ve had it installed ever since then. I love that even if someone gives you a physical gift card that you can enter it into the Gyft App and display it on screen at checkout time. I used this at P.F. Chang’s and it worked great. The waitress was able to just scan the barcode right on my iPhone’s display. This has saved me on occasion when I have forgotten to bring the physical gift card to the store. The Gyft app has gotten several updates over the years, but this last update brings Apple Pay to the table. If you have an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus or above, you now have one more option to pay for the gift cards that you buy within the app. Now you can browse the various gift cards available, pick out the one you want to give, pay for it with Apple Pay and send it to the recipient electronically. Along with Apple Pay support you can also use Touch ID to access your Gyft Card wallet.
I guess my only complaint is that while you can choose from hundreds of retailers in one spot, there are still some that are missing. For example, there is no way to buy an “Apple Store” gift card in the app. You can however buy an iTunes Gift Card. I know that Apple was the exclusive reseller of their gift cards for a long time, but recently I saw them available in my local Kroger. While you may not be able to find every retailer in this App I’m pretty sure that you’ll be able to find a few that you would choose from.
Now you can avoid that embarrassing situation where you were supposed to get a gift but you’ve already arrived at the party. At least you’d be able to say “check your email” 😉 Even if you don’t have an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus you should get this app. You can always pay with one of the other options.
You can get the Gyft App here from the .
Each year I typically rely on two to three Black Friday Apps to check out the deals. However, this is “BEST” App Site, not best three app site. So I decided to act as if I could only have one Black Friday app installed on my devices and it turns out that TGI Black Friday 2014 was my favorite choice for Best Black Friday App. It won me over based on the overall look and feel of the app. An integrated search feature and the fact that it’s a Universal App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. You can look at the store ads. You can browse by category or if you’ve got your heart set on specific items you can search for them to see if anyone has them on sale or who has them at the best price. Once you see something you like you can add it to your shopping list in the app. There are also coupons and push notifications.
Don’t wait, download the TGI Black Friday App here from the .
Also be sure to check out my 2014 Holiday Gadget Gift Guide here.