With this free app, pictures need never be sub-standard again
Adobe Photoshop Fix – a mobile app that’s just as powerful as the desktop version and probably easier to use – makes retouching photos a lot of fun.
It’s best used on an iPad Pro and with the Apple Pencil stylus, whose combination of power and precision team well the intuitive user-interface of the app.
If you love showing off your photographic handiwork on the social networks, Photoshop Fix is a must-have. Among other functions, you can smooth, liquefy, lighten and “heal” pictures and get them just the way you want.
First you’ll need to sign up for a free Adobe ID, which can done within Fix and via Facebook or Google. With Adobe’s Creative-Sync service, the images you edit will be stored, ready for further enhancement and use in other Adobe mobile and desktop apps.
Adobe has made Fix a free app – and I found its functions ample for my needs – but if you want more powerful tools beyond those provided, you can pay a little cash to subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan.
Creative Cloud lets you open and edit Photoshop files in Fix and send the images to Photoshop CC for further refinement – layers, masks and all. Or you can open and enhance Lightroom images and send them directly to your Lightroom Collections.
All edits are synced across all your computers and devices. If you make a change on iPad, it will show up on your desktop.
I tested the app on an iPad Pro 10.5-inch with the Apple Pencil. The work went fast and smoothly results and all tools were very responsive.
The first thing you see is the gallery page, with thumbnails of your already edited photos. Add another by tapping the plus sign on the left, which pops up options for locating the image to be uploaded. They can come from Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook, Lightroom, Creative Cloud or the gallery on your iPad, or any shot taken with the Pro’s camera.
Once there’s a picture in place to edit, you see the tools across the bottom of the screen – Crop, Adjust, Liquefy, Heal, Smooth, Light, Colour, Paint, Defocus and Vignette.
The Heal tool works some kind of magic. If there appears to be a tree branch growing out of someone’s head in the picture, for example, use this tool to make the branch vanish. It snatches and blends in patches of pixels from the adjacent clear area so it looks like that tree never existed.
You can do the same if someone’s unwittingly walked into the background of your landscape, or if unsightly telephone wires are draped in front of your beautiful home. Just use your finger or the Apple Pencil to paint them out.
To make your portraits truly outstanding, the Crop, Liquefy, Smooth and Defocus tools are amazing.
Liquefy tool is “faceware”. It automatically places seven dots on key characteristics of the subject’s face – forehead, eyes, cheekbones, lips and chin. You can push, pull, rotate and swell these areas individually to reshape subtly or drastically.
Smooth gets rid of pimples and wrinkles and softens or sharpens any part of the photo.
With most cameras these days you can get a neat bokeh effect – the background out of focus to make the subject stand out more – but if you forgot to do so when taking the shot, Defocus will handle it after the fact. You simply activate the tool and “paint” the background with your finger.
This can be done even more precisely with the Apple Pencil – Photoshop Fix will blur the background for you.
You can change your subject’s hair colour with the Paint tool. Choose the hue with the tool’s colour-picker and use the Apple Pencil to paint over the hair.
The Crop tool is good for improving composition, especially in portraits. It’s ready to rotate or flip the photo horizontally or vertically. The crop preset ratios are square, 5:4, 4:3, 7:5 and 3:2.
If the colours seem pale, select the Colour tool and boost the saturation to make the range more vivid. The opposite is possible if the colours appear too garish. If the picture is too dark or too light, go to the Light tool and adjust upward or downward.
An under-exposed shot can be fixed with the Adjust tool itself, which works with a slide bar. Adjust will also correct contrast and saturation and add “warmth” to the photo. Shadows can be made brighter.
The Vignette tool reduces brightness, focus or saturation around the edges for a striking frame effect.
When you’re done and ready to share online, just tap the upload icon in the top right corner and choose the destination, such as Facebook or Instagram.
If you have an iPad Pro, this app is highly recommended. It also works on an iPhone, and an Android version is also available.
- Vendor: Adobe Systems Inc
- Size: 187.9 megabytes
- Category: Photo & Video
- Compatibility: iOS 10.0 or later, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.
- Price: Free