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Daily Mac App: Snapheal


A lot of digital photographers and iPhoneographers would love to have the ability to touch up their photos, but find some of the apps a bit hard to master. Now MacPhun LLC, developers of the FX Photo Studio, FX Photo Studio Pro, and Color Splash Studio apps (among others), has come up with an easy to learn app for "healing" those sick pictures. Snapheal (introductory price of US$9.99, normally $19.99), just arrived in the Mac App Store this morning, but TUAW had an early look at this app and it's earned a place as the Daily Mac App.

Snapheal opens to a screen showing a location where you can drop a photo. You can also import an image from your iPhoto library for retouching. Once you've brought the image into Snapheal, there are tools that you can use to erase items (like clouds in an otherwise blue sky), clone and stamp shapes, retouch (change the contrast, saturation, sharpness, or brightness of areas), make other adjustments of color and contrast, crop, and rotate or flip images.

Gallery: Snapheal | 9 Photos

Similar tools in other apps can be tricky to master, but MacPhun provides a video tutorial for every trick in Snapheal. These are short videos that demonstrate how each tool is used. Just about every tool can be applied with two clicks, and if you happen to make a mistake there's an undo button just above the image. You'll also find a compare button that let you look at your original and retouched photos side by side to view your progress.

There's a fun touch that I absolutely loved. While the app is in the process of making a major change to an image (for example, erasing some clouds), a progress screen appears that shows some "amazing fact." I'm a fan of trivia, so I found myself undoing some of my work and then reapplying changes just to see another fact.

Compared to other retouching tools available for the Mac such as Adobe Photoshop Elements ($79.99), Snapheal may not be as fully functional, but it's also easier to use and less costly than many of those apps. For a full set of tools that rivals Photoshop Elements, you might want to combine FX Photo Studio ($9.99) or FX Photo Studio Pro ($39.99) with Snapheal.

I found that Snapheal did a wonderful job of letting me edit my photos without a lot of work. Once you're done turning a so-so photo into a masterpiece, you can share it with Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter or email.

If you're in the market for a photo editing app of this type, I'd suggest that you snap up Snapheal while it's still at the introductory pricing.

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