Jan 26, 2012
It’s been many years since “photoshop” became both a verb and a household name. It no longer really belongs to Adobe, instead it belongs to people who need a quick and simple word to describe what they’ve been doing to photos of cats. So it’s very difficult not to think of Pho.to as a “photoshop app”. But then again, is it really so bad to compare the two? Pho.to is but a humble offering in the vast field of photo editing apps, and yet it is very strong in its own right and can definitely hold its own compared to its predecessor.
What the developers of Pho.to have done is distill a lot of the features that make other, more specific photo-editing apps popular, into one sort of general grouping of all possible edits someone could want to make. There are some funny frames, and some artists effects, the option to turn a person into a monster or an animal. But they have also given themselves free creative reign and every two weeks will produce a new photo effect that is always one level weirder/funnier than the last.
Editing the photos is wonderfully simple – the user selects an effect, and then can choose a photo from their gallery, or from a selection of previously-used photos. This is brilliant, because users don’t have to keep hunting through the menus to get back to the image they want to use. The app allows the photo to be cropped so that only the most relevant sections of it are used, and then it does all the work. It actually does a very methodical job of rendering the original image into the new setting. Each time I ran a picture through it I was impressed (or amused). And once the photos are finished there are options to save it to the phone’s gallery, or to export it in whatever manners the phone is capable of.
I applaud the ingenuity of the effects developers. Every two weeks they produce something new to entertain their audience. I do wonder how long they can keep up the stream of effects, but so far they haven’t slowed down. The editing and finals products are all quality work and I have been amusing myself with different hilarious images for days.
What I find unfortunate in the sharing aspect is that users can’t simply email a copy of the image to someone. Instead it gets hosted on Pho.to’s website, and it produces a link to the webspace. It’s just a little disappointing that there is what I believe to be an unnecessary step between my friends and my hilarious photos.