Wow. There are a lot of photo editing, filtering and manipulating apps available for iOS. Did we really need another one? Well, ya. Apart from the slightly different filters and editing tools, we really needed one that has an intuitive user interface (UI); something powerful but easy to use. That’s Enlight.
In my view the UI is really what makes Enlight better. Enlightens designers understand that the app is being run on a phone. I can tell because the editing menu can be hidden, shrunk or enlarged. In other words, it’s there when (and how) you need it. I also love the photo drawer across the bottom which makes finding a photo to enhance is very quick and easy. There are no multiple menus/screens to run through first and for generations with an increasingly short attention span speed is a big factor in the equation to determine how popular an app like this can be. Finally, the apps design looks quite good and you can tell a lot of thought went into them; if you look closely some are more purple/blue and some are more green and sub-menu’s are denoted by outlines versus filled-in icons.
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The next feature that makes Enlight stand out from the ever more-crowded pack is the use of instructional screens. For just about every function within Enlight, there’s a page to tell you how to use it and and animated GIF to actually show you the potential results. There are plenty of photo editing apps for iOS whose features aren’t self-apparent and who don’t explain how to use them. These instructions and examples alone make Enlight more user-friendly than 90% of the photo editing apps for iPhone I have tried to-date.
As far as what Enlight can actually do it’s basically on-par with what you would probably expect. You can crop images, you can adjust clarity, there are the requisite filters and you can overlay text. But there are some unique features (at least to find together in one solid app) you don’t want to miss out on as well: canvas skewing and refitting, element targeting and editing by color, image mixing/blending, image reshaping (this is how you can edit your photo to look skinnier) and tilt-shifting for making images appear miniature. If you want you can doodle on images or add some special graffiti-like effects. When it’s all said and done you can add a border or frame, find the perfect Instagram fit or build a collage.
Of all the features I just mentioned, the one that I think is really compelling is the canvas refitting. Let’s say you take a horizontal picture of two kids who are on either side of the image with a bunch of dead space in-between. The canvas refitting option would allow you to bring them closer together, as if they were playing side-by-side.
I’d also say that the urban-style artistic effects are pretty cool because they let you quickly add character to an image.
All-in-all Enlight is a very solid photo-editing app. It has that hipster feel (for the moment, at least) that many will be looking for. It is a bit aesthetically skewed toward women—the colors and effects aren’t really all that masculine (and clearly this is Enlight’s target audience as you can tell by the app’s preview pictures in the app store). That said, any guys looking for solid editing tools shouldn’t be afraid to give it a whirl. This is an outstanding mobile photo editing powerhouse with plenty of unique features that make it stand out.