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.


My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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