ColorStrokes HD for iPad

Put some artistic colour into your black-and-white photos with this iPad app.

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Remember our step-by-step Photoshop CS6 guide that taught you how to add colour to a monochrome image? Well, now there's an iPad app which does exactly that. ColorStrokes HD lets you put colour back into your black-and-white photos from the comfort of your tablet.

You can do this in three ways. You can import your photo in grayscale, then use the Color tab to put the original colour back into the photo. Or, you can do the opposite; go color to begin with and then use the grayscale feature to remove the colour. Finally, you can add colour to your photo that was never there to start with using the paint tab, where you can choose from 22 different colours.

You can import images from the iPad's camera roll, take a picture in-real time, or grab a photo from yours or a friend's Facebook page by logging in through the app.

There are several levels of adjustment for everything from brush size to grayscale hue, and you can add an Instagram-style effect to the image once you have finished editing it. You also have the usual options to share your masterpiece via email or social media.

Watch this! Demo clip of the iPhone version of ColorStrokes:

The brush sizes do not vary enough for our liking, and it is very difficult to do very fine adjustments as a result. What also makes this tricky is the zoom function not letting you zoom in quite as much as we would like - but this is version 1.0, so hopefully these little foibles will be ironed out in the near future.

Otherwise, this is a decent app that allows a good range of adjustments on top of its USP of creating artistic coloured-monochrome images.

Key info

  • Price: $1.99 (£1.49)
  • Works with: iPad
  • Version: 1.0
  • App size: 15.7MB
  • Developer: MacPhun
  • Age rating: 4+

The Verdict


out of 10

ColorStrokes HD for iPad

Very decent photo effects app that lets you turn boring photos into works of art. It was available for $0.99 for a short time, but even at the full price of $1.99 this is a worthy photo editing app for the iPad.