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ColorStrokes for iPhone updated for iPhone 5 and speed

Mel Martin

ColorStrokes is a cool little US$0.99 app for the iPhone that lets you selectively add or subtract color from an image. Like most image editors and filters, ColorStorkes can tempt you to go too far and overuse the effect. But in the right hands, an image can become striking and artistic. It's not the software alone, it's the user that makes the image a memorable one.

ColorStrokes gives you a very nice set of tools for manipulating an image. Because the editing is done with your finger, and because your finger would cover the area where you are trying to do delicate work, the app helpfully provides a new window that lets you see what your brush is doing. It works really well, and along with a zoom and pan tool, you can really work in very small areas.

Gallery: ColorStrokes for iPhone | 5 Photos

In addition to the color addition and subtraction, the app gives you control of gamma, contrast, hue and exposure, so you can pretty much modify your image completely in ColorStrokes. There is even a minimal cropping tool, but it only allows you to square off a wide aspect ratio image. I'd prefer more cropping control, but, of course, when you finish an image you can open it in the native iOS image editor and crop there.

The app lets you save your image to your camera roll, and you can export to Instagram and other social networks. You can print directly from the app, as well as email the image. There is also an option to have the photo printed on postcard stock and sent anywhere in the world. Obviously, that is not a free service.

This latest version of ColorStrokes, released a couple of days ago, fully supports the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, and performance has been increased. The authors are quite active in soliciting user opinions for new features, and I expect the app will continue to grow and improve.

The app requires iOS 4.3 or later, and is not universal. I think ColorStrokes is something I'll want in my collection of photo editors. You'll probably like it too.

I've included a sample image in the gallery from a recent trip to Death Valley. There are many ways to use the app, so consider this just one possible application.

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