iPhone users around the world love Instagram – the photo sharing app that allows you to add cool effects to your pictures before showing them off to the world. The effects modify the colors, mood and tonality of your photos and can also add borders, making them look much better than what your phone’s stock camera app can shoot. Instagram’s filters can also be applied to pictures you’ve already shot, and finally, every photo you edit can be shared easily on Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. Now wouldn’t it be great if there was something like this for the web?
Picfull has got you covered. It’s a simple free app that lets you apply filters to your photos and share them with friends and family quickly and easily. It’s a breeze to learn to use and has a number of nice effects and editable parameters to tweak your pictures till you get the desired look. The effects available are comparable to Instagram and you don’t need any prior experience working with photos to use it. Is this how you’ll be sharing your photos from now on? Let’s find out.
Picfull allows you to upload any photo from your desktop, apply multiple filters to them and then share them online or save them to your computer. The app is beautifully designed and extremely usable – everything from the large buttons to the UI detailing to the helpful copy is very well-executed. You don’t even need to register to use it – just upload a photo to get started!
To begin using Picfull, simply visit the site and upload a photo from your computer. The app’s interface consists of a preview pane on the right and an effects pane on the left. Your uploaded photo will appear in the preview pane and you can see how various effects look as you apply them and change parameters for each. Amazingly, your photo will show up in the preview pane almost instantly, much faster than most online photo apps.
To apply an effect, simply select on from the list on the left and play around with the parameters below. There are presently 18 different effects with which to tweak your photos with and each effect has a thumbnail alongside that shows what the effect is like. The default filters typically look great by default, but if you want to tweak them, you can get a vast arrange of effects quickly.
Of all the effects, the ones I liked most were Vintage Dark, Colored Dots, Yellowed, Vintage, Sepia and Posterizer. I highly recommend trying out every filter to find your favorites, and giving the parameter sliders a workout. With Vintage, Yellowed and Vintage Dark, you can give your shots a lovely retro look, while controlling the strength of colors and contrast by playing around with the settings. Colored Dots applies a cool halftone effect, a hark back to the old days of screen printing. You can choose the colors to be used for the dots and the background and choose the amount of detail and the size of the dots. Simpler photos with minimal clutter work well with this. The Sepia effect of course gives your photos that Sepia look – but you can also turn them into black and white pictures by using an Amount setting of 1. The Posterizer effect gives your shots that Obama poster look with the default colors but you can be creative and try out your own color schemes – I cheated and mimicked some from ColourLovers and got very nice results!
One of the nice things about Picfull is that you can add multiple effects to a photo, which means that you have an infinite number of effects at your disposal. I liked applying the Posterizer with a high-contrast pallette and then toning things down with the Sepia effect on top. Or turn your shot into a vintage stamp with the Color Stains effect and then the Line Coloring effect after that. You can always undo all the effects you’ve used if you want to try a different effect or start over.
Once you’re finished, you can save your work and then choose to share the image online or download it to your computer. You can share the image on Facebook or Twitter, or even email it (while manually entering or importing contacts from Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail and AOL) right from Picfull’s interface.
Picfull is a brilliant little app that does exactly what it claims to and does it very well indeed. The app looks great, is a joy to play with and keeps things simple so anyone can use it. It’s great that such a service is available for free. There are a few clues on the site (the email newsletter sign-up copy and the Effects being in a collapsible menu) which hint that more features and filters may be added in the future. My wish list for Picfull v2.0 includes:
- Batch editing
- Sharing to more services like Picasa, Google+ and Flickr
- Importing photos from the web and online photo storage accounts
- More filters and borders
Even without my overzealous demands, Picfull is a gem of an app. Gather all your old photos and give them a new life with Picfull today!