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PhotoPal is a powerful but easy to use iPad photo editor

Mel Martin

PhotoPal, on sale for US$0.99 until December 20, is aimed at the novice photographer who wants to do some pretty serious editing of images on the iPad. Fortunately, Apple's tablet is well suited to this kind of work, simply because of the larger screen. The downside is that without a camera, the only photos to edit on the iPad are those that you download or sync to the device.

That said, PhotoPal has a lot of nice and easy to use features. This latest version adds a red eye removal tool, a spot healing tool, and clear, detailed help. The app contains the kinds of things you expect in a photo editing program, including level adjustment, color temperature, hue/saturation, shadows and color balance. It also has some higher end features like shadow detail, noise removal, sharpening and gamma adjustment.

There is also a nice option that lets you save your images to, or import them from, a folder that is visible in iTunes when your iPad is connected to your Mac. Of course, you can also open your iPad photo albums or take a picture in via the clipboard. Your finished images can be saved to the iPad or sent via email, Twitter, Flickr or Facebook.

Gallery: PhotoPal screen shots | 4 Photos

Other tools included are flip and rotate, crop, align (straighten) and re-size. They all work well and operation is obvious and intuitive. The app includes context sensitive help. You can also view your image without the editing GUI, to get a less distracting look at it. The app also includes multiple levels of undo and a revert option.

There are some negatives. In some ways, the app tries to be a bit too cute. While some operations are taking place, a quiz or some other random information appears. It's not relevant to what's going on, and it either needs to be eliminated or let the user select if they want that information or not. The choice of frame colors is quite limited as well. Things like that are a personal choice, and having just a few colors to choose from, especially in light of the power of the app in general, seems a shame.

The app isn't Photoshop, of course, but it is far more powerful than many of the photo editing apps that have been made available for the iPad. If you're interested in editing your work on the iPad, this app is a worthwhile purchase, especially at the 75 percent off sale price. Check the gallery to see PhotoPal in action and get an idea how the screens are arranged. Note: Our system doesn't give us the highest quality screen captures. PhotoPal looks much better on your screen than in the gallery.

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