picfx ($1.99) by ActiveDevelopment is an app that helps you create cool photos by adding two unique effects – textures and frames.
The iPhone has just made photography easy and accessible to anyone, and the App Store is a clear indication of that. I’ve always liked photography, but never took it up as a hobby until I got an iPhone and had the App Store. That said, I love iPhone photography apps and I love that there are plenty of cool new ones each day to try out! The one I’ll talk about today is called picfx.
picfx is a pretty simple and straightforward app. The interface is nice and smooth, which is good. Another thing that I found nice about the app is that it is very user-friendly – all the buttons mean what they should, and there is no confusion. It’s all laid out pretty clear.
First, you’re going to need to either snap a new pic or import one from the device Photo Album. If you’re snapping a new one and have an iPhone 4, you’ll be happy to know that all the features of the iPhone 4 cameras are accessible. Front and rear facing cameras can be switched easily, tap-to-focus, and flash controls. Either way you pick for getting a photo, you’ll have to crop it into a square format. It seems the square format has been the latest trend since Instagram came along, right?
Once you have decided on the original photo, the fun begins. Along the bottom will be 27 different textures that you can apply to your photo. All of these have their own unique look that will make your picture stand out from others. picfx has an adjustable slider for you to control how strong the texture is. Keep it low for a subtle effect or max it out for a dramatic change. Some of the textures include: book border, grunge, paper, paint dabble, various light leaks, and basic borders like vingette and frames.
In addition, there are 13 styles to pick from. These styles change the color of the image. When combined with the right photo and texture, it can really create a unique and eye-catching photograph. Examples of styles include: B&W, Sepia, Vintage, Bright, Warm, Cool, and tints.
Unfortunately this is done through a vertical scrolling menu, so you can’t preview how a style looks until you actually apply it. Good news is that you can easily change it back or try something else, which only takes a few quick seconds to do.
picfx allows you to add another layer of effects if you wish, which can be undone (to the first original image) if you change your mind. This lets you mix and match until you find that amazing combination. Be careful with that undo button though. The best way to not lose your progress is to save the first image and then reload it into the app. It can be more tedious, but saves a lot of frustration if you do mess up.
When you are finally done, you can save the image to your Camera Roll. There are share options too, by Copying or Email, and the social network methods of Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.
I like this app and will be keeping it around in my daily photography toolbox on my iPhone. However, for being a $2 app, I’d like to see more. There are a lot of textures, but not so much on styles. There should also be a better way to “preview” the styles as well. The app also does not have a way to change the resolution of saved images and claims they are “high resolution.” I hope that they can add a way to select the quality of the saved image, as well as include a full resolution option (if high resolution is full, they that should be made clear, “high resolution” does not always mean full).
picfx is a good app for any iPhoneographer. $2 is not expensive by any means, but the developer should work on updates to give the user more bang for their buck. There are definitely some effects that make the app worth it though, like my personal favorite, “Galactic.”