AMITIAE - Thursday 26 March 2015

Filters: Unusual App with Large Selection of Filters Plus Good Editing Tools

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By Graham K. Rogers


Once in a while an app appears that sort of stops me in my tracks. A heads-up from Jim Dalrymple on The Loop pointed me towards Filters with the basic information that this aptly-named app has some 800 filters and the exhortation, "Download, download, download!": clearly unusual. But it gets better.

The purchase price of $0.99 is almost nothing for many users, although I do find a lot of users here who have never bought an app, which I think is a shame. This is partly because of the problems of signing up with credit cards: many just do not have these. The user-base here is relatively small, but multiply that by a number of similar countries and potential sales of all apps are clearly greater.

Filters Filters Filters

Filters - The App

As well as the number of filters available in this app, Filters has several basic editing tools that allow users to adjust their images: adding to the effects already created. Filter choice when editing a photograph is subjective, so some of those available in this app may not suit all users.

The app does not have access to the camera, but I never feel this is a major shortcoming. It keeps an app leaner, and I would want to edit images already taken. Icons at the top of the screen are for management of the process, beginning with the Photo Library for selection of an image. Other icons at the top of the screen are

  • Information (i) which explains clearly what the editing icons are for and has some licensing information;

  • History, with an icon like a reverse arrow that surrounds a clock-face, for removal of all edits;

  • Export, which gives a number of options for ways to save and use the edited images.

Filters - Editing

The filters are in 5 groups indicated by icons. Going through the first of these (Vintage Filters) I found there were 254 available. When an image is being adjusted, the name of the filter group appears at the bottom of the screen: Vintage, Monochromatic (100), Dramatic (54), Cool (70) and Warm (66) filters are available. That actually makes 544, but the 800+ as advertised in the App Store, includes textures, overlays and other effects included in the editing tools.

The filter images are displayed 2 x 2 so the thumbnails give a good idea of what a finished photograph will be like. When a specific filter is selected, the photograph is displayed with the number of the filter shown above. A slider is below the image so that the amount of effect can be reduced. To the left is a red cross (reject) to the right a green check mark (accept). The simplicity of controls show how well thought-out this is.

Adjustments and Exports

Alongside the Filters icon at the bottom of the main screen, are three other icons: Overlays, Adjustments, Favourites -

  • Overlays are split into 3 sections:
    • Textured Overlays (Soft, Dark, Bright, Light)
    • Colored Overlays (with the same 4 variations)
    • Light Leaks (some 70 options for light effects)

Filters Filters Filters

  • Adjustments is in two parts: Effects and Editing; each with 5 options controlled by sliders:
    • Effects are Shine, Luna, Intimidate, Color Boost and Smart Fade;
    • Editing tools are Brightness, Contrast, Color Temperature, Exposure and Saturation

  • Favorites is empty when the app is first opened but a user may use the Star icon (top right of a filter display) to add any filter or overlay to save it for easy access. This does not save any effects already applied. The image displayed is the current (or last) edited.

When an image is done, tapping the Export arrow brings up a menu allowing the image to be saved to the Camera Roll, sent to Instagram, Shared or Opened in an app. Sharing has options such as Mail, Facebook, Twitter and other options available to the user.

When I selected the Mail option for an iPhone photograph edited in Filters, I was given the usual options of Small (58.9 KB), Medium (174 KB), Large (644 KB) and Actual Size (1.6 MB). The same image synchronized to the Mac was shown as 1.48 MB.

Filters Filters Filters


Despite the low price of $0.99 I expect that this app will be downloaded by many users and should probably top the charts within a few days. The flexibility that the mix of filters along with the range of editing tools allows makes this excellent value, especially as a starter app for less experienced users. Those with more knowledge of editing apps will also find this a useful addition to the armoury. There are no in-app purchases, so this is ready to roll.

Highly recommended.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2015