I’m no photographer, editor, or designer by any means. In fact, whenever I download a photo-managing or editing program, I often become immediately overwhelmed by the plethora of different, yet uniformly understood, features.
I often find myself asking, “Magic Wand? - What in the world is that?!” or, “Did I just add contrast? No, that was just a saturation adjustment… or was it hue?”
Yes, I’m really that inexperienced; so when I heard about the big update coming to MacPhun’s app Snapheal, I was excited but also very concerned. Would I be able to keep up with all the changes to the app’s interface? – Better yet, how would the apps new features and layout impact my already crippled workflow?
I’m pleased to report that after playing with Snapheal 2.1 for almost a month now, I can say with utter confidence that it is one of the greatest updates to any photo-editing software I’ve ever used. In fact, it may just be the most simple, intuitive photo-editing app available.
From design to performance,Snapheal 2.1 is beautiful. The app has a sleek, dark chrome design motif that compliments it’s functionality. While photo-editing, you of course want to focus on your content, not on the app’s assorted menus, buttons, and other elements. That’s what makes Snapheal’s design truly great — it’s designed with design in mind.
The app’s shiny silver icons have been completely redesigned with a simpler, flatter look that make the interface feel much less crowded – plus – most of the app’s elements have been re-engineered to match Apple’s more modern interface theme, which gives Snapheal a more familiar tone to first-time users. Overall, Snapheal’s new design improves the user experience and makes using the app more fun, intuitive, and efficient.
Here’s a rundown of what you can expect from this update.
Snapheal’s feature-set remains largely the same, but there are some new and improved features that increase its versatility as a “prosumer” photo-editing app. For instance, Snapheal 2.1 now features an all new crop tool that’s similar in execution to iOS’s native photo-cropper. In order to crop, you just click the scissor icon located on the top-right to invoke “crop mode,” where you can then select a specific part of your photo to crop using the “rule-of-thirds”-inspired editor. You can choose to crop a photo from the top, bottom, sides, or using any of its corners, effectively cutting it both vertically and horizontally. Additionally, a text indicator of the proposed photo size (in pixels) appears while adjusting the crop frame to a desired height and width.
The new update also brings with it a new “Clone and Stamp” tool, which offers much better customization over brush opacity and softness. To use this, you just click on the Stamp icon under “Clone” in the sidebar, and then option-click on the photo to select your point of origin. Clicking or dragging anywhere on your photo will clone the origin and its surrounding attributes in your photo. In order to assure accuracy whilst doing this, a small optical indicator will show you where the cloning tool is pulling from in the photo as you clone the image. From there you can select the desired opacity, softness, and diameter of the clone using the respective sliders. Whether you’re just playing around, or working on a complex project, the feature works like magic and is really fun to use.
Lastly, Snapheal 2.1 features a dynamically better “lasso” tool, which now allows you to select very finite portions of your image to both edit or erase. Tying all the above features together, Snapheal’s latest update also brings improved algorithms for erasing multiple objects, in addition to adding further refinements to the photo suite’s image retouch and adjust tools, which overall bring better color processing and performance to the OS X application.
Speaking of which, Snapheal 2.1 really delivers on performance. The update brings noticeably dramatic bug fixes and performance tweaks to the app that make using it a real pleasure. Long-time users will definitely be able to discern the difference in speed and power — no matter what machine they’re using — and new users will be pleasantly surprised by it’s unparalleled smoothness. Though, like any photo editor, it is very processor-intensive, meaning it uses much of the computers available random-access memory (RAM), it’s leaps and bounds better than it’s competitors and, perhaps more importantly, its previous iteration.
Snapheal 2.1 is a fantastic update to an already notable photo-editing solution designed for Mac that arrives recommended for all users. Whether you’re a dedicated power-user that relies on Snapheal for photo-editing everyday, or a new user that’s looking for the best of breed, this update really is a no brainer.
Released yesterday, the latest version of Snapheal can be downloaded on the Mac App Store today, for $9.99.
Note: This photo-editing app requires OS X 10.7 – (or later).