Testing photo editing apps: ″Retromatic for iOS″ | Digital Culture | DW | 06.11.2020

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Digital Culture

Testing photo editing apps: "Retromatic for iOS"

If you want to take pictures with your smartphone and quickly share beautiful results, you need effective image editing tools. DW Digital tests the most popular apps. This week: "Retromatic for iOS".

With the paid iOS app "Retromatic" you can build collages with a vintage 50s appeal. And this is how it works: Cut-out motifs from photos in the gallery are placed in front of retro backgrounds and provided with stickers or text.

Unfortunately, and this is probably only a temporary bug, you can only use the General Photo Folder, but not albums, when selecting a photo. This makes the search for the right photo a bit tedious, since for cropping, as in our case of sightseeing for example, a simple motif with high recognition value is recommended. 

Because the picture is "cropped" with the finger on the Smarphone screen, it takes a lot of skill to get clean edges. The "Zoom in" function is helpful here, so the outline of the motif can be accurately reproduced. If necessary, a failed crop can be undone with the eraser function.

Nevertheless, unevenness will not be avoided. But the final product does not necessarily live on perfection anyway, but on skilful combination.

The cropped motif can be provided with one of the 20 color filters in the next step. Our favorite: the filter "Propaganda" because it abstracts the image and conceals the inaccurate cut edges.

Afterwards a background is chosen. 17 of them are available, each of them can be changed in color. The clipped motif is now inserted, it can be enlarged or reduced or multiplied.

Now you can add vintage stickers, badges or ornaments, whose size and color is also variable.  By tapping the respective symbol or text for a longer period of time, it is possible to shift the layer backwards or forwards, as well as to remove incorrectly inserted symbols.

Exporting the photo to the photo gallery is uncomplicated, but the resolution is not too high.

Conclusion: "Retromatic" is a fun app not only for people with a 50s fondness. However, cutting out a suitable motif requires a steady hand and can take a lot of time under certain circumstances. But the original results are worth the effort.


Top 2 Pros: 
- original results
- no advertising


Top 3 Cons: 
- time consuming, because the cropping of the motives requires a lot of patience
- no classic tools for photo post-processing
- individual steps can sometimes only be undone with great difficulty


Manufacturer: Peta Vision
Price: "Retromatic" costs 2.29 € in the App Store. Additional background packages can be purchased via in-app purchases.