App

Filteract lets users apply filters to individual objects in photos

Price: Free (with IAP)
Version: 1.05
Size: 22.5 MB
Developer: Filteract
Platform: iPhone & iPad

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The idea behind Filteract is that you can interact with your photography filters. While on many apps this might mean you can simply tweak the intensity, or ever the colors of preset filters, on Filteract, the idea goes further, allowing users to use paint tools to single out particular areas or objects.

Selectively choosing where to apply filters to a photo is a refreshing, but also fun spin on the plethora of filter apps on the App Store. You can either use Filteract to enhance photos, or just get a bit silly with them (you’ll see from some of the screenshots below).

Some filters are more drastic, but also more varied than other apps. Check out what it does to green shrubbery and a bright blue sky.

Some filters are more drastic, but also more varied than other apps. Check out what it does to green shrubbery and a bright blue sky.

This isn’t a new concept – there are other apps out there like Enlight or Pixelmator that let you mask part of a photo and then apply changes to the rest of an image, but many might be intimidated by those far more powerful apps. Filteract aims to make the process simpler for users unfamiliar with such tools. Of course, that essentially highlights Filteract as a more fun tool than professional, as the more serious photo editors out there will likely be already using one of the two aforementioned apps.

You can use some more traditional features to really enhance the colors

You can use some more traditional features to really enhance the colors

However, if you want to have a play and get used to using masks on images, Filteract is an excellent stepping stone to enhancing your images. It’s super easy to use – when you open the app you’re given the option to select an image from your Camera Roll, or open up the camera to shoot a fresh image. Then it’s all about adding filters. The app gives you more control over applying filters by having users hold down on a particular filter to apply it to the whole image. If you just tap on the filter itself you can then simply touch or use strokes on the image to apply this filter to the areas you want by freehand straight away. Alternatively, you can tap on either the paint roller, or magic wand tool, then swipe your finger over the image to apply the filter to the parts of the image you touch.

Here we painted the foreground of this Manhattan shot with a Noir black and white filter

Here we painted the foreground of this Manhattan shot with a Noir black and white filter

These two tools are essentially all there is to it. The magic roller works very well, and users can use pinch gestures to zoom in on the image so they can increase the accuracy of the painting of the filter. However, the painting still uses a semblance of auto-selection based on where you’ve swiped, and it’s quite tricky to get the exact outline you want. On the other hand, if you make a mistake you can undo, which allows you to go back step-by-step since the start of the session.

Elsewhere, the magic wand tool allows users to tap an object in the image and the function aims to automatically highlight the whole object. We found that this tool was extremely hit and miss and the magic roller ends up giving the user far more control. However, if you’re working with images that aren’t too busy, and the object you want to highlight is clearly in the foreground, the tool is much easier to use.

Of course, if you really want to go crazy with it...

Of course, if you really want to go crazy with it…

Essentially, Filteract is a very simple, but also powerful app, pulling out a great but often tricky tool to get the hang of into its own app. But it performs this function very well. It’s also a free app, though naturally there are some in-app purchases. There’s three optional extra sets of filters, including vintage and color-swap filters priced at $0.99/£0.79 each. Though we’d say most users would get on fine without these as the free app includes its main features.

The only downside to Filteract is there’s no crop or other simple editing tools that would have made the app just that little bit more useful. Of course, the more functionality you add, the more the app would be trying to compete with the more powerful App Store photo editors, which Filteract clearly isn’t trying to do. For a standalone tool – it’s a great addition to a casual iPhone or social media photographer’s camera kit.

Review: Filteract – selectively apply filters to photos
Filteract pulls out a stylish filter from more powerful photo apps and makes it the star of the show
For
  • Very simple to use
  • Plenty of choice in filters
  • Can go along way without using the IAPs
Against
  • No simple editing tools
  • Sparse settings
4.1Overall Score