Picfx for iOS review: Picfx makes filters the central focus

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good PicFX is a great option for adding effects, then layering them for some really cool results. The interface is very easy to use.

The Bad The app crashes when trying to open an image in another app (but works with Instagram). There are no basic editing tools.

The Bottom Line Despite some minor issues, Picfx is a great app for adding effects to your images. It offers a simple way to browse effects from multiple categories and lets you stack effects and styles to give you a large number of possibilities.

$1.99

8.1 Overall
  • Installation and Setup 9.0
  • Features and Support 8.0
  • Interface 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

Picfx lets you play around with over 100 different effects and 13 different styles to tweak your images and lets you layer effects for virtually limitless possibilities.

Like most image manipulation apps, you can snap a fresh photo with your iPhone camera or import a picture from your photo library. Across the bottom of the screen are icons of leather-bound books, each of which has a bunch of effects by category. The categories are broken up into Grunge, Classics, Textures, Frames, and several others. Once you've selected or taken a photo, the interface layout makes it easy to pick an effect from each category by swiping to browse and then tapping the effect you want.

To add more options to the mix, you can also add a style at any time in the process. To add a premade style, touch the paint brush button to bring up a dial that lets you choose options like Black & White, Sepia, or Warm styles. But Picfx doesn't stop there. There's also a layer tool that lets you add layers so you can mix multiple effects. Stacking both effects and styles gives you unlimited combinations to experiment with.

What sets Picfx apart from the other apps in this genre are the ultrarealistic textures you can apply to your photos. One called peeled paint looks very realistic, or in the Space category, there are interesting effects like Nebula that add a ghostly space scene. Though they may sound kind of superficial, when I started combining them with other effects, the app produced great results.

Picfx is great for the way it lets you add effects, but it's not perfect. The app doesn't have basic image-editing tools for fine-tuning photos (such as brightness, contrast, red-eye, etc.), relying only on effects to bring out the tonal quality of images. An issue I experienced was when I tried to open an image in another app. Picfx has the option to "Open with..." but it crashes the app when you select it. Oddly, opening a Picfx image in Instagram was no problem.

Despite some minor issues, Picfx is a great app for adding effects to your images that you can share on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr or through e-mail. It has a simple way to browse effects from multiple categories and lets you stack effects and styles to give you a large number of possibilities.

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