FX Photo Studio has neither auto-enhance nor good customer support

In my search for a lightweight app to satisfy my basic photo enhancement needs, I stumbled across FX Photo Studio in the Mac App Store, I wrote the developer—”MacPhun”—to confirm whether the app does the two things I need:

  1. Cropping
  2. Auto-enhancing

A reply soon came in from “Kyle”:

Hi Matt, FX Photo Studio is an app with a very large collection of high quality photo effects created in cooperation with pro photographers and graphic designers. It has both Cropping and Auto-enhancing features in it. There is a trial version if you are still hesitating [url].

Regards, Kyle. Stay awesome! MacPhun Software Support Team

I always find it irritating to receive boilerplate text—I didn’t ask about their cooperation with “pro photographers and graphic designers”—but hey, we’re looking good; he confirms it does cropping and auto-enhancing.

So I downloaded the trial version he linked to and launched it. Uh oh—there’s no way to get past the activation screen. Evidently he sent me the wrong version.

I was going to email Kyle about that, but thinking that the app’s only $9.99 in the App Store and since he did confirm it does what I need, I went ahead and bought it…

…only to discover that I can’t find any auto-enhance functionality. Time for another email to Kyle:

Hi Kyle. I downloaded the trial version, but couldn’t get past the activation screen. Being in kind of a hurry, I just purchased FX Photo Studio from the App Store. I’ve found cropping, but I can’t find auto-enhance. Could you please perhaps let me know where that can be found? Thanks so much!

…to which Kyle replied…

Unfortunately, you may only do this manually in your version of FX Photo Studio.

FX Photo Studio and FX Photo Studio PRO versions have different number of options FX Photo Studio lets you manually adjust Exposure, Brightness, Saturation, Contrast and Hue FX Photo Studio PRO includes the following adjustable parameters Brightness and Color Tab open a sub-category to adjust Exposure, Brightness, Saturation, Contrast, Temperature, Hue and Color Balance (Red, Green, Blue) Levels Tool allows moving and stretching the brightness levels of an image histogram. It has the power to adjust brightness, contrast, and tonal range by specifying the location of complete black, complete white, and mid-tones in a histogram. Sharpen and Denoise tools. Sharpen increases contrast along edges to increase apparent sharpness of the image and Denoise tool is used to eliminate the noise from the pictures. Shadows and Highlights adjusters help to fix pictures, taken in low light.

Regards, Kyle. Stay awesome! MacPhun Software Support Team

Sigh. What does he mean by “my version”—maybe that auto-enhance is only available in the “PRO” version of his app? If so, why doesn’t he just say that. And why the boilerplate bomb!

So I wrote back…

Hi Kyle. Rather than copying and pasting some text (I didn’t ask for a full list of manually adjustable parameters), can you just clarify which version of your software contains an “auto” enhance feature, i.e. which automatically enhances the images without having to manually adjust anything? Thanks, Matt

…to which I got the almost expected reply:

Hi Matt, Sorry for the inconvenience! I might have got your question wrong. Right now “Auto-enhance” feature is not available. We plan to add it in the future releases.

Regards, Kyle. Stay awesome! MacPhun Software Support Team

So he claims to have misunderstood what I meant by “auto-enhance”, although it is something he’s got planned for a future release. Thanks—you “stay awesome” too, Kyle.

So now it’s off to the Mac App Store, to figure out how to request a refund.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?