filters

Acorn for Mac review

A powerful image editing application, Acorn for Mac can serve as an inexpensive but decent replacement for Adobe Photoshop, if you don't need highly advanced tools and features.

Pros

Has the basics of Photoshop: While at $50 you can't expect Acorn to rival Photoshop, it does support layers, masks, and gradients. It also features vector, text, drawing, erasing, and shape tools, level and curve adjustments, midtone or gamma tweaking, and custom brushes, as well as a built-in brush designer.

Versatile user interface: Similar to Photoshop and Paint.net, the UI can be rearranged and resized to suit your … Read more

Flickr review

Flickr on Android seems like a perfect match, doesn't it? Millions of people have been uploading, storing and sharing their digital snapshots, scans, and other images on Yahoo's Flickr site for years. Android devices, chiefly phones, have eclipsed digital cameras as primary snapshooters, and more photos than ever are being uploaded to Flickr. Flickr's free Android app makes the whole process much, much easier.

Pros

Soul mates: Think about it: Your phone is where Flickr needs to be. It's almost like Flickr has been waiting all along for Android.

Too easy: From the Get Started screen … Read more

PhotoFunia review

PhotoFunia gives you numerous options for mixing your photos with diverse backgrounds and settings to create both unique and bizarre images. No matter what type of theme you're looking for, you're sure to find it in this innovative app.

Pros

Lots of stuff: There are all kinds of effects you can use on your photos in this app, although they might not be the kinds of things you're used to thinking of when you think of effects. What PhotoFunia contains are tons of different scenes and backgrounds that you can insert your photos into, like billboards, calendars, … Read more

Compositor for Mac review

Compositor for Mac is a feature-packed image editor that lets you transform your images into true works of art. Apart from giving you the basic image editing tools, it also offers tons of cool filters and photo manipulation tools. You can turn your image into an impressionist painting or something contemporary or edgy -- the possibilities are endless.

Similar to most other Mac apps, Compositor for Mac is very easy to install, and you'll have 30 days to try it out before purchasing. Do keep in mind that some action runs are limited until you register the software. Once … Read more

The Grid brings an Instagram-like feed to VSCO, but it needs more

VSCO Cam is an elegant photo effects app with a minimalist interface, which lets you create great-looking shots in only a few steps.

VSCO Cam has been available since mid-2013, but the latest release of the app adds a whole new social layer with a photo feed that's sort of similar to what you get on Instagram. Unlike Instagram, the news feed (called "The Grid") is curated by VSCO Cam and doesn't have nearly the user base of Instagram, nor does it have the same controls for "liking" or commenting on photos. But where … Read more

UK filters to safeguard children block wrong sites -- report

The UK government's request that Internet service providers use filters to block Web sites deemed potentially harmful to children has proven a bit overzealous.

According to the BBC, which earlier reported on the news, several innocuous Web sites are being blocked by the government-instituted filters, including charity sites serving children who are in danger or distress. Even TorrentFreak, a news site discussing piracy and and copyright activity, has been mistakenly blocked.

The UK government requested last year that ISPs block Web sites with pornography, violence, and other material deemed damaging to children -- unless account holders opted out of … Read more

VLC for iOS is almost on par with desktop versions of the software

VLC for iOS brings the popular open-source media player to your iOS device, letting you watch videos from almost any format directly, and connect with streaming and cloud services to access your video library. This latest update gives the app a facelift to better fit with the iOS 7 aesthetic, and also adds several features for easier video watching.

Don't be alarmed, but when you first launch VLC for iOS, there is nothing to watch or listen to, nor is there any way to explore video content. VLC is a player, not a browser, so you'll need to … Read more

ProCamera 7 gives you more control over your iPhone's camera, but has its fair share of issues

ProCamera 7 was formerly called ProCamera, but with the release of iOS 7 the development team redesigned the app and released the revamped version under a different name.

Within the current version is no shortage of tools seasoned photographers and beginners will find useful. The ability to edit and share photos is also built directly into the app, which aims to be the only camera app you use on your iPhone.

Ready when you are There's nothing special about installing and setting up ProCamera 7. Upon launching the app for the first time you're taken to a familiar … Read more

Review: NxFilter gives you a powerful DNS filter that is shockingly easy to set up

NxFilter is a DNS filter with enough power to please tech-savvy folks and an easy setup to please rookies. In addition to boosting your Web security, it adds a significant amount of speed to your browsing. It's a very advanced filter that runs incredibly quietly, which is a major plus.

This is a DNS-level filter, so it helps manage traffic based on IP addresses to speed up traffic and verify a site to help you dodge malware. NxFilter runs from the command line, so it can be completely silent once it sets itself up. The program is ready to … Read more

Tune up your portraits and group photos

Facetune is an app that aims to give you professional quality photo editing tools in the palm of your hand. The app is intended to be used with portraits or group photos giving you the tools to improve the overall look of your subjects.

Upon first launching the app, you're immediately given the option to use a demo photo. The demo photos are portraits of individuals who may have exposed blemishes, hair on their faces, freckles or some other attribute that can be removed through the app.

I suggest starting with a demo photo, as it gives you a … Read more