Pixlr has been available as a web version and application for Android and iOS for quite some time. It is a popular application judging by the ratings that it has received by users that can be used to manipulate photos in several ways directly on the phone or web.
This includes among other things options to add effects to the photos or to create collages with just a few clicks.
Pixlr for desktop has been released a couple of days ago bringing the functionality to Windows and Mac desktop systems.
You need to start the program manually after you have downloaded and installed it on a Windows system. The interface itself looks similar to other photo editing programs for the operating system on first glance but instead of displaying a bunch of editing tools on the left, it displays mostly effect tools there that you can apply to the image.
There are still editing options available, for instance to resize or crop the image, or to refine the contrast of it, but the majority of options displayed here are effect-type of modifications.
Most filters work by selecting a tool category first and then one of the filters displayed here. Once done, another subset of filters is displayed that you use to pick one.
Basic controls, usually to change the opacity of the filter, are displayed here as well.
You will notice a download icon attached to some filters. This indicates that the filter set needs to be downloaded from the Internet before it becomes available. This is an automated process on the other hand and you will only notice a slight delay before they become available.
As far as filters go, there are many available especially if you take the subsets into account.
Besides effects, it is also making available a set of stickers -- read clipart -- that you can apply to the image. From cute little monkeys and kitten to tattoos, zodiac symbols or symbols.
The type tool can be used to add text to the photo. Here you select the font type, size and formatting for the text. Note that you can add more than one text to the image using different font settings.
A Pro version is available as well which improves the program significantly. It enables you to select parts of the photo that you can apply enhancements to which you cannot do in the free version as it is limited to all or nothing.
This is called influence masks by the developer.
If you are looking for a desktop program that you can use to apply Instagram-like filters to photos, then Pixlr may be worth a shot.
If you require a full photo editing software, then it is not. It is also not really suitable for basic image editing tasks like resize if you have to perform those regularly on the system. While it does the job, it is not starting up fast enough for that.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.