5 photography apps to download to your new iPad
Lauren Crabbe | Published: Nov 1, 2013 at 14:29 UTC156
The newest versions of Apple's tablets go on sale today. The iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display both offer improved processing power of their predecessors, but what apps will you want to run on that fast A7 chip? Photographers have a huge array of apps for editing and sharing photos on iPads.
We've picked out five apps that should be on every photographer's new iPad. If you already use an iPad in your photography workflow, let us know about your favorite tablet apps in the comments.
Even though Photoshop Touch can be used on smartphones, it's a tablet app at heart. Packed with the same tools that made Photoshop a staple desktop application for everyone in the creative industry, Photoshop Touch's multi-faceted user interface is best enjoyed on a larger screen.
You can use Photoshop Touch to do everything from cropping and exposure adjustments to in-depth art projects that are only limited by your imagination and, well, file size. In order to keep the app moving, Adobe limits users to 12MP photos — plenty for smartphones, but you may have to save your images a little smaller on your DSLR if you want all the manual features of Photoshop Touch if you're using your tablet to edit.
Photoshop Touch stands out from the cheaper editing apps with its ability to edit in layers. Instead of saving edits on top of edits, you can edit in different layers and delete individual layers if you don't like what you've done. For many iPad users, Photoshop Touch's layering tool alone is worth the high price tag.
If you want the power of a desktop photo editor for a mobile app's price, look no further than Photogene. This photographic powerhouse offers color adjustments with histogram and curves, sharpening, noise reduction and a plethora of retouch tools.
We gave Photogene a 4/5 stars in our review last year. Since then, Photogene has gone through an iOS 7-inspired overhaul to improve the user interface and has made its "PRO" tools available with its $0.99 app store price — a kit that used to cost an extra $7.99 for separate RGB curves, star ratings, IPTC batch editing and more customizable local adjustments.
For easy editing tools with a bit of flair, Handy Photo can help you fix almost any photo issue with ease. Whether it is removing tourists from your destination wedding shoot or simply fixing a pimple on your friend's cheek, you can do it all in Handy Photo.
The benefit to using Handy Photo over the other iPad photo editing apps available is its automatic editing features. With just a few swipes of your finger, Handy Photo lets you do everything from move your subjects to auto-crop your whole image. But don't let Handy Photo's entry-level appeal fool you. If you like to use your iPad to edit photos from your DSLR, Handy Photo can handle photos that are up to 36MP in size and is capable of viewing images at 100% in the app, so you can really inspect your edits before sharing.
You've likely noticed Aviary or Snapseed makes nearly every "best of" photography app round up, but there's good reason to back such frequent praise. Why spend money on an editing app when you can get such high quality apps as Aviary or Snapseed for free?
While Snapseed has been stuck in the same user interface since it was first launched, Aviary has a brand new facelift that makes it as light and fresh as the iPad Air in your hands. Still containing the same photo editing tools that made it a favorite of users and developers alike, the new Aviary is cleaner and easier to use. Meanwhile, Snapseed is as awesome as ever with its incredibly easy Selective Adjust tool and new HDR Scape feature. Go ahead, download both and see how you like them. After all, they are free!
For some professional photographers, an iPad may be less of an editing tool and more of a modern portfolio. When meeting with clients, lugging around a book of prints may come off as a little old fashioned. Instead, consider taking along an iPad using one of the many portfolio apps for iOS.
Both Portfolio Pro and FolioBook have different strengths. Besides having an exceptionally perfect name, Portfolio for iPad lets you view a wider range of files, including photos, videos and PDFs. FolioBook offers Dropbox integration and allows for portfolio sharing over multiple iPads and Apple TV as well as the instant creation of a website to display up to 20 photos. Both apps have plenty of good user reviews but serve different purposes. If you want something easy to set up that can accommodate your PDFs with your JPEGs, Portfolio for iPad is a good option, but if you need to display your portfolio on multiple devices, then FolioBook is your best bet.