In this section we recall the apps that were particularly popular a few years ago and are no longer so. We have already reviewed the destination of PushBullet, AfterFocus, Sky Map and Word Lense among others and today it is the turn of Pixlr-o-matic.
Pixlr-o-matic first came to Android in 2011 and we’ve picked it up here in Engadget Android, describing it as “possibly the most comprehensive quick photo editing app.” What happened to him?
What was special?
Pixlr-o-matic first came to Android in 2011, at a time when other photo editors already existed in the Green Robot operating system, but they weren’t particularly notable for their quality or quantity of filters available. To give you an idea, Instagram won’t arrive on Android until a year later.
From today’s perspective, Pixlr-o-matic may seem a bit of an ordinary app, although the difference was in the execution: it contained many filters and effectsincluding countless frames and gave a different touch to some photos that at the time weren’t a big deal on their own. We are talking about the era of the Samsung Galaxy SII with an 8 megapixel sensor. And this in the highest range.
The grace was being able to retouch an image quickly, with many combinations at hand
By the way, at the time filters were very fashionableMaybe too much, to the point that some photos have been practically destroyed by the misuse of filters, frames and effects, but that’s another problem.
What was special about Pixlr-o-matic was basically that he had many eye-catching and easy-to-apply filters and effects. Also, since the color filters, light overlays, and the frames section were separate, you can combine them with different results.
What happened to Pixlr-o-matic?
Pixlr started life in 2008 as cloud image editing suite, making the jump to mobile a few years later. The mobile version was basically the same as the web: combining color effects, light overlays, and frames to breathe new life into boring photos.
The app got off to a good start and over the years it racked up a total of 10 million downloads, but basically stalled after its official release. The application, still available today on Google Play, it’s basically the same as eight years ago. In other words, there hasn’t been a lot of progress.
If you want to know what Pixlr-o-matic looked like in 2011, install it in 2021: it’s the same
Pixlr was acquired by Autodesk in 2011, which introduced it to Android phones, but didn’t develop the idea much. According to AppBrain, the app received two updates in 2011, six in 2012, and was not updated until 2014.
In 2017 changed hands again, acquired by image agency 123RF, which has pledged to “continue working on expanding Pixlr’s content library, ensuring communities continue to have access to new tools and content.” . However, since the purchase, the app has only been updated once.
All this change of hands and Pixlr-o-matic stays the same, for better or for worse. In fact, if you open the app on a current mobile, the first thing you will receive is a warning message that the app may not work properly. You can still use it by pressing Accept.
Otherwise, Pixlr-o-matic still works today, more or less. The default filters, effects and frames are still there and you can apply them like you did in 2011, although uploading new effects is more problematic. The system fails not much, but a lot. It will take a few tries to complete a download.
Therefore, we cannot say that Pixlr-o-matic is alive or dead, but rather frozen in time
We said in 2011 that it was “probably the most complete fast photo editing app”, but today the truth is that it hardly lives up to the editing function. image included in other more powerful applications.
Does it still make sense today?
Pixlr-o-matic was and is essentially an app for apply quick effects to images and give them a little more grace. This base is still as alive today as it was in the beginning, although during all these years the tendency to modify the images has shifted from the rear camera to the main camera, with countless effects and masks for our selfies.
There is always an interest in edit images with filtersAlthough the craze for filters like Instagram’s has waned a bit in recent years. Pixlr-o-matic has focused a lot on these filters, while today users are asking for more comprehensive photo editors that do this and a thousand other things. Quite simply, less Pixlr-o-matic and more Pixlr.
That said, given that Pixlr-o-matic has been stuck in time for almost 2011, it’s hard to imagine how it could have evolved and improved over the years. Its strong point was the speed and the simplicity to modify the photos, even if it is not very scalable. If you add a lot of stuff, it stops being quick and easy.