TouchRetouch – a great iPhone app to clear up lens flare and other photo problems and unwanted objects easily

This is a great, easy-to-use app I want to recommend to everyone who uses their iPhone camera a lot. Without resorting to “expert” or expensive applications, with high learning curves, such as PhotoShop, TouchRetouch (available in the app store) lets you very easily clean up problems with photos. This includes getting rid of those annoying “green dot” lens flares which had been bothering me so much, unwanted blemishes, garbage and just about anything else in photos that you want to clean up.

It’s amazingly clever and simple to use. Here are four before and after photos I took.

(1) Green dot lens flare cleanup – the green lens flare dot is located to the right of the center of the photo.

Note the green lens flare dot on the water

Note the green lens flare dot on the water

No more lens flare dot

No more lens flare dot

 

(2) Garbage on my neighbor’s roof. There is something that looks like a block of concrete or stone across two of the tiles of my neighbor’s roof.

See the chunk of something white on the 3rd tile down just up and the left of center.

See the chunk of something white on the 3rd and 4th tiles down just up and to the left of center.

 

Voila! The chunk is now gone.

Voila! The chunk is now gone.

 

(3) Cleaning up construction items interfering with a river scene. I want those metal poles gone!

There are four large metal poles in the river interfering with my view

There are four large metal poles in the river interfering with my view

 

Now the poles are gone

Now the poles are gone

 

(4) Finally, here is a photo of Mon and Monta in their cage. Note the large clump of bird droppings on the right nest, under the mirror and bell. Using TouchRetouch I was able to make them disappear. Now I don’t even need to clean the cage!

 

Clump of bird droppings on the right nest, under the mirror and bell

Clump of bird droppings on the right nest, under the mirror and bell

The clump of bird droppings is gone!

The clump of bird droppings is gone!

 

Some of them seem almost magical.

The app is super easy to use. It seamlessly integrates with the iPhone standard Photos app as one of the editing tools. It can also be used stand-alone, with more export options. There are various tools you can use – brush, lasso and more. There is also a tool dedicated to getting rid of lines, but I haven’t played much with that yet.

I think it’s highly worth the $1.99 cost. Even just being able to super easily get rid of lens flare artifacts makes it worth it to me.

 

Green dots in sunset photos on the iPhone 6 plus – lens flare?

Recently I noticed some obvious bright green dots in sunset photos I’ve taken with my iPhone 6 Plus. I thought it was just recent, so I went back and looked over old photos and found a couple with the same phenomenon, going as far back as late 2014. I saw at least one discussion at the Apple support forums about this from 2014, but there didn’t seem to be a conclusion.

My AppleCare warranty is up on 9/25/2016, so I contacted AppleCare and showed them the photos and we discussed it. They did a search of my serial number and determined my iPhone was part of a “small set of iPhone cameras” manufactured between September 2014 and January 2015 which experienced some camera blurring and other camera problems. This wasn’t blurring, but the Apple rep said they wanted to exchange it since it fit into that period of time.

Anyway, I got my exchange iPhone today, and I just went for a bike ride along the river, and it experiences the exact same problem. Not with every photo, but with many of the photos where I’m shooting into the sunset. Here are a few examples with and without the effect. The first 2 do not have the green dot, but the last 3 do.

It’s obviously a spec/quality issue with the iPhone 6 Plus lens – unless I was unlucky with two in a row. I guess you could call it “lens flare.” It seems like a rather odd shape and color for lens flare though. But it only happens when shooting at sunset into the sun.

Oh well, as I head into the end of my warranty, at least I ended up with a new iPhone manufactured in August of this year instead of my two-year-old iPhone.

 

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Macro photos

When I was in Akihabara yesterday I got an inexpensive “crip on” macro lens for any smartphone that can take photos between 10 and 23 mm away. It also comes with a fish-eye and wide lens, but today I played a bit with the macro lens on my iPhone while outside.

It’s pretty hard to focus because the slightest tremor will move the subject out of the very limited field of view. But these came out well I thought.

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OfficialiPhoneUnlock is a fraudulent company, so beware

OfficialiPhoneUnlock is a UK company claiming they can unlock carrier-locked iPhones.

This company is fraudulent. And now that my dispute is finalized in my favor with the credit card company I am going to report them to whatever government agency in the UK is responsible for online fraud. Nobody should have to go through what I went through with them.

To make a long story short, at the beginning of last September they guaranteed me an unlock of my KDDI AU (Japan) iPhone. I believed them and paid more than $180.

During the month I waited for this, they even promised me that it would be complete “within 5 days.” When this didn’t happen after a month, and I already arrived in the U.S. for my trip, they got abusive in their emails to me. One manager offered me a refund by email and I said I would take it, but then I never heard from them again.

I then contacted my credit card company and entered a dispute. Just before their response deadline, OfficialiPhoneUnlock sent the credit card company a email alleging that my iPhone was blocked because it was reported lost or stolen. Until just that moment I had considered the possibility that OfficialiPhoneUnlock were legitimate but just incompetent. But when I saw that utterly fraudulent claim I realized it was simpler than that. They were just dishonest.

Of course I was able to show the credit card company that my iPhone was not blocked, that in correspondence with me OfficeiPhoneUnlock never claimed it was, and that my iPhone was in fact showing up as “clean” and in contract with KDDI AU via many IMEI check sites. In other words, OfficialIPhoneUnlock was just out-and-out lying to avoid paying a refund.

OfficialPhoneUnlock had until 7 February to counter-respond. They did not and my card company has now confirmed with me that my refund is finalized.

Now that this is over, I want to warn everybody about this company. They are not honest. That’s the bottom line.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out that since last summer all KDDI AU iPhones don’t even need to be unlocked to use on the U.S. AT&T network (and some other networks in Europe). It’s compatible while locked. You can just walk into an AT&T store and get a free SIM while you are there and either get a GoPhone no contract monthly account or a regular post-pay account. That is what I ended up doing during my trip, and I am still using my iPhone – both in the U.S. and Japan, without the need for unlocking.

After what this company put me through, and to help warn others, I intend to report them for fraud to the UK authorities.