Part of PadGadget’s continuing series Become An Expert With PadGadget’s iPad Photography Series.
PhotoToaster, by East Coast Pixels, is a fun new photo editing app that has a wide variety of useful features and an easy to use, intuitive interface that will make picture editing a breeze.
There’s no shortage of photo editing apps in the App Store, and we’ve even reviewed several of the best of them in our Photography Series, but there’s always room for another great editing app, and PhotoToaster definitely fits the bill.
When opening the app, you’re taken to the home screen where you can import a photo from your photo library, take a picture with the camera, connect your Facebook account, paste an image from the clipboard, view tutorial videos, email support, and get tips on using PhotoToaster.
After importing a photo, you’ll see two toolbars on the screen. The top toolbar has controls for saving, cropping, undoing, helpful tips, and a button to get back to the home page. On the bottom, there are the editing tools that give access to the filters, the filter controls, and some special features like borders.
The crop tool is limited, which is slightly disappointing. You can’t use it freely, and are restricted to just landscape, portrait, and square format, so making irregular shapes isn’t possible. By moving and pinching you can zoom in to select specific areas in the photos. This basic cropping function is probably sufficient for most uses, however if you need something more advanced, you’ll have to use another app. I’ll also mention that this app lacks straightening capabilities.
While this app is missing some basic functionality, it more than makes up for it with plenty of image adjustment tools and preset image filters. Tapping the globe at the bottom of the screen will bring up all of the presets that will change the overall look of your image. They’re separated into three categories, allowing you to “toast” your image to different degrees. The categories are basic, deluxe, and supreme, and are selected by rotating the wheel at the bottom.
Each section has 13 different filters, from simple things like tuneup, sunny, and chilly in the basic section to deep focus, lomo, and HDR in the supreme section. There’s a lot of choices, so you’re sure to find something perfect for enhancing every photo, whether it’s a simple lighting change or a more dramatic vintage effect.
Applying the filter is as simple as tapping it, and if you want to remove it, simply tap another one, or hit the undo button. Every filter can be further customized, using the tweaks on the bottom toolbar, which are displayed as additional effects in thumbnails, which you can select. You can also tap the slider bar to open a more customizable menu. There are five image aspects that you can alter: saturation, color filter, sharpen, cross process, and technicolor.
In addition, other image enhancements, such as lighting fixes, can be applied using the little sun icon. Fix exposure, change temperature, add light, change the contrast, and alter the tinting with these buttons.
If this is beginning to sound a little complicated – it is. The filters are split up in an odd way comparative to the other image enhancements, and it’s something that you need to use to get used to. Lucky, it’s pretty easy to figure out once you’re in the app fidgeting with settings.
Besides the image filters and enhancements, you can also add vignetting and borders to each image. The vignette tool allows you to choose size, brightness, color, and more, while the border tool has preset borders you can choose from.
You can also use all of the filters and adjustments to create your own presets, which can be saved in the global settings under “my presets,” so if you can’t find what you want, you can create it and save it for use on future photos.
In the process of editing, make sure not to hit the home button, which will immediately take you back to the home page without allowing you to save your image changes.
To check out some of the effects, try using the random button that’s in the bottom right hand corner. It works fast and comes up with some great combinations for unique looking photos. If at any point you want to go back to your original image, simply tap the arrow on the bottom.
When your image is edited to your satisfaction, tapping the save button will allow you to save it to the Photo Library, email it, or share it on Facebook and Tumblr. There’s a neat function when you email an image. In addition to sending the image, it’ll also send a link to the PhotoToaster app and a link with all of the settings you used to create the image, so you can easily send your presets to your friends.
Despite a the lack of a few basic functions, PhotoToaster is a powerful image editor that’s super quick. A lot of image editing apps will lag slightly when applying filters to your photos, but that is not the case with PhotoToaster. At first, the layout can be confusing, but ultimately, it’s intuitive, easy to use, and allows users to add some great enhancements to photos.
What I liked: I was impressed with the quality of some of the basic enhancement presets, which did noticeably improve my photos. I loved the ability to send my photo settings in an email, so someone else could potentially use the same combination of adjustments that I’d chosen. It’s a super fun way to share unique image enhancements.
What I didn’t like: Many apps of this caliber have layering and masking functionality, which was noticeably missing here, and keeps it from being as useful as other apps like Photogene and Snapseed. Without layers, there’s no way to add multiple filters in a quick and easy way, and without layers, filters and enhancements can only be applied to the entire photo. I didn’t like the limited crop tool and the lack of a straightening/rotating tool. The home button exiting the image without saving can potentially result in a serious loss of time.
To buy or not to buy: PhotoToaster is currently just $0.99, so it’s easy to forgive the lack of certain features, because what you are getting is a useful image editing app with tons of options that can be used to create amazing photos.
- App Name: PhotoToaster
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
- Category: Photography
- Developer: East Coast Pixels
- Price: $0.99