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PicsArt Photo Studio for iOS review: PicsArt has it all, but is it too much?

PicsArt Photo Studio has been a go-to photo editor on Android for some time. This update to the iOS version brings it to feature parity with the Android app, but the amount of features -- while useful -- can get overwhelming.

Jason Parker Senior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Jason Parker
2 min read

PicsArt Photo Studio is a popular, feature-rich photo editor that was formerly for Android phones only, but it's now available for iPhone.


PicsArt Photo Studio for iOS

The Good

<b>PicsArt Photo Studio</b> has an incredible amount of features to edit and add effects to your images. The app has its own community and you can share your images to popular social networks.

The Bad

Is it possible to have too many features? Maybe not, but the interface tends to get really crowded while using PicsArt.

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for the photo effects app that does it all, PicsArt Photo Studio might be right up your alley, but be warned that it can get a bit overwhelming.

There are several apps that let you add effects and edit your photos, but PicsArt Photo Studio does those things and quite a lot more. In fact this app has so many features it can get a little overwhelming -- particularly with the number of interface elements on the screen.

Like most photo effects apps, you can snap a new picture or pull one from your photo library. With an image onscreen, you can use the buttons on the bottom of the interface to play with the main features of the app. A tools button lets you do things like crop, rotate, and resize the image, with extra tools including one that lets you crop to a specific shape. You have another button for effects with several categories such as Artistic, Paper effects, ColorSplash, and simple color corrections. From there you can use the drawing button to draw on your image with a fully customizable paintbrush, add text, add shapes, and even overlay another photo on top of your original image. Next you can throw a mask on your image and add a frame. Finally, an Add button lets you add things like clip art, callouts, more frames, and text. Frankly, the number of things you can do with your images is exhaustive.

PicsArt fills your screen with useful controls (pictures)

See all photos

Having tons of features is a great thing, but with this app, I wonder when it becomes too much. In my testing, I sometimes noticed that my screen was being taken over by controls and sliders, all of which could be useful in specific situations. But maybe the problem I have with it is less about what the app can do than it is about the UI design. Whatever it is, there are moments where I think the controls are taking over my entire screen.

When you're done tweaking your image, you can send it over e-mail from within the app, or you can share with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, on Dropbox, or display for other users of PicsArt. The PicsArt community has thousands of images to explore, so it's a great place to browse if you're looking for new ideas. It also has the familiar like and comment buttons, and you can check out and follow specific users' images.

Overall, PicsArt Photo Studio gives you a ton of ways to play with your images, with tools to fit almost any situation. There's even more to download (such as free clip-art libraries) if you think you need more, but I think you'll find that PicsArt has quite a lot to work with straight out of the box. Anyone looking for a comprehensive photo editing and effects app should definitely give this app a try.


PicsArt Photo Studio for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 9Features 10Interface 6Performance 9