The number of photo editing apps in 2021 is already off the charts. Film-simulating, adding effects, allowing you to shoot and edit in RAW, apply hundreds of filters or add visual effects. Finally, a well-aimed argument: the canonical name of Vsco, and the fact that this does not only surprise anyone. Even it is already jeans. You have to choose and be torn between the many.
For me, it was until the moment when I returned to the basics and realized how high-quality and good the built-in photo editor is.
The first photo editing tools in iOS appeared back in 2013, but then it was more like a show: everything is raw, a modest set of cropping and automatic enhancement, and after that a selection of built-in filters. However, already with IOS 10, the quality is noticeably improved, and the set of built-in tools is growing! Further more. On the latest firmware of apple gadgets, the Photos application is ready to compete with third-party photo editing programs. This is not at all the raw set that it was at the beginning.
At the time of writing this text, Apple’s built-in photo editor already has 17 (!) Tools for working on a frame. Among them, most of the standard ones, familiar from … all programs for working with images:
-Editing highlights and shadows
-Contrast and brightness
-Saturation, color temperature and hue
-Sharpness, detail and grain/noise work
And this is without the very obvious distortion along the axes, rotation, cropping and other things. It would seem that more than! This is a solid set for standard photo editing. This is exactly what we are talking about, not about full-fledged processing of shooting, which is best done at the computer. At a minimum — simpler, as a maximum — a larger display.
All these tools can be found in many processing programs, and Apple has honed its algorithms to a sufficient extent. Today they give out a really high-quality level of processing: if years earlier it was possible to complain about it, now I would not. Then why go somewhere else and turn to third-party developers?
There are no statistics, but word of mouth is very specific: filters and presets are definitely what the majority uses. And that, for which the majority chooses photo editors for the phone. Definitely not for curves!
In this matter, the apple editor is certainly lagging behind: there are only 9 built-in filters, three of which are BW. Compared to the same Vsco, where their number is measured in tens … But about this, my personal experience shows that they are not always needed when it comes to serious processing of the frame (which is not suitable for everyone). A combination of color temperature-hue-saturation is enough and you can bring the frame to the desired color combination. Personally, in my memory, there are only a few programs for smartphones that allow you to work on midtones and color in detail. And then, with a paid subscription. On the phone. For serious photo editing. If necessary? For such cases, you can already turn to desktop processing and use a proven program on your computer. For everyone else — yes, no one forbids using programs with filters, I sometimes open them myself. But there are not so many cases when, after surface processing with sliders, you also need to turn to filters, in my practice there are not so many. This again reverts to using the built-in editor.
Not without criticism
Filters — okay: they are popular, but not everyone uses them. But more global shortcomings, of course, will be. I can’t say that the iPhone’s built-in photo software is that perfect. For really deep photo processing, it is much more appropriate to switch to a computer that is at hand. But a few built-in tools would resolve such doubts in favor of a smartphone.
First of all, the healing brush. Cases when it is necessary to cover up something or remove a small object from the frame sometimes happen. And the built-in editor can’t do that. We have to turn to other developers who, although not perfectly, have implemented this tool.
Number two is the brightening/darkening brush. The program built into apple technology allows you to edit light and dark areas, but all at once. And sometimes you want to highlight something pointy and specific, without affecting the rest of the photo. It’s nothing. But even it would make one even more entrenched in the choice of built-in processing for the sake of other programs.