Quick App Review: Touch Retouch vs. Photo Fixer

You want to remove something from an image on your iPhone? As always, there’s an app for that. Here’s a quick test of two. Links: Touch Retouch and Photo Fixer.

Image 1: Remove the path

Touch Retouch

Brush a red layer on what you want to remove.

When you are satisfied hit “go”. Wait. And:

Photo Fixer

On this image it kept giving me a message about the fact that the area was too large. So I gave up.

Image 2: Remove the trashcan

Touch Retouch

Select and process:

Not completely satisfied, so I select more and get a decent result:

Photo Fixer


And process:

Not satisfied, so I select and process more:

Image 3: Remove the poster

Touch Retouch



Photo Fixer



Image 4: Remove the statue

Touch Retouch

Photo Fixer:

Problem with too large selection. I decided to do it in several steps.

And got this result:

My conclusion after this quick test is that Touch Retouch is easier to use, is faster and gives better results than Photo Fixer.

But Photo Fixer is the new kid on the block and will probably mature as it gets updated etc. So keep an eye on both of them.

See the comments. One of my requested features is a sort of popup that shows what’s going on under your finger. The people behind TouchRetouch tells me that this is coming in version 2.0 later in November.

…in addition to lots of other improvements:
• 1:1 image viewer;
• Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Twitter sharing;
• Clone Stamp tool;
• Finger move hint;
• Localized help;
• Application settings;
• Improved algorithm for large pictures;
• Landscape mode;
• EXIF data support.

Looking forward to that. And it’s very nice to see that both developers have contacted me because of this quick review. I’ll keep an eye on both these apps.

Quick App Review: Touch Retouch vs. Photo Fixer

Update on the USB charging problem of the iPhone 3G

After I posted my last article I decided to do some experimenting based on the description of the DIY iPhone 3G charger I linked to.

I checked the two travel chargers I have, and just as expected: The one that charges the iPhone 3G has a 2.4v and 2.8v reference voltage applied on the data pins in addition to the 5v charging voltage. The one that charge my iPod but not my iPhone have no voltage on the data pins.

So, I guess the solution is to make a small adapter that gives the required voltage on the data pins: USB in, some resistors and USB out. Like described in the article about the DIY iPhone 3G charger.

That simple adapter will solve the problem of some of the USB chargers that won’t work on the iPhone 3G, but not the problem with the equipment that use the old FireWire method of charging (like the Dension ICElink in my car). For that you need a slightly more advanced adapter.

Update on the USB charging problem of the iPhone 3G

Problems with USB charging of the iPhone 3G

OK. So Apple ditched support for FireWire charging on the iPhone 3G. Stopping it from working properly with a lot of audio systems and car installations. FireWire support has been on its way out on the iPods for a long time and I guess Apple had to remove this feature at some point. Apple have a history of removing old technology pretty fast, but usually they have provided some kind of replacement. An external floppy drive when that was removed. An external DVD drive for the MacBook Air etc.

In this case they did not provide any adapters, leaving a lot of people pretty angry. Whatever. Other companies are already working on the appropriate pieces of electronics. And I need one of those, because the iPhone 3G will not charge in my car.

However, I am experiencing problems charging my iPhone through a lot of standard USB equipment as well. Stuff that charges my Nokia Phone, my iPod and a lot of other USB based gadgets.

It seems like the iPhone 3G does more checking on the USB port before it starts charging. Here are some examples.

The image shows two standard USB charging units. Simple connectors that converts the 12V in the car to 5V in the USB port. The white one charges my 60GB iPod but not my iPhone 3G. The black one charges both my iPod and the iPhone 3G.

The same goes for these travel chargers. The one to the left only charges my iPod. The one to the right charges both.

And because of the not-so-impressive battery life of the iPhone 3G it would have been nice if this portable battery / solar charger would work. But it won’t. Works fine on all USB based gadgets I’ve tried, but not on the iPhone 3G.

Others are also looking into this, but if you have a simple explanation or know about an adaptor that will make all USB chargers work on the iPhone 3G – please let me know.

I did some more research and found a solution.

Problems with USB charging of the iPhone 3G

A flying Nokia N95

Boat at the beach

Today has to be a nice day for an article about something that you can’t possibly do with an iPhone. Simply because it totally lacks one feature. Namely, high quality video recording.

I take absolutely no responsibility for the damage you might cause as a result of trying to do something similar to what we have done in this article.

I just spent a week on the western coast of Denmark. To be precise, in Klitmøller. A very nice place. Known for wind and great surfing in addition to nice family friendly summer homes and a fresh west coast nature.

I’ve been pretty offline and spent the days with my family relaxing. But there’s always time for some important experiments. My experiments usually include images or gadgets. This time I had an idea about some spectacular aerial video shooting. The combination of my brother-in-law, Dr. Jacob Torgersen with a PhD in genetics and an extended interest for windsurfing, a Nokia 6630 test unit, a Nokia N95 main unit, a kite, some wind, my degree in media engineering and a big roll of duct tape should be enough to manage some interesting tests.

Aerial photo from a kite

The Nokia N95 has excellent video recording capabilities, so in addition to all of the other stuff it can do it is a very light weight video camera. Of course it is a bit risky to send a $500,- phone up in a $30,- kite but we have a lot of duct tape. And everything can be solved with a lot of duct tape.


First, we measured the balance of the kite and found the best place to mount the phone to avoid instabilities during flight. Then we mounted my old Nokia 6630 as a test unit and sent it up.

Kitecam Nokia 6630

Everything flying smooth until the first serious vibrations sent my 6630 down into the gravel from about 20 m. The first result of our tests is a fact: a nokia 6630 survives a 20 meter drop with minor scratches. Amazing. And our first conclusion: not enough duct tape.

Nokia 6630 Crashed

We’re not very patient when it comes to experiments like this and Dr. Torgersen seems very confident in his kiting skills. Time to mount the Nokia N95 and get some better quality video.

More duct tape this time.

Kitecam Nokia N95

The kite goes into the air. Dr. Torgersen puts his years of experience with windsurfing and probably a bit of genetic science behind the navigation and we end up with a pretty cool video.


He even manages to land the thing quite smooth and I am still a happy user of my undamaged Nokia N95.

Yes. It flies. And you can download the original MP4-file as it looked directly from the Nokia N95 here.

And when you watch the video on your Nokia N95 maybe you would want to connect a big screen. Bigger than the iPhone.

A flying Nokia N95

The iPhone and the multi touch screen

Oyvind over at Brilliantdays has a very interesting theory about the multi touch screen on the new iPhone and the fantastic multi touch screen that Jeff Han has been demonstrating around the world.

Oyvind thinks that this technology will be incorporated in the next generation of Apple screens and laptops.

Only a theory, but read his article in detail. Why did so many people from Apple visit this particular post after he wrote it? And what about the comment over at Jefferson Han’s web site?

When I saw this video on YouTube and had a glimpse of how Phil Schiller zooms in on an image on the Phone I can’t believe that this has nothing to do with Jeff Han’s technology.

I tried Jeff’s screen at Siggraph in Boston last year. The image zoom works exactly as it is done by Mr. Schiller in the CBS video. I must admit that the technology is some of the most amazing I have ever tested. It worked extremely well and gave an immediate feel of the navigation.

This is a short video I shot in Boston while testing the screen and talking to Jefferson Han.


The iPhone and the multi touch screen