Much as I love the iPhone, I’ll be the first to admit that it kinda sucks as a camera. Carrying it around all the time makes it super convenient, but the results are usually less than stellar: blurry, off-center, poor lighting, etc. Apps like Hipstamatic help with this by making the photos seemed prematurely aged and vintage, but uSketch takes this one step further and just takes photography out of the picture entirely by rendering your imperfect photo into a cool hand drawn-looking sketch instead.
With 10 different filters to choose from, it’s like having a mini-art studio in your pocket. There’s not a lot of variation amongst the filters, sadly, and most of them don’t make much use of color, but having several choices does broaden the field for finding an appropriate look for any given photograph.
You have the choice of shooting from the app or selecting a photo from your library. Working either in portrait or landscape mode, you can select the entire photo or crop out a select portion of it and apply the sketch effects. Switching between sketch filters is as easy as swiping left or right, and while it does take a bit of shuffling to get through them all, with only 10 options, it really doesn’t take that long.
Once you’ve settled on a filter you like, you can save the altered photo, email it, or post it directly to Twitter or Facebook. It’s all very streamlined and easy to use.
It’s certainly not the most comprehensive photo-editing app out there, but the interface was easy enough to use, and I was generally pleased with the results I was getting. Best of all, uSketch is 100% free. Given how few filters there are and the overall limitations of the app, I don’t know that I would have paid a whole lot for this, but for zero cents, it’s a pretty sweet deal in my book.
Here is a video demo of the uSketch app on the iPhone
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