What the Tech: app of the day – TouchRetouch

What the Tech

Millions of photos are taken every day. Now that we all have a smartphone in our pocket, it’s easy to quickly snap a picture of a special moment. How many times do you notice later that there’s something or someone in the background that’s keeping the photo from being perfect?

There are many photo editing apps available to remove unwanted objects in pictures.

TouchRetouch gets great reviews and ratings in the app stores and is currently the #1 photo editing app. I’ve tried a couple of others and was excited to try this one to see if it lives up to the reviews.

Like similar apps, TouchRetouch is fairly easy to use. Import a photo into the app from your camera roll and you’ll be able to highlight any object (or person) and have the app remove it (them).

I found removing powerlines in photos is easier in TouchRetouch than other apps I’ve tried. It does not require pinpoint accuracy and actually only needs you to identify a section of the line to be removed. Against a blue sky, I simple swiped my finger on, or near the powerline, highlighting an inch or so of it.

Tapping ‘Go’ the app totally removed the line and replaced it with the blue sky. Like similar apps, TouchRetouch uses artificial intelligence to identify colors around the object and smoothly replaces the object with colors next to it. So removing powerlines from a sky or a person on the beach is very easy to do and I don’t think most people will notice the photo is edited.

Larger objects are trickier. I found an old family photo at the beach where I had a palm tree behind me. It looks like the tree is coming out of my head.

Using TouchRetouch I highlighted the tree to have it removed but the app had trouble matching the color of the sky. So when I tapped ‘Go’, the app had replaced the tree with the color of my hair. The end result was a distorted image where it appeared my head and hair was part of the sky.

By applying the tool several times I did manage to have the photo look better but it was unable to make it look like a tree was never there in the first place.

I realize this was asking a lot from a $2 app and most graphic artists with a full set of editing tools would have trouble making the photo look perfect.

Overall, TouchRetouch is as good as advertised. I used it to remove an object from my front yard in a photo I took of a deer. I also used it to remove people in the background of a photo of my kids at the beach. It’s both easy to use and effective.

Another thing about this app that I like is that it does not require a subscription, like so many apps do these days. TouchRetouch is a $2 app for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

There’s also a $15 version for Mac computers.

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