1. cjvitek's Avatar
    ColorSplash, by PocketPixels, Inc.
    $1.99, ****


    • Cool special effects for modifying pictures
    • Video tutorials
    • Easy interface

    • No select options all drawing
    • Settings can only be adjusted within the iPhone settings menu

    Ever see those cool images where most of the image is black and white, except for a splash of color? With ColorSplash on the iPhone, you can make those same kinds of images yourself. Create cool, catchy, and striking artwork from even the most mundane of pictures you take with your iPhone.

    ColorSplash is an image editing tool that allows you to convert the entire picture to black and white (grey scale) and then you can choose what areas of the picture to highlight by bringing the color back. You can choose to work with any picture in your library, even taking a new photograph within the app.

    When working with the app, at the bottom of the screen you see the three main modes of the app. You can choose the pan and zoom to move the picture, or zoom in an out (needed for fine detail). The color mode allowsyou to draw various color lines, allowing the color of the image to re-appear. The gray mode allows you to draw gray back in, undoing any color drawing that you did in the color mode (although there also is an undo button as well.

    On the top of the image are the various tools the same regardless of what mode you are in. The first is a menu button which includes options like start a new session, save a session, save an image, etc. One nice feature is that it allows you to invert the image changing gray to color and color to gray. There also is a share option to load pictures to Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter (although probably most people have iPhone apps for those as well, so they can just use those apps).

    You also have a help button for a nice video tutorial on how to use the app. The app itself is pretty self explanatory, but the tutorial (and written directions) includes detailed instructions for use.

    The third tool is the brush tool. You can choose one of four brush shapes, and also adjust the size of the brush (although this is in settings). There is an undo button (important when you make a mistake), and lastly a selector to choose a normal view and a red tint. The red tint is to make sure you can see where you have designated color to appear, since sometimes the colors may be faded or washed out and you dont notice them.

    The brush shapes are hard and soft edges, as well as opaque and transparent (allowing for partial color restoration). When I was using the app, I only used the hard edged brush. In order to get really good and have a more professional image, you probably would want to switch between all four brushes to get the preferred effect.

    Like some other app, the settings are only visible in the settings screen on the iPhone. I dont really like this, because I may want to adjust some settings on the fly within the app, but a lot of apps are doing this now.

    With my preliminary attempts at using this app, I can say.it is very simple to produce cool pictures. I tried a couple of them, and the effect is really cool (like the one where my daughters shirt is in color in the gray background). I would think the more I use it, the more professional images would appear, but I have to say it was very simple to use on the first try.

    I do wish there was some option to have a select tool, so you can draw an outline and turn everything inside the outline back to color. This would make it easier with some images, which you could then touch up with the brush tools. But this feature is not included, so you are stuck using your finger as the brush. I would also love to see some different brush shapes (especially with a sharp corner, like a triangle or square, so you can really get down to fine detail on some pictures.

    All in all, this is a fun little app to add some oomph to your pictures. Its fun to play with and easy to use.At $1.99, the price is not expensive, and if you want to impress friends and family with some really cool images, I would suggest giving the app a try. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.

    Thanks to Corrina where I got the Blue Apple picture
    11-28-2009 05:41 PM