If you're a Photoshop user, you're likely aware of the editor's new "content-aware" tools that let you magically replace or erase items in your photos. iPhone users who want a similar tool on their handset should take a look at TouchRetouch by Adva-Soft. TouchRetouch is a simple tool that lets you highlight an object in a photo and either erase it or clone it in a few easy steps.
The app lets you load an image or grab one with your camera. Once you have the photo opened, you can zoom in on the object you want to remove or clone. You can use the brush or lasso tool to select the object and the eraser to tidy up your selection. There's a zoom window in the corner of your image that helps you fine tune your selection. If you make a mistake, there's an undo and redo. Once your object is selected, you can click the "Start" button to remove it.
The app works best on objects that are small and not too close to other objects. A perfect example is the photograph of my yard, shown above, that I took after a day of light flurries. It's a nice winter shot that's marred by an unsightly tote in the yard. It took me less than five minutes to highlight the tote, remove it and save the image shown below. If you look closely at the image below, I also removed two snow statues built by my children. You can see some slight blurring where they were removed. For the record, those were not unsightly. I just wanted to see how well the app performed.
Overall, TouchRetouch is a nice companion app for digital photographers. It's not as robust as Photoshop's content-aware tools, but it's perfect for a mobile device. It's lightweight and does a decent job removing items from a photo, but it's not perfect.
At times, the app crashed and I had to restart. Other times, it slowed and I had to close the app and re-open it. When you re-open the app, it saves your progress, so you start right where you left off. These glitches usually occurred when I loaded up the full resolution image. When I worked with a lower resolution picture, the performance was improved.
If you've got 99-cents in your pocket and you take lots of photos, TouchRetouch is worth grabbing from the iOS App Store. It does a suitable job removing unwanted items in photos, especially those casual snapshots you want to send your friends or upload to Instagram.