I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect Snapseed to add many more features to their free app. It was already pretty loaded with good stuff. The update to version 2.0 adds a lot of excellent features. For me, Snapseed was already the top editing app, and now its taken another step forward.
Let’s check out the new features:
The histogram is a very welcome addition for me. You can see it at the bottom left of the screen. Now I can keep track of my highlights and shadows, as I edit, making sure that I don’t clip them (lose detail by over-editing.)
Lens Blur isn’t a new tool. It was the tilt-shift tool, but has a new name now. However, they did add 11 shapes, instead of just the typical circle. You can have a heart shaped blur if you’d like. Perfect for the teenage girl inside you!
The Perspective Transform tool is a great addition. Now you can delete any perspective apps you had on your phone. The cool thing about this tool is when you adjust the perspective, which will create empty space in the image, Snapseed uses a content aware fill to intelligently fill in the open spaces. I’m not sure how accurate the content aware fill is, so you may need to crop if there are weird artifacts being created.
Spot healing is a good idea. I wish it was more like TouchRetouch, but right now, you can only use the tool by tapping on one spot, instead of being able touch and draw over what you want removed. Spot healing will be useful if there are spots or small things you want removed from your images.
Stacks allows you to re-edit or delete any adjustment you’ve made. You can also copy edits from one image to another. History was lacking for a long time in Snapseed. This is a big step up from a history feature. I’m so happy to see non-destructive editing included. Now you don’t have to worry about starting all over if you make an adjustment that you don’t like.
Selectively apply filters and effects to parts of the image using the Brush tool
The Brush tool lets you make adjustments to parts of the image that you choose by drawing with your finger. The Brush tool allows you to dodge, burn, and adjust exposure, temperature, and saturation. My first impressions are this is a decent tool. I wish you could select the brush size, instead of having to zoom into the image. I also wish there was some intelligent edge detection to make selections easier. This tool will be decent for broad adjustments, but maybe not the best for precise ones.
To selectively apply filters, tap on the stacks icon on the top of the screen. Below it’s the 3 icon. The number changes depending on how many layers you have.
Then tap on the layer you want to mask
Next tap on the paintbrush icon to bring up the masking screen.
Below, I’ve tapped the icon to the left of the middle of the lower part of the screen, to invert the mask. This puts a red mask over the image to show you where the filter is applied. For the purpose of showing how it looks if you make adjustments, I used a +25 to draw over the middle of the image. That means the effect will be applied at 25% opacity wherever I draw.
Snapseed has added a couple of filters from Color Efex Pro (their amazing photoshop/lightroom plugin.) They are the tonal contrast and glamour glow filters. Both of which are great. Tonal contrast is my favorite new feature. It allows you to make adjustments to the contrast in specific tonal ranges. Also very useful are the protect shadows and protect highlights sliders, which should help prevent clipping.
Glamour Glow has 5 presets, or you can make your own adjustments with the sliders. This effect is great on portraiture, landscapes, and still life images. It’s an easy way to get something similar to an orton effect.
Grainy Film is another new addition. These appear to be VSCO type filters that simulate 18 different film types. They look pretty great to me.
Noir offers 14 dark and grainy filters. They’re really not my style, and I don’t see myself using them.
- In “Tune Image,” there is a highlight slider that is a very welcome addition. This allows you to adjust the brightness of your highlights. Also, there is an auto adjust icon that makes adjustments for you.
- The Vignette tool is slightly updated. The blur slider is gone.
- Also noticeable is the improved speed of the app. It’s very quick and fluid on my iPhone 5s.
My First Edit
I shot this with an HDR camera app that I’m beta testing, called Fusion.
This is after making adjustments in Tune Image, including ambiance, contrast, shadows, and highlights. Then I added a little structure in the details tool. I followed that up with Tonal contrast, which made the biggest difference between the original and the final image. There was so much more detail brought out in the trees, and part of the clouds.
I can tell already that I’ll be using the tonal contrast filter instead of the drama filter, from now on.