App Review: Photoforge 2


If you’re even remotely serious about editing photos on your phone, Photoforge 2 will quickly become your mainstay. Here’s why:

It’s the best, fully-featured photo editor for mobile.

After years of trying every photo editing app across Android and iOS, I have yet to find anything better. Like Photoshop, it gives you full control over your image with features you thought you could only get on desktop. It’s not for quick edits, so if you’re in one-stop filter kind of mood, or less familiar with terms like “adjusting curves” or “soft light,” Afterglow is probably the way to go. If you are familiar with those terms, it’s easy to spend hours fiddling away on the go just as you would in front of a bigger screen at home. Just be careful not to get car sick.

Layers, layers, layers.

If anything, layer support is what sets this app apart from the rest – you can easily overlay other photos, create 50% Gray layers to add film grain, textures & vignettes, or drag to re-arrange layers as you please. It even supports layer masking, so you can edit-out imperfections or localize adjustments similar to how you would in Photoshop.

Powerful color curves.

Yep, same color adjustments as you would expect in popular photo editing software for desktop. In fact, many of the Instagram filters (Rise, Amaro, Sierra, Willow) were initially designed with this app, using this feature.

You can always undo with the edit history list. 

As project management goes, Photoforge 2 preserves every stage of your edit across multiple projects. The one downside is how much space this takes up on your phone. Since we’re dealing with multiple versions of many full-resolution photos, this app will quickly become the heaviest app you have installed. Be sure to delete the photo projects you won’t be revisiting.

Grab the app for iPhone & iPad on iTunes for $3.99: Photoforge 2 [iTunes Link]

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13 Comments Leave A Comment


mg33 says:

February 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Looks interesting. So many choices out there now and I’m not sure how I feel about the complexity of some of them. I like how Diptic did one thing, Blendr did another, PicFX did another. Diptic got pretty complex; I really only liked the simple mirroring aspect. Blendr got less usable by adding more clicks in for things that were once easier to do.

I picked up Afterglow and have liked it so far.


zx says:

February 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

I wonder why would make me edit photos on iOS when I have so powerful tools on the PC. It’s not that I think it’s bad. I would like to know why is it better.


N says:

February 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Photoforge is nice, but I much prefer Filterstorm. The UI is extremely simple and elegant, it exports up to I believe 22 MP, and if you buy the pro version for iPad there is an internal library. Plus there are no in-app purchases.
So as far as “It’s the best, fully-featured photo editor for mobile.” I think I would have to strongly disagree.


Anonymous says:

February 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm

The only downside to FilterStorm is not being able to edit each channel in the curves and levels, along with the countless glitches it has.


Kevin says:

February 7, 2013 at 11:20 am

PhotoToaster is also fantastic, I would compare it more to Lightroom than to Photoshop, though. But for editing on the go I prefer the Lightroom feel and complexity level to the higher Photoshop’esque complexity…


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