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Touchlook HD - COLORTIVE Co Ltd

Touchlook HD iPad App Review.

I love taking pictures. Snap here, snap there. Parties, nature-shots, from the bus, indoors. There’s a photo opportunity everywhere. Some photos you take in poor lighting conditions, some are Kodak-moments, where you capture the moment, as imperfect as it may be. But all of these photos are your memories and they all have a shot at being, for lack of a better term, picture-perfect. A lot of the times, this involves getting your photo on your computer, starting up good ol’ Photoshop and editing colors and adjusting contrast. But perhaps all you need to do this is your iPad2. Trying to make up for the iPad2’s lack of photo-editing software is Touchlook HD.

Editing on the iPad is natural

Taking pictures with it, not so much. Granted, the iPad’s camera might not be much to start with, so that’s why I think photo editing apps are much better suited for the iPhone4S. The extra lens that the 4S has, not to mention the fact that it’s an 8MP camera, make it a prime candidate to replace your regular point-and-shoot cameras. The iPad (or iPad2) is not such a device though and the only way you can get to edit your iPhone photos on your iPad is if PhotoStream is enabled.

So yes, my first concern with Touchlook HD is that it’s not compatible with my iPhone. The second concern is that the app tried to reinvent the wheel a bit. Any designer would have used Photoshop at least once in his life. And he would know that editing RGB values or HSL values is done via sliders: towards the left to make them lower, towards the right to make them bigger (to put it in layman terms). So I would have expected to see a natural interface with Touchlook HD, where you pick a photo and use sliders to carefully adjust colors and contrast to your liking.

Touchlook HD uses circles, triangles and rectangles positioned on the photo to let you adjust your values. Take for example RGB (Red-Green-Blue). You would expect three sliders, one for each color value. With Touchlook HD, you get a triangle with its three corners representing those values. You can move them around the photo however you like and you have to pay attention to the way the value is modified. There’s no left or right for positive and negative. There’s everywhere around the screen. The values are still ranging from positive to negative though. What you control hasn’t changed. The end result won’t change either. Just the road you have to take to get there might be unnatural to some (me included).

The response you’re getting from adjusting the sliders is not instantaneous either. No matter how small the change, you have to wait until Touchlook HD applies your change. If it’s not perfect, move the slider just a bit more. And a bit more. And a bit more. Because the app doesn’t offer the possibility for me to enter a value manually, I need a steady hand to precisely fine-tune my photos.

All the features are there

Touchlook HD lets you edit in RGB mode, HSL mode and also adjust color tones via its BMW mode. You have a sensibility slider (yes, this is a slider, of sorts) that lets you increase or decrease sensitivity in adjusting the controller.

RGB mode (Red, Green, Blue) lets you control primary colors. Move the three controllers at the tips of the triangle to adjust each individual value. In HSL mode (Hue, Saturation, Lightness), you have to drag three round controllers positioned on a circle and rotate them in order to adjust each individual value. BMW mode (Black, Mid-tone and White) lets you control contrast of color tones via a rectangle with the Mid-tone value being the center controller and two opposing corners of the rectangle being the black and the white values.

You’re probably wondering where you can read more about these things and that’s the manual that the app comes with. If you do decide to read the manual, the only way you can get back to the app is by exiting it. There is no back button (that I saw and works).

Editing photos should be fun. Almost as fun as taking them. I want to relieve the moment when I took the photo I’m editing, not twist and bend geometric shapes to bring the photo to life. Touchlook HD is definitely a step in the evolution of photo-editing software on the iPad. I just can’t say for sure if it’s a step forward or a step backwards. You’ll have to try it out for yourself and see.


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Touchlook HD
Developer: COLORTIVE Co., Ltd.
Category: Photo & Video
Version reviewed: 1.0
Price: $2.99

Our Rating

3 / 5

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iPhone Review Posted in App Reviews, Music & Photo

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