Developer: Kuan Yong
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
The first question I asked myself when I viewed PicTricks by Ziconic is what audience this app was intended for. Based on the juvenile photo-altering functions, I would have to guess this iPhone app was created for tweens and teens, most likely girls.
PicTricks has three image-processing functions. Instant Makeover allows the user to give a person’s photo a silly makeover with the addition of cartoonish wigs, glasses, facial hair and hats. While this is mildly entertaining, it is a brief pleasure. One only has so many photos of one’s best friend or ex, and whether he/she is wearing the “cheerleader” or “biblical” hairdo, it’s only good for one or two laughs before it gets uninteresting.
The face in the photo needs to be centered and facing the camera for the best alignment of the accessories, so choose a photo carefully. PicTricks automatically finds the parts of the face and adds the accessories. All you have to do is click a few buttons to pick your face and head décor.
The other two features on PicTricks are even less interesting. Magic Resize shrinks the images in your photo, making the people, buildings, and trees all skinny. It distorts the pictures like a fun house mirror, but frankly it is so subtle that you barely notice a difference. Magic Resize might only be useful for seeing what you would look like if you lost ten pounds. Maybe not the best influence for teenage girls.
Blue/Green Screen changes the background of your photo so you can insert yourself or your friends in a foreign landscape. The app offers only one stock background, a mountain. And the photo that you start with must show a person against a solid-colored background like a blue sky for this feature to function correctly. This transformation could be kind of fun, but you will probably need to take some new photos and background pictures. Also, if someone’s eyes match the background (blue eyes and blue sky, for example), their eye color will be filled with colors from the new scenery, leading to zombie-like results.
PicTricks allows you to save your rendered images which you can then import into iPhoto. I imagine you could use the goofy pictures to make homemade greeting cards or calendars. The current version of PicTricks has Valentine’s Day décor in the Instant Makeover, and 99 cents is not a bad price if you can get a few cards out of it. Otherwise, unless you are a teenage girl, skip PicTricks.