2,133. Thats the number of apps that show up when you search the App Store for photo editing apps. Some are free, some are paid, some are good, others are bad. One app that stands out is PicsPlay Pro by JellyBus Inc. A few weeks ago Clay walked us through another app by JellyBus Inc, Moldiv. Today we are going to look at PicsPlay Pro for iOS. The app is universal but I did my review on the iPhone version.
After your initial launch of the app you are presented with the option to view a video tutorial. Closing out the video will take you to the first of five tabs. The first tab includes take photo, load a photo, view other apps by JellyBus and settings. There are only a few settings that you are able to play with. Auto-save when sharing (I suggest keeping this on), Start with camera (The app will launch with your camera active ready to take a picture), and a timer for how long you want the EXIF data of the image to be displayed. From here you can also revisit the tutorial, visit PicsPlay Facebook page, visit the JellyBus homepage and review the app in iTunes (You should definitely do this).
Let's take a look into the five remaining tabs
The first tab is simple and straight forward. You can crop and rotate your image here.
The FX tab has 4 sections: FX Studio, Color Splash, Tilt-Shift and Time Matrix. FX studio will bring up ten categories with 200 filters available to you. (Who needs Instagram for filters)
Color Splash will take all of the color out of your image and allow you to add it back where you want it. This is how you can make extremely beautiful pictures with vibrant colors popping off of your screen while the background is back and white. To gain tighter control while adding and or removing color you can pinch to zoom the image. There are three brush settings: Size, Softness, Opacity. The two color pallets are color and black and white (adding & removing color). There is also a masking feature that you can enable to help you. You can tap on the compare button to see your image before and after. This is available in all stages of editing.
The Tilt-Shift mode allows you to add a blur effect to your image. You are able to adjust the size, strength, and shape of the effect. The shapes you can choose are linear, circle and oval. The Tilt-Shift effect is handy when you want to draw someones eye to a specific area of the image. In the image below, I have the focus on the left side of the child's face for demonstrative purposes.
Time Matrix is another area to apply filters. These filters can apply an aged looked or change the color theme.
The pallet tab will bring you to standard editing options. Exposure, Color, White Balance, Sharpen, Curves and Histogram. Unlike the other options, these are applied to the whole image, not specific areas. There are no brushes to sharpen and no option to select a white point in the photo.
The next section is where the fun begins.
The icon doesn't have a name but I like to call it the "Magic" tab. There are six main categories; Text, Painting, Stamp, Texture, Vignetting and Border. Each category has multiple effects that can be added to your image.
You can add anything you want to the image. The calendar in the top right corner will insert the date you specify. To add text tap the T+, this will bring up a keyboard.
There are over 250 paint brushes available to you in PicsPlay Pro. They include solid colors, patterns, hearts, stars, flowers, snowflakes and paw prints. To apply any of the effects tap on the first tab, select the design you want, choose your brush size and start painting.
Inside stamp you can add fun stickers, text and clips from another image.
Inside of Texture you are able to add Bokah effects as well other types of over lays. There are 31 to choose from.
24 types of vignetting are available. You are able to adjust the size, color and placement of the effect.
33 types of borders are available. You can adjust the thickness of the border and the roundness of the border. Remember that the thicker and rounder you make the border, the less of your image will be seen.
The final tab is where you save your image. Tapping the disk icon will open a new screen. As you can see, there is no shortage of sharing options. You can share to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Flickr or send your finalized image to another app.
PicsPlay Pro is full of features for the novice or pro photographer. This single app has the ability to replace many others. There is a full range of tools available and plenty of options for sharing. Every app has a few things missing. I have noticed that the app is a little slow when snapping a picture. If your subject moves, then the image will be blurry. You are better off taking a picture with the default app or editing one already on your device. When placing text on your image, there are no alignment guidelines to make sure the text is centered. Another shortcoming is the lack of a sharpness brush and no ability to select a white area from the image to adjust white balance. Even with these minor features missing, the app is a must have. Hopefully the developer can fix these in the next release. PicsPlay Pro is currently on sale for $1.99 in the App Store (Normally $4.99) There is also a free version with ads and a limited feature set. So get downloading. Don't forget after you download and edit to share your image with The Snap Zone on Twitter to have it shared on the web site. Happy editing!!!