No one needs another photo editor on their phone, but every once in awhile one comes along worth considering. And so it is with MaxCurve, an attractive and well executed editor from Wanman with an unapologetic focus on — as the name implies — curves.
Of course curves can be found in other popular editors, Darkroom and Enlight to name two, but not like MaxCurve, which includes four "Kits" of curves — RGB, Lightness, HSL, and LAB — each of which includes 4-6 curve adjustments. It isn't just the number of curves though, but also how MaxCurve has implemented them, because for most adjustments a point can be added to your curve by touching anywhere in your composition. Think about that for a second — touch a highlight in your image and then adjust the warmth or coolness of temperature (or saturation, or color, etc.) for that value on the curve line — mind blown.
So it does curves, but that's not to say MaxCurve can't handle your photo editing needs from beginning to end. There is a basic camera for input, you can choose an image from your existing photos, or import from Photoshop (yes I said that — via Wi-Fi). Crop adjustments with mirror flip options start your workflow, followed by sharpen, grain, and vignette adjustments, the aforementioned curves kit, a layer kit complete with blend mode options, the ability to rearrange layer order, and add one of many included textures, and finally — before saving out — the glorious option of saving all your hard editing work as a preset. Outside of masking (which recent update release notes implies is coming soon), MaxCurve can kind of do it all.
The icing on the cake, MaxCurve looks great too. The UI and iconography are clean and immediately intuitive, curves are as friendly to fingers as they can be on a small touchscreen, and in general the app exhibits a degree of polish that's surprising for an app so new to the App Store. Added bonus — MaxCurve ships as a universal app — with the iPad allowing for landscape mode editing for those so inclined.
This isn't to say that MaxCurve is all set to replace VSCO or (insert your editor of choice here), but as a supplemental tool — especially for those already partial to working with curves — MaxCurve is an interesting option that might just displace an app or two in your virtual camera bag.
UPDATE: Thanks to a recent update (version 1.3) since this review, MaxCurve now also offers layer masks and the ability to adjust individual layer intensity via a simple slider, making this already impressive photo editor just a bit more so.
MaxCurve requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.