As Web-based apps gain greater and greater acceptance, especially for casual use, many of the applications we previously considered “must haves” for new computers may just become specialized tools for those with specialized needs.
One important area where expensive, downloadable software is losing ground, especially among users with limited needs, is in image editing. Though the power of Photoshop is still undeniable, casual users without specific needs have long since been taking up free alternatives such as Paint.net.
But now bloggers have another alternative. Web apps have been increasing in power, speed and usability, making them a more and more appealing alternative to downloadable software.
If you’re eager to try your hand at online image editing, here are five sites to consider as you look to get your next image editing project under way.
With a clean interface, powerful filters, brushes, the ability to edit layers and a slew of adjustment options, Pixlr has all of the features one might expect from a more advanced photo editing package in a free, online tool with no registration required.
Similar to Pixlr both in features and in interface, Sumo Paint has filters, brushes, layers and more in a snappy Web app that can be loaded without registration. However, registering with Sumo Paint gives you the benefit of saving files to the cloud. Also, a pro version is offered for about $25 that allows offline access to the app.
Though not quite as powerful as Plxlr or Sumo Paint and using some confusing terminology, Phoenix still has most of the features one would need and, perhaps most importantly, is part of a much larger app suite that includes screen capture, audio editing, vector editing, markup and much more.
Registration is not required though registering will let you save, publish and embed images from the Web. May be a compelling alternative for those seeking more than just a Photoshop replacement.
Though Picnik may not overwhelm with its feature set, its simplicity makes it approachable by almost anyone. Picnik isn’t for robust image editing, but rather for touching up photos. Picnik makes it easy to do things such as balance a photo, remove red eye and crop.
Picnik doesn’t require registration to use it, but a free account makes it possible to save photos to the Web. Also, paid accounts offer additional filters and features for a few dollars per month.
Finally, no Photo editor discussion would be complete without looking at Adobe’s offering, Photoshop Express. Registration is not required, though highly encouraged, and PE is primarily a photo editor much like Picnik, meant to be used for making basic adjustments. However, the interface is easily one of the most attractive and snappiest available.
As great as these five services are, there are literally dozens out there to choose from as countless developers have risen up to try and create Web-based photo editors that are both practical and convenient.
If you are only a casual user of photo editing software, you may want to look at these options and others to see if they can fill your need. You may find it faster, more convenient and more useful than any downloadable option.
This guest post is brought to you by Lior Levin who is a marketing consultant for iAdvize, a live chat support software company.