Daily App Review: Pixlr-o-matic (Android)You can say that there are two kinds of people who play around with photo apps on Android--those who keep asking for Instagram for Android and those who have used Pixlr-o-matic.
It is not often you come across an application whose Android avatar more than matches its iOS one and Autodesk's Pixlr-o-matic is one of those exceptions. The app, like many others, allows you to add a number of effects to pictures you have taken. You take a fresh picture by accessing the camera from within the app itself or pick out an existing picture on your device and get started. The editing options are divided into three categories: overlays, effects and frames.
Overlays are basically different shades of colours that can be placed over the picture you have selected. Mind you, it is not as simple as placing a coloured filter over your picture--there are subtle variations of focus and lighting that can actually make your images a whole lot sharper than they originally were. Effects are basically a collection different light patterns that can be added to the picture--sparkles, stars, twinkles, etc. And finally, there is the frame--the borders within which the picture is to be placed and displayed. Even here, there is a lot of innovation --you can opt for a Polaroid-like frame with a thicker lower portion, an older album picture look with tags at the corners, or even a battered ancient look with bits of the picture faded out and blurred as if it had emerged from an excavation rather than a photo tweaking app.
There are dozens of options under each head, which leaves you with thousands of permutations and combinations to play around with on every image you choose to alter. And if that sounds just too difficult and complex for you, just hit the Randomizer button and Pixlr-o-matic will go right ahead and pick a combination of overlays, effects and frames at random--and it is amazing how good these are. You can save the image on your device or share it across your social networks from the app itself.
Instagram fans will complain that the app does not give you live previews (the editing effects even while you are taking the picture), while hardcore image tweakers will frown at the fact that you cannot edit the effects themselves from within the app, and compulsive noters will point out that you cannot write on the edited pictures. Fair enough, but if all you are looking for is an application that will make your photographs look different and do a darned good job of it too, then Pixlr-o-matic on Android is perhaps the best option out there. It works smoothly on most high-end devices (we would not recommend trying it on anything that sports less than a 800 MHz processor if you want quick results) and is incredibly simple to use--you just scroll through the editing options on the bottom of the screen while the picture itself reflects the changes on the bigger part of the display. And we just love the fact that unlike some apps that shrink the size of images after editing, Pixlr-o-matic reproduces them in their full-res glory.
Also, if you are not content with what comes with the app, you can just head out to the Pixlr-o-matic store from within the app and download more overlays, effects and frames. And it is here that the difference between the Android and iOS versions will hit you--in iOS, you need to pay for any additional content you download by activating Pixlr-o-matic Plus. On Android, everything is free.
If you play around even remotely with images and have an Android device, this is one of the first apps you should download. Period.
Available from: Google Play
Price: Free--Nimish Dubey