mobile photography technology, culture and community

Handy Photo app offers editing 'magic'

Handy Photo offers editing tools with complex controls. The Magic Crop tool extends your image with a quick swipe, you can see it filling in the black space above. The tool seemed to work fairly well for uncomplicated portions of the scene above, such as the sand and sky, but had a harder time with the palm trees at the top of the image.

Released yesterday, Handy Photo offers some heavy duty editing features for mobile devices. 

During our quick play with the app we were impressed by the Magic Crop tool which easily allows you to expand an image, increasing your background in any direction with the swipe of a finger. The same tool also allows for straightening of a horizon line without reducing image size as the Magic Crop tool fills in parts of the background that would have been cropped out. 

The Magic Crop tool lets you adjust a horizon line by rotating your image, and automatically fills in portions of the image that would be cropped by copying the nearby pixel patterns.

We also appreciated that the Clone Stamp tool gives significant control over the stamp pattern, smoothness, size and more. Handy Photo also lists the history of all your changes as you make them, allowing you to selectively go back in time in much the same way as you would use the history window in Photoshop.

There's plenty more tools we're eager to explore, including the app's Retouch and Move Me tools; we look forward to putting Handy Photo through further testing.

Handy Photo is now available for both Android and iOS for $1.99.

Watch Handy Photo in action, below: 


Total comments: 12

I checked out this app after seeing this post. I really didn't want to buy yet another redundant app, but the demo video looked promising.

Have to give it up for this app. What it does, it does better than any other app I have. It beats Touch ReTouch and Anti-Crop as well.

Would like to use my own textures, and some layer functions would be nice. Other than that, I think this is now one of my top 3 editing apps. I tested it out on an iPad and haven't tried the iPhone version yet.

Glad I found it here. Thanks!


Very useful.........and also visit me


Loving the retouch feature.....that was quick and painless!!!!.......


Photo app # 2,874 in the effort to try and make a phone something more than it is.

Edited 40 seconds after posting
Lars Rehm

I don't understand this comment. It's an app, and an interesting one, which is why we are covering it here. Nobody claims it's a Photoshop replacement but it does some things really well and actually quicker than you could do them in a desktop application...and while you're out and about. is that a bad thing?


No, being able to snap a shot on your phone and then edit it on a 4.5" screen is not a "bad" thing. It just seems that there is an endless number of these apps... and again that's not a bad thing either because choice is very valuable (since this one is getting horrific, bug-filled reviews so far).
I just happen to see humor in all the efforts put into these post processing progs, when you're using a tool that has a small, fixed, wide angle lens.... no control over aperture (or most other things)... and moves every time you push the shutter button. ;)

I realize filters are there to cover up for the fact that a shot is blurry, boring, or poorly exposed... and did I say blurry?.... but this is more than just filters. It seems many of these programs are designed solely to help you get past (cover up) the fact that you're using a cameraphone.

(edit: reviews on Google Play, wouldn't know about Apple)

Edited 14 minutes after posting

I currently shoot with a Nikon D700, a Sony RX100, and a recently acquired iPhone 5. Until I began using some of the apps for iPhone, I held the whole cellphone app thing in contempt just as you do, but... I have found that the iPhone really is capable of great photos and in combination with apps such as Hipstamatic, many creative doors can be opened. Plus - I am having more fun with photography than I have ever had!

Matt Glastonbury

Here's a not so blurry, no so shabby, photo, or two, from a "cameraphone" PHD4:

I love a challenge. Mobile Photography is worth a second look ;o)

Edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote

I don't mean it to come off as "contempt", I just don't see it as a great tool creating great images. I know... so why comment on "Connect" then, right? lol. I see these headlines when I'm in the Camera portion of DPR and I sometimes click on them.

If it's fun, then by all means let's support it. But we see so many stories here of someone "shooting 50 weddings with their phone!"... "photojournalist uses camera phone!"... as if this is some groundbreaking, state of the art technology. I hate using my phone and my camera is excellent (along with my 5" 1080p 441 pixels per inch screen... perfect for those that like phonetography).

@ Matt
All those do is reinforce my comments about filters.

Matt Glastonbury

@PhD4 , no filter:

Still don't think mobile photography is worth much?
..and is a filter very similar to presets in Lightroom?


I don't use Presets, but the answer to that is no... filters aren't much different.

What IS different is the amount of detail, color spectrum, DR, control of DOF, Shutter speed, ISO, etc, etc.

The first link, girl on the broom, is a nice shot, and the only one that isn't obviously taken with a phone, aside from the lack of details below her.
The water landscape is ok... and the blurry water looks nice (luckily), because you had no choice.
But the middle shot of the water/hand is definitely filtered. Or else it's just washed out and has that odd, faded, vertical banding.

Composition is one thing, you can compose using a camera, a phone, canvas or a stone & chisel. People with a good eye can take good pics with anything. Like this woman:

But if you wanted to control your depth of field, show more detail in things like water or darker areas, or enlarge any of your shots to a 24x36 wall mount.... now what?

Matt Glastonbury

@phD4, Hiya,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. The shot of the water on the hand isn't filtered, but I did use Photoshop Touch to increase the mid-tones a lot. It was a really dark image using ISO of 50, & a shutter speed of nearly 10k. The white line is a lens flare/refraction from the sun.

Agree with you on the limitations of the phone completely. This year's mobile camera gen. is really improving on the last, & we can expect some great results as they encroach more into replacing the point & shooters.

My ears perked up, with your original comments about trying to make a phone, something that it isn't, & you're quite right. The phone isn't a camera, but, it's becoming one. There are many, unlike yourself, that believe it should be replacing (& already has) their point n shoot. Belief in change, regardless of restriction, is where we find innovation & fresh thought. I love to try to push the boandaries of mobile tech, just to see where it takes us, & I love my big lens cam too.

Total comments: 12
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