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Facetune is a powerful portrait editor for iOS

It's amazing how many editing tools that used to require Photoshop are migrating to inexpensive iOS apps.

Facetune, a US$2.99 app for the iPhone can take any portrait and retouch complexion, eyes (even changing eye color), remove stray hair, add hair where it is missing, change hair color and whiten teeth. Blemishes can be removed, and complexion can be smoothed.

Once you are done, you can add some built-in filters, then share the photo via your favorite social network or email.

The app starts up the first time with some on-screen help, but most of the functions are pretty obvious. It was easy to improve a photo taken with the iPhone, especially since close-ups with the iPhone camera suffer from a bit of barrel distortion, leaving faces looking heavier than real life. Of course Facetune can fix that, or exaggerate it, so like any photo editor, you can leave reality behind or just make subtle improvements.

I especially like the patch tool. Click on a mole or blemish and the app takes some pixels from an adjacent part of the face to replace it. If you don't like the area you selected, you can change where the pixels are being sampled. The final edit looks natural.

Facetune has a competitor called Perfect365 (free). It performs the same functions, but in a different way. Perfect365 analyzes the image and lets you apply a number of templates to clean up the portrait. It also has some manual tools. Both apps are very effective at what they do. Perfect365 is a bit more automated, while Facetune gives you more hands-on editing tools. I think the only caution I would add about any of these programs is that it is easy to overdo. Faces can become pasty or ghost-like. Having a face too perfect just looks fake and is not usually flattering.

Facetune is great for cleaning up photos you might use on Facebook, or on any photo you want to share. You'll also likely find many friends will be sending you their photos for you to enhance.

The app is a clever and powerful tool that does what it advertises and really can improve portraits. If you have a need to do some retouching right on your iPhone, Facetune is an excellent choice.

Facetune is designed for the iPhone and iPod touch. An iPad version is on the horizon with some additional features. The app is optimized for the iPhone 5 and requires iOS 5 or greater. Check the gallery for some sample photos.



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It's amazing how many editing tools that used to require Photoshop are migrating to inexpensive iOS apps. Facetune, a US$2.99 app for...