When anyone thinks of editing a photo, whether to retouch it or to add special effects, the first name that comes to mind is Adobe Photoshop. But while the desktop version is a powerful and popular industry standard, the mobile version does not live up to the same standard, in my opinion.
Don’t get frustrated; you will get what you need. PicsArt is a mobile app with abundant photoshop-style features that you’ll want to try out.
PicsArt Photo Studio is a free Photo Editing Tool available for the Android Devices running Android 1.6 or above. Despite being free, it bundles a lot of features that even some premium apps lack. With a great user experience on top of all that, this app is a great choice for photo addicts.
The interface is simple, preferring icons over text menus; you’ll get to know where everything is in no time.
There are seven options available on the main interface, along with a notification bar: this may seem like an odd feature for a photo manipulation app, but ties in nicely with the social network aspect.
This is the most important screen in the app. When you open it, it pops up a dialog to let you choose a photo, either from your phone’s gallery, directly from the camera, or (more unusually) from your social profiles.
If you have an account at PicsIn, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or Dropbox, you can get your photos into the app in a matter of seconds. Just tap the icon, log in, and you’ll have access to your photo albums from the service.
You can also quickly access photos you’ve edited recently; you will see the last few in the bottom area of the dialog box, and can tap any to open it.
Everything Begins Here
Once you’ve chosen a photo to edit, you will see it on the screen with a selection of editing tools beneath it.
The first tool is simply named Tool; when tapped, it offers several more sub-options for performing basic operations on your image: rotate, flip, resize, and various forms of crop. The shape crop is particularly useful for wedding or birthday photos, as it allows you to cut a photo into a shape like a star.
The second tool, Callout, lets you add speech bubbles (as seen in comic strips). Adding these callouts really helps to add a touch of humor to a picture, or to pass on a message. There is a large choice of types of callout, and you can enter any text that you want.
The Text tool also lets you add custom text, but this time the focus is on the font. As shown in the screenshot above, there’s a decent selection of font faces and colors to choose from, as well as a number of pre-designed styles.
Draw allows you to doodle lines and shapes directly on to the image. This comes in handy for highlighting a certain area – you could just draw a bright yellow circle around it.
Sticker and Clip Art both do roughly the same thing, in different ways: add a pre-made image to your photo. Also similar is the Add Photo tool, which lets you insert another photo on top of the current one. Together, these features let you mash up your images.
The rest of the features do basic “finishing” tasks, like adding a border to the photo, framing it, and applying various special effects and masks (which, by now, I’m sure you’re familiar with from other apps).
Once you’ve finished editing the photo, you can save it. Again, you have a range of choices for storage; you can keep it on your SD card, or you can upload it to any of the other social media sites mentioned before – assuming you already have an account.
The Drawing Mode
Rather than editing an existing image or photo, you can choose to draw a new one from scratch. The tools here are the same as those you can use to draw on an existing image; the only difference is that you start with a blank canvas.
Take a Picture
There are two ways to use the camera within the app: either by selecting it as the source for your image when you enter Edit mode; or directly, via the Camera icon on the main screen. The latter saves you a couple of taps, but doesn’t offer anything not already covered above.
Collage: Put Your Favorite Pictures Together
This option is made for people that take a lot of photos at parties! You can combine several photos into one image, using any of the many backgrounds and frames provided.
Of course, there’s no obligation to restrict collages to pictures of your friends, as the image above demonstrates.
And The Rest…
The two remaining options, Profile and My Network, allow you to connect with your account at PicsIn, the app’s tie-in social network. Here, you can use your Facebook account to log in, or create a new account.
Visit the developer’s site PicsArt to find out more; you can also see a selection of photos edited with this app from other users – upload yours if you feel it is a good fit!
I can say with confidence that PicsArt is one of the best photo editing tools ever made for smartphones. I give it a full 10/10, as it fulfils all the needs that I look for in a photo editing app.