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SnapSeed: Your New Favourite iPad Photo Editor?

We thought there wasn't really room for another iPad photo editor in what has become a fairly well saturated market, but SnapSeed has made us think again.

Developed by Nik Software, a very well known developer of high-end Desktop photo editor plugins, SnapSeed brings with it some interesting and unique User Interface (UI) elements.

About the UI

We've found the UI of many photo editing apps over complicated and a bit inaccessible. Although some of these apps are really powerful and show off what the iPad can do, we don't use that power because it is too complex to get at quickly (which is usually how we use our iPad, for quick editing).

SnapSeed takes a different UI approach and it is one we like a lot. Take a look at the overview video below to see what we mean, and notice how fast the UI is to access.


SnapSeed should have been called SnapSpeed it is so quick. It really is the fastest iPad photo editor we have seen. Edits are made instantaneously, saving is very quick on iPad 2 and so is exporting to the most important photo-sharing sites, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook plus e-mail.

Creative Spin

Whilst SnapSeed has a standard feature-set that can be used for straightforward edits such as crop, rotate, HSB, auto correct, etc., it is the creative adjustments that really extend the apps reach.

Similar to a previous favourite of ours '100 Cameras in 1' which we reviewed a few weeks ago, SnapSeed offers a raft of  creative adjustments that can also include texture overlays to add another dimension to your images.

As always, this can be overdone, but SnapSeed provides a handy shuffle feature that randomises the effects and textures applied to give you a starting point for your own creations. Similar to 100 Cameras, these can then be fine tuned as much as you like but we found the swipe left/right controls for adjustments very intuitive.


We've been playing around with SnapSeed's creative adjustments for a while now, so we thought we would show you what we have come up with. Here are a few examples of some of the more radical changes you can make.

Original image (previously adjusted via Desktop app)

SnapSeed version: Our first go, a bit too dark really

Original previously edited in Desktop app    Going for that old photo look


Original previously edited in Desktop appSnapSeed version, heavy use of texture

To see how these effects are done, here is another video from Nik Software showing the creative possibilities of SnapSeed:

Creative and Fun

In the blurb on their website, Nik Software describe SnapSeed as "The only photo app you'll want to use every day", and we have to say that in the time we have had the app this is certainly the case.

Running a photo through SnapSeed on your iPad is always a creative and fun experience, one which has made us import photos to our iPad just so that we can use this app on them. We think you will like it too and recommend you try SnapSeed out, even if you already have lots of other photo editing apps on your iPad as we do.

You can get SnapSeed for $4.99 from the App Store. If you do, be sure to let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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Reader Comments (4)

I have just tried it and it looks very promising. However the raw files from my Canon EOS 1D Mk II are not saved with any original metadata, and that's a big problem for me. I hope they solve this quickly,

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhek

Version 1.1.0, just released yesterday, should resolve any EXIF problems. Could you try to update and see if it's working? If not, is it when you're saving images or when uploading to Flickr?

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosh Haftel

It looks awesome, to bad i dont take pictures that often with my ipad

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentervisjuh

Looks promising for the digi painter as well as the 'happy snapper', often its nice to tweak an image without investing lots of time painting new directions so will give it a go and see how it is.

June 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShaun Mullen

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