Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Facetune Photo Editing App Helps Retouch People’s Faces

You know those crazy magazine-cover retouch jobs, where a good-looking celebrity lady gets transformed into an unblemished, cartoonishly proportioned, supermarket-checkout-ready goddess with perfect skin, through the magic of Photoshop and unreasonable expectations?

Now you can get your own retouch transformation — should you so choose.

A new iOS app called Facetune helps edit pictures of people’s faces. Its tools can whiten teeth, smooth wrinkles, cover blemished skin, remove red-eye, apply makeup, add or remove hair, blur background objects and change the shape of a face.

There are tons of apps to help give mobile photos more contrast or sharper focus or a sepia tone. But many of those effects tend to be oriented toward landscapes and still lifes. Facetune is all about the faces.

Released last week by a small bootstrapped Jerusalem company called Lightricks, the app is currently the No. 1 paid photo and video app in the U.S., after being featured by Apple. It costs $1.99.

I played around with Facetune a bit, and it didn’t take long to notice that a light touch goes a long way — human faces are not a very forgiving canvas. I did appreciate that within the app there are explanations for every tool, as well as an ever-present option to compare what you’re working on to the original photo.

Other apps in this category include Philips Zoom (whitening teeth) and moreBeaute2 (smoothing skin tone). Nokia also developed an app called Glam Me, specifically for enhancing self-portraits taken with its Lumia devices.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik