For the past year or so I had been using Picnik (a free web-based photo editor) to edit my pictures. I really liked it because it had a nice range of basic edits with a few intermediate ones thrown in there too (and some advanced features if you paid for a Premium membership). The interface was nice and easy to use* and I had come to rely on it.
Apparently the almighty Google owns Picnik and they decided to shut it down in mid-April. They are planning to roll some of the photo editing features Picnik offered into Google+. I’m not a huge fan of this option. I have a Google+ profile, but I don’t post there, nor do I upload my pictures to this site. I’d rather have a photo editor that is separate from social media. I don’t need to post ALL of my photos.
I have an older copy of Adobe Photoshop that I do use for photo editing. I only know how to use probably 10% of this program and the learning curve is steep. I find it useful for things like using the clone stamp to edit things out of photos, or using the selection tools to work with one part of a photo, or for layering images together. I don’t really like this program for basic cropping, red eye removal, and color balance/exposure changes. Certainly, you can do all of those things with Photoshop, but using Photoshop for basic cropping is overkill, in my opinion.
So I went in search of an alternative to my beloved Picnik. The first possibility I tried was Adobe Photoshop Express (free, web-based). I liked this program. The interface is clean and clear and easy to use* and it offered all of the features I was used to using with Picnik. I particularly liked that its Auto Correct option came with choices (choose from 5 different auto-corrections, with previews). The down side is that it’s SLOW. The first time I tried it I ended up getting so frustrated with the lag time that I had to just quit for the night. I’ve given it another couple of tries and it’s still kind of slow. I have zero patience for slow-running programs so I will probably not use this one again.
The next option I tried was Pixlr Express. The interface is okay on this one – I don’t like it as much as Picnik’s or PS Express. I am not a fan of the crop utility. I have yet to figure out how to crop a picture with into a portrait orientation. But it does have a lot of fun features – text, stickers, borders, etc – and it ran without any lag time.
The third option I tried was something I saw mentioned on one of my message boards – iPiccy. Ding ding ding – we have a winner! iPiccy’s interface* is virtually identical to Picnik’s so it’s very familiar to me. It appears to have all of the same options, plus quite a few that were Premium options on Picnik but are free on iPiccy. I haven’t explored all of the options yet (nor did I explore all of Picnik’s options), but I am very happy to have found a new (and maybe better) photo editor to work with!
*Note: I design web screens and user interfaces for a living. If a program has an interface that isn’t clean and user-friendly, it’s a huge pet peeve of mine!