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With the right apps, even the rankest of amateurs can make beautiful pictures on their iPhones. Studio Design is one such option, packing an array of powerful tools and palettes into a deceptively simple interface that will have you generating professional-looking layouts without watching hours of tutorials.
Even if you've never pushed a pixel, you’ll be able to dive right in. If you choose to use or take a photo, you'll first find a few common ways to manipulate it – like filter, rotate, flip, etc. – but these aren't one-tap mobile versions. Saturation and lighting sliders add a level of precision beyond the usual vintage and noir settings, making for virtually unlimited color adjustments.
Studio’s photo enhancers would be enough to garner a recommendation on their own, but that’s only a small part of what it can do. Open the sidebar and an array of effects is revealed, from shapes and frames to textures, crops, and doodles. Each new element is added to its own layer, which can be duplicated and hidden as you fine-tune your work, and everything you place can be colored, rotated, and resized with ease.
There are dozens of overlays bundled with Studio Design, but if you're looking for something specific, an in-app marketplace offers many more to choose from at a buck per pack. Once your work is complete, you can share it in the usual ways, but your creations are first published to your feed for the world to see. You can follow designers as you'd expect, but if you see something you like, you can "borrow" it, sending a layer-for-layer duplication to your phone (minus any personal photos).
We loved using the app, but the lack of an undo button is a glaring oversight, and we'd really like to see what it can do on our iPads in a native resolution. Also, while we're happy to support Studio, it'd be nice if there was an a la carte option for add-ons rather than having to buy multiple bundles.
The bottom line. No matter your level of expertise, Studio Design will help you turn out top-notch visual creations.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later
Impressive feature set. Excellent interface. Great control over elements and layers.
No undo button. Not native on iPad. Add-on overlay bundles can get pricey.