Sometimes I feel like saying "another month, another new photo editor for the iPad." Yes, it's time to take a look at yet another photo editing App for iPad. However, this time things are a little different. At this point if you're a photographer and you have an iPad you've probably dabbled with putting your own photos on your iPad to either display to clients/friends or to review. You can get images onto your iPad directly from your camera using the Apple Camera Connection Kit, the MIC CF Card Reader or even wirelessly using an Eye-Fi card. Once those images are there, you'll probably want to start doing some initial image manipulations. There's certainly no shortage of good capable editors on the App Store. So what possibly could Nik Software bring to the table that we haven't seen before? At this point we expect to be able to Crop, Rotate, do Tonal Adjustments, Apply Frames, Save and Share our edited images. Of course Nik's Snapseed does all of these things and more. What's different is the User Interface (UI). The Snapseed UI shows that companies can still innovate beyond the obvious. It's this fresh take on a NEW image editing UI that makes this App down right addictive.
How is it different?
First off let's start with the fact that it's clean and gets out of your way. There's no tool panel. After you open the image you want to edit you tap on a category of adjustments that you wish to make. At that point you then just tap on the image to bring up a selection of different adjustments you can make. You drag up and down to make your choice and then drag left or right to make the actual adjustment. While this is cool, what Nik brings to the iPad is what they brought to the desktop with their Award Winning Plug-ins for Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. They allow you to affect areas of the image WITHOUT having to make selections. Using their Control Points you just tap to add a Control Point on an area of an image and then use a pinch to adjust the size/radius of the area to be adjusted. Your image is automatically masked behind the scenes. Then you just drag left or right to make the adjustment you want or to apply the filter you want. There is an instant Before/After button that you tap and hold to see the before version and release to see the after version. Of course there are also Undos and Redos and if you leave the App it will remember where you left off. I should point out that Snapseed also has the ever important White Balance adjustment that so many other Apps miss.
Sharing and Room For Improvement
There isn't really much if anything missing from this App and that's why I'm giving it one of my highest ratings. However, when it comes to sharing your choices are Email, Print, Flickr and Facebook. The one that's missing is Twitter. It's not the end of the world because I can save the image and then open it up in my Twitter App of choice and Tweet it. However, it would be nice to have it built-in. The other more major omission is online sharing through Dropbox.com. At this point I really don't want to see any more new Apps that don't integrate with Dropbox.com. Since iOS lacks a built-in user accessible file structure I've come to rely on Dropbox to get files back and forth between Apps and my own devices as well as easily sharing them with friends and colleagues without having to resort to email. Other than the limited sharing features Snapseed is a solid app at a very attractive price. It makes the other Pro level apps in this category seem expensive.