From day one the Apple iPad computer has been touted to be capable of both consuming media, as well as making it and the iOS version of the iWork suite has been proof of this (despite what some may say). There are many other tasks which can be accomplished via many 3rd party applications on the AppStore and one area in particular that I'd like to focus on is image manipulation/composition.
Yes the first name that may have come to mind when you read that was Photoshop. On desktop operating systems this is the go-to program for these tasks hands down and it's used by most professionals. Adobe used to have a sort of ok implementation for iOS but to be honest it wasn't the best, was prone to crashing and is no longer supported. When this happened I felt rather disappointed until I discovered a wonderful piece of software called Pixelmator. Firstly I'll say that it's the best $6.49 that you'll ever spend! After my previous experience with Photoshop Touch I was a little skeptical with how it would go but to my relief, it fulfilled all the short comings such as being stable, supporting non-destructible layer styles and more!
All of the basic Photoshop commands for example: red eye/blemish removal, cloning, lighten/darken, blur, saturation/brightness/levels adjustment and repair are there for anyone who's already familiar with the program and it doesn't stop there. Many cheaper mini apps support many of these tasks but what sets this app apart is that it goes well beyond by delivering a very Photoshop-like experience overall.
You can expect to have support for several layers that can all be grouped, hidden, locked, merged together, duplicated etc. Compatibility is also a great strength since there's complete support for the photoshop document format (.psd) which integrates well with application extensions, so you can expect to be able to easily work on a project and store it away on-line in places such as dropbox, though iCloud is built right in also when you save projects in the file manager.
For those who just want to have fun on their iPad or anyone curious about brushes support, I can happily say that what it has to offer is a dream come true for anyone creative. The amount of different brushes just go on and on, infinite possibilities! There's a vast variety of all the typical pencil strokes, crayons, markers, inks (just imagine the sort of fancy typography you could do with them), paint brushes (one of my favourites), sprays, water colours and smudges! As you can expect these are all customisable so you can have each and every stroke the size/strength you need them at any given time (and support for styluses that have pressure sensitivity).
The fun doesn't stop there because just like in Photoshop, there's a whole host of filters too. You can really get crazy with these when you mix 'n' match them together without ever worrying about making a mistake and why should you? A generous amount of undos/redos are at your disposal and if this isn't enough for you, feel free to make a clone of a layer before hand and hide it away.
If whipping up a composition is what you want to do but the sight of a blank canvas puts you on edge, no sweat! There's an ample amount of templates that can help you get going and before you know it, you'll have a master piece in no time. Up to 8K resolution is now supported which shouldn't be a problem for most.
Considering what you have to pay, for subscription software for adobe, the price tag for Pixelmator is so little, yet the potential for what you can do is huge!