Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5s
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Since the release of iOS 7 the popularity of apps that can blur photos has skyrocketed. And while many all-purpose photo editing apps include a blur feature, users often prefer a simple single-function app over more complicated all-in-one editors. If one is looking for a straightforward and easy to use tool to make beautiful blurred backgrounds, then PhotoBlur is certainly worth a look.
Users begin creating a blurred masterpiece with PhotoBlur by choosing to take a new photo or by selecting an existing photo from the photo library. Once a photo is captured or selected, and cropped if desired, the real fun begins. Applying the blur effect is as simple as dragging one’s finger on a slider. The resulting blur is very well done, and the slider allows the user to progress from a slightly fuzzy photo to a full-on smooth abstract derivation that only resembles the original photo’s basic color patters. The only critique of the process – and it’s a small one – is that the slider doesn’t update the blur until the user lifts his or her finger from the slider. If the blur effect updated continuously while dragging the slider it would put this feature over the top!
After setting the desired blur intensity, users have a few additional options that may or may not be utilized. The Adjust screen provides control over the image's brightness and saturation as well as horizontal and vertical image flipping. The Overlay Image screen gives users the option to overlay a smaller “non-blurred” copy of the image over the blurred one, and this overlay can be moved, resized, have its edges rounded, and even have a drop shadow applied to lift it off of the blurred background image. Finally, the Caption screen provides a way to add some text to the final image. Once an image is complete, it is saved to the device’s photo album. After that, the image may be shared via Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other standard iOS sharing options (assigned to a contact, copied, opened in other apps, etc.).
Users who already own and are satisfied with a photo blurring app won’t find much here to persuade them to switch. But those who have been looking for an easy way to create nicely blurred versions of their own images won’t be disappointed with PhotoBlur. The smooth blurring effect, combined with a few basic (but powerful) options, make this a great one-trick pony of an app.