Just a week after we got Photoshop on the iPad, along comes an app that looks like we all expected Photoshop on the iPad to look. It’s called Laminar, and the best way to describe it is as Lightroom lite.
At first looks, Laminar seems a lot like a shrunken-down desktop app. And at second look, it still does. While it is handy to have everything on screen at once, it means that the controls — switches and sliders — are all tiny, and are best used with a stylus instead of a finger.
The UI design doesn’t get any better when you start popping up menus, either. You know how when kids color a coloring book, they use every colored marker in the pack on each page? Laminar is like that, only with UI elements instead of colors.
That said, the app is fast. I loaded up a couple images and played with the adjustment tools. Curves, levels, color, brightness and more are all on the left, like Lightroom, and all are very responsive. It’s not quite real-time, though: you’ll have to wait a (very short) moment for the image to update each time you make an adjustment. This is more annoying than it sounds.
Channels, textures, text and masking tools round out the package, but there are some other oddities. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t find a way to change the order of layers, or to toggle their visibility. Maybe I’m being dumb, but it looks like these things are missing, or just plain hard to find.
Still, the app is very, very cheap for what you get. At $2, you should probably just try it out.