Photo App of the Week: Perfectly Clear for Android
Athentech Imaging have ported their Perfectly Clear app for iOS devices to Android. Read on as we take a look and see if this $1.99 app is worth your time and money.
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Perfectly Clear is photo correction app for Android devices from Athentech Imaging, ported over from iPad and iPhone. Perfectly Clear is a slick app with a decent interface and the ability to automatically correct your images in some key ways, letting you easily enhance several images on the fly.
We were given early access to version 1.0 of the app, which will debut for $0.99 on the Google Play store today, August 1st. The app will retail for $1.99 on the Google Play store after the month of August.
There are no shortage of photo correction apps for smartphones of all flavors, and Perfectly Clear fits the mold well, with large icons, the ability to adjust things like exposure, sharpness, and tint, and an easy way to share those photos to popular sites like Facebook.
We found that Perfectly Clear does a few things well that separate it from the pack, but it does have a few key misses that keep it from being among the best photo apps we've reviewed. It's one of the few apps that really walks you through most of the correction process quickly, making some basic corrections as soon as you open up a photo.
Correcting a photo in the app is nice and easy, with the title screen giving you the option to select a photo from your albums or take a photo using an external camera application. If you choose your albums a slick animation brings you over to the selection screen, where you can pick an album and drag and drop a photo into a little bin at the bottom for editing.
The drag and drop functionality wasn't as tight as we'd have liked, but once you've finished selecting one or more images you're brought straight into the editing process. After a few seconds of loading, the camera automatically applies its corrections, allowing you to view the difference, select from other filters, or apply optional filters.
A gray bar is placed vertically down one section of your image, which you can slide to the left or right, overlaying the original image over the "better" corrected one. This lets you easily see just how drastic the changes were. We found in most of our photos that the biggest change was done to brightness, with the app providing some much-needed leveling of the photos we threw at it.
If the automatic correction wasn't quite enough, you can go into a sub-menu by pressing the dual arrows on the screen. This lets you apply filters to adjust exposure, depth, vibrancy, tint, or skin tone. You can also purchase some extra "beautify" filters for $0.99 here, with the option to preview the effect for free before purchasing.
From a functionality standpoint, we liked most of what Perfectly Clear did, with a level of polish that escapes most of the free Android alternatives already on the market. Its animations are slick, the app works in both portrait and landscape modes, and it includes a helpful "?" button on many screens making app navigation a little easier. Press the question mark and the app places little green dots over the on-screen buttons, with text explaining what each one does.
The app does have two glaring omissions that we found in testing, however: the lack of an in-app camera function and the inability to zoom in on your photos during the editing process. The lack of a camera function creates a jarring disconnect as you are brought to an entirely different app to take a photo. Athentech reached out to us to explain the reason for the lack of an in-app camera, stating that for them to offer a camera function inside the app they'd have to develop the entire image pipeline themselves.
The lack of a zoom feature is a really tough sell, though, as it makes inspecting the corrections all but impossible. There are plenty of apps that offer photo correction, and the inability to accurately judge corrections within the app felt missing.
We still think that Perfectly Clear is a tight little app with a slick interface that does its job quite well. Its functionality issues keep us from offering a full recommendation, but those looking for a well-designed app that automatically corrects photos may feel it's worth the $1.99.
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