App

From social networks that specialize in filter-based photo sharing, to apps that can add animations to your photos – even Apple is getting in on the photo manipulation game with timelapse and slow-mo capability. It really is safe to say, as smartphone users, we’re not starved from attention when it comes to functionality for pimping our photos.

To get started, shuffle a filter.

To get started, shuffle a filter.

However, despite users now downloading filter specific apps in the millions, while these boast scores of filters that can be placed over a user’s photos… where are all the apps that let you create your own? Obviously, there are a few out there – but they can be hit and miss. Pixite – developers of Shift, however, are a reputable name. But can the app stand up to the rest of its portfolio, which includes Union, Fragment, and Matter?

Once saved, filters appear along the bottom.

Once saved, filters appear along the bottom.

The app is very similar to its cousins. The interface is clean, and the app works at super high speeds. Shift lets you upload photos from the camera roll, and then randomize the filter. This doesn’t just cycle through a bunch of presets, but randomizes three separate focal points in the photo. The results can be over-exposed… or they can be quite stunning. These randomizations can then be saved for use on other photos – if you happen to land on a great feature, you’ll be able to use it again.

We liked this one – we moved the focal points to the right so it washed out most of the right side of the photo

We liked this one – we moved the focal points to the right so it washed out most of the right side of the photo

Furthermore, these random filters can be tweaked – so if there is a slight overexposure, it can be toned down, or if it’s too bright, you can let more light in. This just requires swiping left or right on a dial at the bottom. Next to that is an option to tweak the colors too, and by tapping on the photo you can also change the focal points. Made the filter worse after tweaking a few steps? The app can go all the way back to find a better point in your tweaking timeline. To save, users just need to tap on the star in the interface to save it, where it will be given its own special (and highly pretentious, of course) name.

This big burst brightened up a cloudy day over the bridge

This big burst brightened up a cloudy day over the bridge

That’s the real sweet deal when it comes to Shift – the user doesn’t have to struggle to get started, creating presets and tweaking tons of levels. They don’t even have to tweak anything in the randomized filter to get something unique.

So, while there’s not a great deal to Shift – there doesn’t need to be. Like the other Pixite apps, its clean, simple, and easy to use. Adding anything else would take away from this, and the whole range of apps are available as a bundle anyway for only $5.99 / $3.99.  But unlike some of the other apps, like Fragment, which essentially cuts up and rearranges certain parts of the image, Shift might actually have more of a day to day use. You’re less likely to see Fragment images on social media, but wild and exciting filters – well, there’s much more of a market for that.

There really isn’t much to fault with Shift – it does one thing, and it does it incredibly well.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69
Version: 1.0
Size: 35.5 MB
Platform: iOS Universal
Developer: Pixite

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Review: Shift – latest Pixite photo app customizes filters
Faultless photo app that allows anyone of any skill level to create visually pleasing photo filters
For
  • Can save loads of presets
  • Random generation makes it easy for everyone
Against
  • Aside from wishing for complicated communication with other apps like Instagram to import features that is unlikely to ever happen? Nothing, really
5.0Overall Score