PhotoToaster review: PhotoToaster

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5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good PhotoToaster is one of the best ways to add effects to your images and features an excellent interface layout for giving your images a really cool look.

The Bad Like many apps, PhotoToaster has begun to add in-app purchases, but there are several included filters that do the job nicely.

The Bottom Line There are tons of image editors in the App Store, but PhotoToaster is easy to recommend with a slick and simple interface, helpful menus to get you started, and extremely impressive results.


9.4 Overall
  • Features and Support 9.0
  • Installation and Setup 10.0
  • Interface 9.0
  • Performance 10.0

PhotoToaster is one of my favorite image editors in the App Store with tons of preset effects and custom options to give your photos a stylized look, all laid out in an intuitive interface. In the latest version of the app, new Lighting Brushes and interface elements for textures and borders make the app even better.

To get started, to "toast" a photo you can either take a new picture with your iPhone camera or choose an image from your photo library. Buttons across the bottom of the interface let you experiment with the different effects.

With PhotoToaster, you can use one of several global effects for a photo or use them as a starting point -- this app lets you customize the effects to your liking using onscreen sliders. Global effects include retro looks, black-and-white effects, and several others. Once you've found your starting point, you can go to each button across the bottom to tweak lighting, common effects, the texture of the image, and borders. Each of the sections lets you switch to sliders if you want to precisely tune your image in real time, but there are also presets if you don't want to get too involved in the process. Any changes you make are nondestructible (in other words, not permanent) so you can always go back to the original picture.

The latest version of PhotoToaster includes new features for selective lighting tools plus some interface enhancements to make the process easier. With new Lighting brushes, you'll now be able to touch up a poorly lit picture to bring out the subject. Just touch the tools menu (wrench icon) and choose Lighting Brushes to open a new window. On the bottom of the interface, plus and minus buttons make the brush lighter or darker and all you need to do is brush the area of the image you want to change with your finger. When you're finished, you can hit the close button in the top left to return to the main screen.

Changes to the interface in the new version for both textures and borders will make each of these effects easier to use. Now, textures offer a much clearer picture of what the photo will look like with detailed samples of each effect. Similarly, the borders section now has a close-up view of what the border type looks like, so you won't need to try every one to see what they look like. The interface changes are minor, but should speed up the process when you're editing images by eliminating some of the guesswork.

Once you're finished, you can share your creations on Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, or Twitter, or via SMS. You also have the option to send a toasted image to another app for more tweaks (only apps on your iPhone that are set up to receive images will be listed). Also new in the latest version, you can have your image printed on a postcard and sent (for a small fee).

PhotoToaster offers a solid set of tools for adding some pizzazz to your photos and lets you fiddle with controls to make your images just the way you like them. If you like to add effects to your images and post them to social sites, this app is a must-download.

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