I am 4 days in with using Priime, and still hooked. For some reason I had tried Priime 1.0 and it never took, but Priime 2.0, (by Priime, Inc.) released last Friday, has. To be fair not that much has changed, its bread and butter, photographer created "Styles" are still there, and the basic set of tools, also still there. But Priime 2.0 looks better, runs and workflows smoother, and now fully facilitates the editing of DSLR-sized images — critical for me since I enjoy editing a lot of my camera work on iOS.
What's really changed for me though is fully exploring Prime's styles ("Styles" is Priime-speak for filters/presets). Priime ships with a handful of them, but like most photo editing apps, charges users for additional sets of styles, each set created by (or "authored by" using Priime's terminology) a particular photographer. With nearly 40 authors and at $0.99 a pop per author, Priime done piecemeal can get real expensive — real fast, and that turned me away with Priime 1.0 given I was already fully invested in VSCO, and happily so. This time around I capitulated, taking advantage of the app's $9.99 "All Styles Pack" — still expensive, but honestly this is the only way you're really going to enjoy Priime.
That's for two reasons. First, many of the styles here are just fantastic. There are no shortage of heavy-handed choices in here, but most nail the "just right" factor crucial for tasteful editing. That I have 20 styles favorited here and just 5 in VSCO should say something to that effect. The second reason — Priime offers suggestions. Interesting right? When selected, "Suggested" offers 5 styles based on your image's "colors and contents," just pick one and off you go. Well, that's the theory, but in practice Priime's Smart Suggestions are still kind of dumb and the hit-rate borders on pure chance. Still, sometimes the results are just wow — and from styles you wouldn't expect — so if this is chance, it's a chance worth taking.
In addition to styles, Priime does offer some core image editing tools similar to those found in Instagram and VSCO, and Priime helpfully provides an edit history for reevaluating your choices. Unlike VSCO, there's no way to fix perspective, and there's no tool for either adding or removing noise (grain). Other not inconsiderable issues I've encountered include:
- An unsatisfying ability to zoom in on edits.
- A share menu limited to Instagram and your camera roll.
- No apparent black and white styles. (I would love to be wrong about this — but I don't see any).
- Priime's library is your camera roll — very confusing when you have edits you want to copy and paste and there are "flattened" copies of the same image in your camera roll.
- No iPad app.
As a VSCO fan to VSCO fans who don't mind paying for quality filters, Priime will feel a little confusing and maybe a bit messy in its workflow — but get past it, it's worth it. For everyone else, Priime will only be worth it to the degree that you're willing to jump all the way in. Priime is free to try, and by all means give it a try, but know that Priime's real beauty won't be revealed till you're fully invested — and that's a long way from free.
Priime 2.0 requires iOS 8.1 or later and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Priime 2.0 is not a universal app (no iPad support).