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Touch Retouch app removes blemishes from your photos

by Kyle Ripley

There are many photo-editing apps out there for iOS. Many of them do a variety of things, while others are very niche. With the new folders functionality in iOS, there is no reason not to have all the apps you might need in one folder, when it comes to photo editing. Here is an app designed to do one thing: Heal photos. (If you are familiar with Photoshop, the term "heal" will make sense, if not, then "clone" or "blend" might make more sense.) TouchRetouch by Adva-Soft (99 cents in the App store) for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, iOS 3.0 or later, is your one-stop app for a quick blemish-fix in your photos.

What the app does, all it does, is remove something from the picture by copying the texture and color from the area around the object in question and filling it in. Essentially, it uses a highlight tool and a lasso tool to mark the edges or the contrasting area, then it blends everything together so as to remove the contrast. The example they give in the advanced tutorial is telephone wires up against a green, tree-covered mountainside. You simply pinch to zoom, highlight the wires, hit go, and the wires disappear.

The interface is simple, once you watch the tutorial it will land you on the retouch interface. This is the only layer to the app. At the bottom of the screen you have your tools, essentially. There are only three tools, then there is a Go button and a Save button. Go will process the healing, and Save will save the retouched photo to your library. In the upper left hand corner, you can pick a photo to retouch, either from your library or a freshly taken one. In the upper right hand corner, you'll find the Info button for the app.

The video tutorial was awkward. There's no other way to describe it. The app was doing so well until I watched the tutorial. The video was narrated by one of the robot voices that always emphasize the wrong syllables, which was irritating. Then at the end, it told me that it "hopes I enjoy Touch Retouch." It was too much.

The only downside in the editing process itself is really subtle, and yet, if you are like me, it will drive you crazy. When you're editing, you have to go back and forth between tools like normal. You hit the little hand to move, then hit the brush to highlight. Simple enough. When you single tap the screen, no matter what tool you're on, it will cause the interface to slide out of view.

However, it also causes the picture to shift. So, if you're doing a touchup in which you're trying to dot the area, it will shift the picture, and force you to scrawl outside of the desired area. This was probably the most frustrating part of the app.

Other than that, I liked the app. Worth 99 cents? Listen robot voice, if you can't speak to me like a human, then you don't deserve to get paid. It doesn't seem like there is enough functionality to be worth 99 cents. Then again, it's only 99 cents. I would say, non-essential, but fun to play with.