Color Touch Effects is a free Android app that works with versions 2.1 and later. Its icon, which features a mono image of an eye with a bright blue iris, is slightly misleading. This app lets you apply an effect such as sepia or greyscale to a photo, then paint over sections to reveal the original; the only way you'll achieve that brilliant blue is if the colour exists from the get-go. Nevertheless, it's an interesting choice for novice users who want to create good-looking images but don't know where to begin with desktop photo editing software.
Developer Swiss Codemonkeys claims that edited images can be shared via email, MMS or posted to Facebook. On our Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, we couldn't find an option even to save the image - a major flaw. However, according to the Android Market's user reviews, not all appear to have had the same issue, and we were fortunate that our tablet has a screenshot-grabber function.
You begin by selecting an image from your gallery, Facebook account or camera. Next, choose the Effects tab, select one of 19 styles from the panel on the right and click Ok. These include sepia, mono, infrared, colour rotate, boost dark, negative, solarize and thermal. Many Android phones and tablets allow you to apply these effects to a shot during composition, but by applying it later you're able to work with two layers: the original and the effect.
To begin editing the image select the Paint tab. Click Size to alter the size and opacity of your brush, then click Original and begin swiping your finger over an area of the image to reveal the original. A zoom function is available to ease editing; frustratingly, you'll need to click Move before you can zoom in using two fingers.
No undo function is available if you make a mistake, but you can click Effect to reapply the effect over a painted area. The first time we tried the app, we mistakenly pressed the back button assuming it would undo the previous alteration. In fact, this returns you to the main menu and causes you to lose your work without warning.
It would be useful to be able to save versions of your image at various stages of the editing process. With the save function not seemingly working on our device, however, we were unable to tell whether this is possible.
You can also add a caption to the top or bottom of the image. The text colour can be altered, but you can't change the font, size or placement, which means you may end up obscuring an important part of your photo.
The Android Market's user reviews reveal several complaints of Color Touch Effects frequently crashing, although we experienced no stability problems.