Mac users have a wide variety of photo and image editing apps that range from free to fantastic to professional level. One of the best, Fotor, is free, Pixelmator is considered akin to Photoshop Lite and bargain priced, relatively speaking, though the learning curve simply to enhance photos can be daunting.
Down around the bottom of the price barrel but far more valuable is the free version of PhotoScape X, a Mac app packed with features perfect for enhancing photos with a minimum number of clicks. The feature list is extensive albeit somewhat predictable, and the list ranges from standard adjustments like rotate and straighten, crop and resize, adjust color, add various effects, and the like, to more esoteric features in the no-so-free version. PhotoScape X does collages, animated GIFs, features a built-in photo and image browser, all kinds of brushes, effects, and filters.
Not bad for free, right? Well, almost free.
Photos and images can be batch renamed and resized, uploaded to various social media sites, viewed full screen, merged, combined, sliced, diced, and Julienned with ease. Unlike some photo enhancement apps, PhotoScape X even has a built in screen capture and color picker.
In fact, it’s loaded with features you wouldn’t expect in a photo enhancement app, with some, like the masking and backgrounds, similar to those found on professional level tools.
What’s not to like? It’s free, right? Almost.
PhotoScape X is free on the Mac App Store but to unlock all the professional level features and functions you’ll have to cough up almost $30.
What are all those features? Nobody really wants to say, and I couldn’t find an official list on the Mac App Store or on the developer’s website which compared the free version to the so-called pro version. PhotoScape X starts at free, so there’s little to lose but your time, though the entire effort is trial and error. Once you try to use a feature you expect but is not there, then you’ll know which ones come with a price tag.
The app developer has a great collection of utility videos which guide you through the various features in a how-to fashion. That alone may help you decide to spring for the pro version. There’s a lot of power built-in to this app.
That leads me to an issue I have with both the Mac App Store and the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad. I don’t mind in-app purchase options, but both Apple and the app developer need to be upfront about what you get for free, what you don’t get for free, and when you pay for extras, a user should know exactly what the add-on features are before even trying the free version, let alone the in-app purchase option.
What do you get for what you pay? Make it clean, simple, clear, and understandable.