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Hands-on: Creatic 2.0 photo editing app

Why play with preset photo filters when Creatic will let you craft your own?

Image editors are a dime a dozen, and by that, we mean there are lots of them that don’t cost a dime. At first glance, Creatic offers the usual array of filters and custom adjustments common across most free iOS editing apps. But, digging a little deeper, the app is much more than that – it’s also a platform for creating your own custom filters and editing presets. With version 2.0 launching today, Creatic is an app the avid mobile photo editor will want to at least take for a quick spin.

Creatic’s photo editor starts out with a basic assortment of filters in a few different categories from essentials to classic. In the next option, users can add a texture — adding noise, color fades, or scratches to mimic an old photo. Basic sliders adjust options from contrast to shadows, while color tint and selective focus add more creative effects.

But that’s where the app begins to deviate from most free apps. While Creatic includes everything you’d expect from a basic photo editor, it also offers a good handful of advanced options. The gradient tool can be used as a digital graduated neutral density filter to darken skies in landscape shots. And not only is the double exposure tool hard to come by, but it also includes a number of different blending options.

Creatic also shines for color. The app includes a curves adjustment panel, including individual sliders for red, green, and blue. For the less advanced, there’s a selective color option with sliders for enhancing individual colors without affecting the rest of the rainbow.

While the app contains an excellent array of edits from basic to advanced, perhaps the best feature is the ability to save all those edits and then reapply them to another image in one click. Once you’re finished with the image, tapping “next” takes users to a screen where they can share via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or hit that star button, name their edits, and instantly save a preset. That allows users to create their own filters, build custom presets, or easily batch edit.

Tapping on the star in the edit screen will then bring up those saved presets (along with the original photo as a nice little reminder) and apply those exact changes to a new image. Using the preset will erase any earlier changes though, so users need to use the preset, then make additional adjustments from there. Or, inside the camera mode, you even shoot with those same settings already applied and preview the image in real-time. The presets can also be shared with the Creatic community in-app.

While the user interface for Creatic isn’t perfect, the app is straightforward. The best features are inside the editor, but they were actually left off the main navigation on the bottom – users have to first access the camera and then access the photo library, which feels like one tap too many. There are also a few editing features left out, most notably, the absence of a crop tool.

There are hundreds of photo editors out there, but Creatic’s ability to save custom presets is a feature that’s tough to find inside a free app. While the custom presets are worth the download itself, Creatic is well-rounded with basic options, advanced edits, and sharing options.

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