Review: Photogene by Omer Shoor
This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Top Photography and Image Manipulation Apps. Additional details may be found in the original article.
Photogene ($5) is another full-featured image adjustment application that balances a healthy set of features with an intelligently-designed interface. Following a brief splash screen, users are presented with a menu that lets them edit a new photo, continue their last editing session, or view more information. The main photo editing view places buttons for crop, rotate, sharpen, color adjustment, symbols, frames, undo, redo, and save in a slim vertical bar along the left side of the screen.
Selecting the crop tool gives users an adjustable box that appears atop the image, letting them select the area to be cropped with reasonable precision. Buttons for canceling or cropping appear at the bottom. The rotate tool works similarly, with buttons appearing at the bottom for clockwise and counter-clockwise 90-degree rotation, and vertical and horizontal flipping. A custom slider lets the user straighten the image; a reset button is also available. Likewise, the sharpness tool uses a custom slider with a reset button to the left, and the color adjust tool provides a levels slider with a graphic read out inside and an auto button to the right, separate sliders for color temperature and saturation, three effect (filter) buttons, and a reset all button. The symbols tool brings up a side-scrolling selection of thought bubble and other common shapes, the frame tool uses a similar selection process, but with the option of selecting a background color. Photogene saves images at their full resolution — up to 1600x1200.
In practice, all of these tools do their jobs well, and it’s a credit to the developer that all are accessible from within one single screen. Adjustment previews don’t appear instantly but also don’t take as long as Picoli’s, and are handled well. While it lacks some of the more advanced tools and options of Magic Touch, each of Photogene’s tools is inherently more usable thanks to the superior interface. Between the complication of Magic Touch and the over-simplification of Picoli and Jade, we found Photogene to strike just the right balance between sophistication and usability. Filter enthusiasts and users who want spot-based adjustments will need to look elsewhere, but users looking for an efficient, well-rounded image adjustment and editing program, Photogene is the current cream of the crop. An expanded range of filters, pixel-based crops, and real-time previews would make Photogene even better, but as it stands, it’s worthy of our high recommendation. iLounge Rating: A-.