Aviary Goes HTML5 With Feather

Aviary is an Internet brand well known for its efforts to push the limits of web apps to make them look and function like a desktop app. They have web apps in almost all the verticals Adobe’s Creative Suite of apps operate. While all their apps require Adode Flash player be installed, their recently launched image editor was developed completely using HTML5—meaning no more pesky plugins.

On top of being open, Aviary helps you embed the image editor in your digital domain. If your website deals in images you now have a great online image editor at your disposal. Now, isn’t that awesome?




Last week, Aviary launched a super-simple and embeddable (Yes! Just like YouTube videos) HTML5 photo editor codenamed Feather. With the help of this new web app you can edit images from the Aviary website or, on the other hand, edit images right from your blog or website. Thanks to the openness of Feather, visitors of your site can fix and retouch their photos without ever leaving the site.

How Does It Work?

Feathers is featured in prime real estate of Aviary’s homepage and is hard to miss. Once you launch the app and upload an image, you will be taken to the HTML5 based image editor. Images can be uploaded from a URL too. The image editor opens up pretty quickly and is very light weight.

HTML5 Editor

HTML5 Editor

Standard image editing features like flip, resize, crop, redeye reduction etc. are available in the first set of tools. The second set of tools let you alter the brightness of the image, draw over it, add text and more. Feathers also has some funky photo effects—Instant, Toy Camera, Old Photo, and Retro—which give the image a cool Instagram effect.

Feathers is also open source, which means in addition to having the embed the code, you have the legal right to tweak the code to add functionality and host it on your own server.

Where Can It Be of Use?

Now, the first thing that comes to mind is how useful the embeddable image editor is going to be and where exactly it can serve the purpose. Foreseeing this question, the Aviary team put together a team of launch partners who’s already implemented the embeddable image editor in their websites.

Shopify Implementation

Shopify Implementation

Primary among them is the instant online store creator Shopify. From their perspective, Feathers “makes it really easy for people to experiment with different ways of showing off their products.” Consider mixing and matching a shirt before you make a purchase, if you will.

Or, if you are a freelance photographer selling stock images on your website, your customers can instantly edit and format them without having to own or launch a desktop app. In addition to the embed code, the image editor is available as a widget too.

Upcoming Features

Flash based Image Editor

Flash based Image Editor

It’s true that the app lacks a bit when it comes to its feature set and looks anemic when compared to Phoenix, the Flash based image editor, but the Aviary team promises that more features are on the horizon. Some features in the pipeline are:

  • Custom skins and themes (apply your own CSS design to Feather)
  • Additional editing tools
  • Open source code (host our editor on your own server and develop, edit, modify, and extend the functionality)
  • Statistics based on aggregate customer usage

All said and done, Aviary’s open source image editor is nothing short of excellent. If you are on an age old PC or a netbook that cannot handle the full fledged Flash based image editor, Feathers will fit the bill perfectly for a quick patchwork on your images.

Share Your Thoughts!

Do you like the concept of an embeddable image editor? Will it be of great use in your website? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section.


Add Yours
  • “no more pesky plugins” the author has the adacity to refer that to the Flash player, a technology years ahead of html5.

    To the author, When you have Html5 doing what flash is doing, say animation (one example) IT’S JITTERY!! Doesn’t smooth out. So with flash accessing you GPU… I’d like you to remember your quotes :)

    I really hope Steve Jobs war on Flash make developers more scarce in Actionscript. They know not what they do :)

    • Flash does have pesky aspects, just like any other technology. There are advantages to both technologies.

  • A 5 year old kid will know HTML, everybody knows HTML.

    Serious developers go Actionscript for Flash.

    • There’s more to web development than just HTML and serious developers don’t necessarily go AS. There are likely more “serious developers” handling HTML/CSS, JavaScript and a handful of programming languages (PHP, ASP, Ruby, etc) than AS.