It will be a little unfair to say that layrs is the first iPhone app capable of layered photo editing, as apps like Paint FX and Touch Image Manipulator have had this capability for a while now. However, the way layrs handles photos is certainly novel and unique. You don’t have to be very precise in defining background and foreground objects in photos, as layrs guides you through this process automatically. Once you have separated out the two aspects of the photo, each area can then be edited individually. You can apply effects and filters like blur, motion and selective focus to the background or foreground of the picture. The end result is stunning most of the times, and the best thing is that it can be achieved without applying a lot of effort.
Photos that you intend to edit in layrs can be loaded from the image library or shot right from within the app. The camera in layrs isn’t too different from the stock one, and just has a different skin. Before beginning the editing process though, users can choose to go to the app’s settings and select the image quality they want to set as default for the pictures created using layrs.
To begin editing a photo, you have to define the foreground part. There is no need to completely paint the mask over the objects, as layrs just follows your finger around to fill any object you point to. If you want to remove the mask from a particular part, just double-tap it. Once the foreground has been selected, hit the button located in the top-right corner to move on to the next step, which is to edit the picture’s background. The editing options for both background and foreground aren’t too different, although some of the available filters do vary. You can choose the intensity of each image effect by holding its thumbnail and then moving your finger vertically.
Apart from image filters, the app offers editing options like blurring (linear and radial), motion effect, focus adjustment, brightness, saturation and hue. Once you are done editing both parts of the photo and are satisfied with the overall effect, hit the ‘Done’ button. The app’s sharing menu includes buttons for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, email and Flickr. You can also choose to save the image to the camera roll and use it from there.
layrs is a free app and comes display-optimized for iPhone and iPod touch. Give it a go, as even if you are not looking for a photo editor, layrs is not likely to prove too disappointing for what it offers.