Photo Extensions Lower Picture Resolution on iOS 8

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Photo Extensions Limit Resolution iOS 8

I’ve been taking a lot more pictures these past few weeks due to my new camera. I’ll come home with a few hundred shots, cull about two thirds of them, and then edit the rest. I do a fair amount of this on the Mac, but also on the iPad. I thought I could take advantage of Photo Extensions like Flare Effects on iOS to help me edit my shots right from the Photos app, but I discovered something yesterday that has killed my interest in photo extensions for now: using a photo extension to edit a photo will limit its resolution due to memory limitations on iOS 8.

The iPhone generates 8 MP shots and my Sony A6000 generates 24 MP JPEGs. Using photo extensions on pictures taken on those devices results in pictures that are 2 or 3 MP in size. That’s a really significant decrease in resolution, and I’m a little irritated that this detail isn’t included in the Flare Effects app description (at least as a disclaimer). In fact, there isn’t any sort of system warning from iOS that using a photo extension is going to reduce the photo’s resolution…you only notice at the end when your picture suddenly looks a little grainier. The developers at the iconfactory have a support article about this, but it doesn’t detail just how much smaller the resulting picture will be.

I’m really hoping this is addressed in iOS 9 or sooner, at least for devices like the Air 2 which have 2 GB of RAM (and should be able to handle editing a single photo via an extension). For now, however, I’ll return to using VSCO Cam in a way that won’t create duplicates in my photo library. More on this point soon.

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