Photo editing apps are a dime-a-dozen, but instead of making quality more ubiquitous it’s actually made finding quality photo effects more difficult to find. Paint Fx, by Sprite Labs, bucks the trend by introducing useful new features and an incredibly simple user interface. Instead of finding an ever increasing level of difficulty as you use the app, you’re more likely to find yourself making multi-layer effects laden images in no time.
Paint Fx is already very popular on the iOS side of things, so you may already be familiar with the app if you own an apple device. This time the photo editor makes the move to Android, and it still does more than just apply filters, you also get effects, colors, fill and brush options.
When you open Paint Fx you’re first presented with a tutorial, in fact every time we opened the app the tutorial was activated. That’s not as annoying as it sounds since you can just get started and ignore the pop-up bubbles and then they stop trying to tell you how to proceed. Given that you never know who might be using the phone for photo effects it’s fairly effective at being helpful and unobtrusive. The first thing Paint Fx has you do is open an image to manipulate, and you can pull from your gallery or from Facebook.
Next you move on to the Fx button, which opens a dropdown menu of effects to choose from, and then you apply it directly to the image with a tap or swipe. The list is extensive, there are literally dozens of effects and filters to choose from, and you can either apply the effect in small doses with your finger or cover the whole image with a fill effect. One great feature is the addition of layers, something that the majority of other photo editing apps neglect. By adding layers you can combine and layer effects to make new and exciting looks that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. It makes the whole thing feel more professional and detail oriented.
The other buttons in the app allow you to choose the exact type of brush you want to be working with, from the sharpness of the edges to the size of the brush and even the opacity. It’s another nice touch that’s not seen often in competing apps of this nature. Forward and back buttons let you quickly move between decisions, and the pan and zoom options are equally intuitive. The brush effect you are using is always visible at the bottom of the screen, which can be handy if you’re quickly switching between multiple effects. Of course there’s the obligatory erase button as well, but be aware that if you’ve added a layer or multiple layers you may not be able to backtrack and erase an effect from earlier. A hugely helpful feature is the ‘Idea’ button, which takes you to the Facebook page for the app, where dozens of great ideas are showcased to help get your imaginative juices flowing.
The final step to your masterpiece is sharing it with the world, and Paint Fx helps you get it out there quickly. Just tap the ‘Share’ button in the top right corner to save to an album, upload to Facebook or to the Paint Fx community. It’s the simple culmination of a simple and fun process.
After playing around with several images it’s easy to recommend this app to anyone looking for a photo editor that’s full of features and easy to use. It doesn’t promise to replace your home photo editor, but it does everything it claims and it does it in a way that’s very enjoyable for the user.
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Paint Fx: Photo Effects Editor is available now in the Google Play Store. It is available for Android devices running 2.2 and up. The version reviewed was 1.0 and the download is 36MB. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this Android app review.