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Add 5 Million Photo Filters, Just By Swiping

A new photo app called Infltr uses clever UX to juggle near infinite color options.

Instagram offers a few dozen filters that can leave you confounded, swiping and tapping back and forth in existential crisis. Infltr, a new iOS app, has more than 5 million. Yet amazingly, they’re never more than a split second away.

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Infltr’s gimmick is that you can change the color of any photo you’re taking, not by looking through menus, but just by sliding your finger over the screen. While your eyes just see what you’re about to photograph, your finger navigates an invisible color map–the sort of color picker you find in apps like Photoshop. As you run your finger across the screen, the image seamlessly shifts in color. A tiny color bubble appears beneath your finger, offering an exact preview of the color you’ve chosen, too.

In practice, this UX model works quite well. It’s unobtrusive, allowing you to focus–no pun intended, but I’m not going out of my way to delete it, either–on the frame of the shot with maximum screen space dedicated to your subject. Many photo apps have you add the filter after the shot, presumably to avoid the mix of menu complications alongside the photo-taking process. Hiding the UX within an invisible color picker sidesteps this problem, while offering a fairly unique experience in the mobile photography world. You see your filter in real time–like Apple’s Photo app–but you can tweak it in real time, too.

Furthermore, you can still tap to focus your camera without losing your selected color. And in an unadvertised interaction, it appears that you can double tap to hit a random color.

I’d like to see Infltr be a bit more ambitious, though. Their 5 million colors all appear to be quite warm, and I was unable to create any images that had a neon or Skittles-inspired candy glow. It’s possible that I’m missing more UX easter eggs hiding in the app, but Infltr is a cleverly designed little piece of software. If it can widen its aesthetic without further complicating the interface, it could be one of the few must-have photo apps.

Infltr is available for iOS now for $2.

[via New Scientist]

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.

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