Ava Photo cleans up those iPhone portraits


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You have a lot of pictures of friends and families, but you know those pictures don’t always capture them at their best. Ava Photo (free until Jan 31) is a sharp little iOS app providing several tools to make those portraits look a lot better and more presentable.

There are similar apps that retouch images, but some wind up looking pretty unnatural and obviously “doctored”. Some apps let you reshape a face or nose, or change eye color. That’s not the purpose of Ava Photo — it uses a much lighter touch. It cleans up blemishes, smooths skin, removes circles under the eyes, and it has filters designed for portraits to change the color cast. It’s easy to undo any changes, and there is a handy button for comparing your changes to the original. Ava Photo also has settings for pictures taken in low light conditions.

In my tests, I found I could improve almost any photo of a person, without making it look pasty or phony. Yes, you can push the effects, but nothing forces you to do that. Some photos that could best be described as harsh were softened and looked much more flattering.

There are some minor editing tools so you can crop the photos, and you can then save them to your camera roll or share to Instagram. If you don’t want to work the various controls yourself, there is an automatic function with several levels of intensity. I preferred to do my own editing.

Ava Photo is a nice tool, especially for free during this 100 percent off sale. It’s great for selfies or for portraits of any friends or relatives that you’d like to perfect and improve.

Ava Photo is not universal, it requires iOS 6 or later, and it is optimized for the latest iPhone sizes.

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