REVIEW: Art Photo Sketch app for iPad

Art Photo Sketch lets you turn your photographs into an artistic sketch. But is it any good? We take it for a test run...

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Our Verdict

A cheap-feeling photo editing experience that adds little to what you can already do with the better (and often free) effects apps. But it is only version 1.0, so there's plenty of scope for improvement...

For

  • Decent selection of effects
  • Ability to fine-tune filters

Against

  • Cheap-feeling
  • Annoying skeuomorphism
  • Rubbish frames
  • Not free

There are a multitude of photo editing apps available for your iDevices, which enable you to adjust your images in a myriad of ways from delicate touching-up to heavy-handed filters. When a newcomer claims to "convert your digital photos in to [an] art sketch", you know it's going to concentrate on the more heavy-handed end of the spectrum. And Art Photo Sketch HD doesn't disappoint in that respect. There is a decent variety of effects to choose from, including watercolour, mosaic, bluebear, sketch art, and pop art. You can also select from several canvas types, from lined paper to ancient stationery.

Once you've bludgeoned your poor photo in those ways, it's time to put it in a frame - and again Art Photo Sketch provides various options - but mainly variations of vintage postal envelopes and wooden frames.

One impressive part of the editing suite is the ability to fine-tune the effects filters to get just the right look. Sadly the rest of the app leaves a lot to be desired, particularly the garish UI which takes already-controversial skeuomorphism to new levels of irritation.

You can choose from a variety of filters, frames, and canvases including lined paper

This is not a serious tool by any stretch of the imagination - the randomization button (in the form of a dice that, once pressed, places a randomly-selected filter on your image) proves that. But there are many other effects apps which are fun when you want them to be but can be taken seriously too - and some of those are free.

Words: Craig Stewart

Key info

  • Price: $1.99 (£1.69)
  • Works with: iPad (iOS 5.0 or later)
  • Version: 1.0
  • App size: 21.3MB
  • Developer: Applistar Corporation
  • Age rating: 4+

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The Verdict

5

out of 10

Art Photo Sketch HD

A cheap-feeling photo editing experience that adds little to what you can already do with the better (and often free) effects apps. But it is only version 1.0, so there's plenty of scope for improvement...