AntiCrop Review
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AntiCrop Review

Our Review by Lisa Caplan on January 31st, 2012
Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: CHOPPY UNCROPPING
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AntiCrop brings a content aware fill algorithm to iOS photo editors, but without other advanced features its application is limited.

Developer: Adva-Soft
Price: $.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iOS Integration Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

claims to be the first app to use an anti-cropping algorithm and while that may be true, anyone who uses Photoshop has seem this “content aware” magic before. It's the kind of app I root for because the concept is just so cool.

AntiCrop increases the edges of a photo to create the impression of more background by copying and extending the pixels on the margins. On simple compositions with a homogenous background the app pulls this trick off handily, but it’s very limited in terms of situations and settings it can accommodate.

The app’s secondary feature – rotating photos so the horizon is straight and filling in the blank area – is its most useful. I tested it with a simple but heavily skewed landscape and the results were excellent. The primary feature, however-is not particularly useful.

It’s reasonable and the developers warn that this app is not meant to expand  “unpredictable picture areas”, but even when I used a snap of a small pirate ship on a barely-rippling lake (don't ask) with a uniform hill and tree horizon the results were wonky.

The app was able to serviceably extend the water, but it elongated the trees so much that the finished product looked more like Dr. Suess tinkered with it than anything realistic.

The interface itself is inviting and simple. Users can snap from a camera-equipped iOS device or use a photo from their album and with simple gestures align, extend borders and save. A one-minute video explains everything, and the app has lots of sharing options and pre-set image sizes.

It would be a very slick package if it didn’t crash. I had to close all background apps, shut down my iPad and reinstall the app twice just to get it running and once I did it crashed often and flickered oddly at times.

For the limited purpose of realigning landscapes AntiCrop does the job, but without the advanced editing options that come with a robust desktop program the end result of most uncropping looks odd and unnatural. On complex images, as expected, it's a fail. It's no fault of Adva Soft, just have realistic expectations and choose appropriate pictures. Note: no contextual awareness can reinsert a cropped out boyfriend after an un-breakup.

I applaud the transfer of this technology to iOS, but don't see many real life situations where its trick would be useful for the casual shutterbug. Those most likely to care about extending margins by millimetres likely have the software and skill to do it properly.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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