Test out a new tattoo (without the needles) with AR iPhone app Inkhunter

Screenshots from the iOS app Inkhunter
(Image credit: Inkhunter)

Inkhunter App Store icon

(Image credit: Inkhunter)

iPadOS / iOS Free with in-app purchases

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Where they were once something of a rarity within western society, having a tattoo has is now more popular and fashionable than ever, with inking parlors seemingly popping up on every neighborhood street corner.

Indeed, a recent study found 32% of US adults have at least one piece of body art located on them. 

Getting inked isn’t, of course, a decision to be taken lightly, and our App of the Day may go some way to preventing a lifetime of regret for folks considering getting some needlework done.

One of the more useful examples of augmented reality on iOS, Inkhunter allows you to try on virtual tattoos before taking the plunge. 

The app projects the tattoo onto your skin in real time, allowing you to see how the tattoo will look in different lighting conditions and from different angles.

There’s a large library of detailed tattoo designs to choose from, allowing you to virtually place it on any part of your body and adjust the size, rotation, and opacity.

Upload your own body art masterpiece

If Inkhunter’s example art isn’t to your fancy, there’s an option for uploading designs as well as a suite of built-in drawing tools, allowing you to create your very own custom tattoo.

The virtual imaging isn’t without its flaws, however. Getting your tattoo to scale and position can be a battle at times, and the app also struggles to mask hairy areas of your body when superimposing designs, meaning more hirsute users may struggle to get an accurate preview of that epic chest-spanning eagle tatt they may have been planning. 

The app comes in two varieties – a free version and a 99c /99p Pro offering that does away with ads and watermarks.

While by no means a substitute for a consultation with an experienced tattoo artist, Inkhunter nevertheless provides a useful, and indeed fun “try-before-you-dye” option before making that big body art decision.


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Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. 

He started out as a music writer in the late 1990s, before moving to the Daily Mirror to become the newspaper’s technology editor, during which time he wrote a weekly column that saw him chart the boom of consumer tech and gaming as well as the resurrection and rise of Apple Inc. 

He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards.