PicsArt might not be a familiar name for iOS users, but it has been among the best image editing tools for Android for a long time. The app was recently released for the iPhone with the same set of features that gained it popularity on Android. PicsArt is not a routine photo editor by any stretch of imagination. It has hundreds of image filters , allows users to sketch, make collages out of photos and drawings, and to top it all off, the app has a photo sharing service of its own. You might think such a feature-rich app would be hard to use, but PicsArt is a model of simplicity, both in terms of its usage and interface. What more can you ask of a photo editor?
The homepage of PicsArt lists shortcuts to all the important sections of the app. Apart from these areas, you can access the ‘Interesting’ gallery by swiping to the right. This gallery features all the popular and public images shared over the PicsArt network by its users. To download, rate and share these photos, you will have to sign up for a PicsArt account. This can be done by hitting the icon in the top-right corner.
The collection of photo effects, themes and clip art available in PicsArt is so vast that the app doesn’t come bundled with them all. It has a separate ‘Shop’ section that is dedicated to downloading these items for offline use. Most items in the Shop are free, so you won’t have to shell out extra cash through in-app purchases.
Other than choosing photos from the camera roll, or capturing new ones from within the app, you can import pictures from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. On the editing screen that follows, here is a brief rundown of everything that is on offer:
- Tools: Change the hue, color ratio and brightness of the photo. Other options let users tinker with the orientation and dimensions of the image. The app supports both ‘free crop’ and ‘shape crop’.
- Effects: Categorized into FX, Pop Art, Artistic, Paper and Corrections. Most effects and filters available are customizable to some extent and can be applied to select portions of the image by painting over them.
- Draw: Users can draw on an empty canvas or over an imported photo. Multiple brushes, erasers, a full color palette and predefined shapes are available in this section.
- Masks: Textures, borders and bokeh effects from this section can be applied to the image with an orientation and blending mode (screen, multiply, darken, etc.) of your choice to get stunning end results.
- Misc.: Photos can also be adorned with clip art, stylized text, speech boxes, frames and even other photos!
The app’s collage creator lets you select one of many themed backgrounds, frames. You can edit and stylize each photo within the app’s regular editing screen before adding it to the collage with a border and in a position, size, orientation and blending mode of choice.
After adding your first image to the collage, continue to hit the add button next to
When you are done editing a photo or collage,you can share it with others via Facebook, Twitter or the PicsArt network or simply save it to the camera roll. The service has a comprehensive tagging system for easy image organization.
Like its Android counterpart, PicsArt is available for free on the iTunes App Store. If you can get past the ads displayed at the bottom of the app, you’ll find it to be one of the most flexible and feature-rich photo editing smartphone apps out there.