Pixlr-o-matic by Autodesk Inc. icon

Pixlr-o-matic (Free) by Autodesk Inc. is the latest offering in the retro-filter-effect photography genre. Truly, Pixlr-o-matic is high quality app, even worthy of being a paid app, but it’s free. Not only that, but it’s universal, so it works beautifully on any iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad operating on iOS 4.0 or later.

Pixlr-o-matic by Autodesk Inc. screenshot

Pixlr-o-matic is extremely easy to use, with an intuitive UI. Start by snapping a photo within the app, or pulling one from your photo library. Since you do have that option, you don’t even need to have an iDevice with a camera. Personally, I never use the in-app shooting option; if you do, then you have to make a decision whether to use the photo you’ve just taken or re-take right away. I prefer to take photos in other apps, save the ones I like to my camera roll, and select a photo for editing from there at my leisure.

Anyway, once you have secured a photo, the fun begins! First, tap the film roll icon to choose a film. Each “film” has a name, a person name, including one named after me! Purely coincidental, perhaps. But there I am, right in between Ivan and Amber (though I’d rather have been placed between Hagrid and Harry). But I digress. There are 25 films from which to choose, ranging from black & white and sepia to lomo and various rainbow effects, plus artistic blurring and many others. Unlike many other apps of this nature, you can preview each effect as a thumbnail before you choose it.

Now, tap the lightbulb icon. This gives you 30 different light effects, such as Divine (rays of light from above!), Burn, Scratches, Kryptonite, Leak, Glitter, and many other creative options. Some are a bit cheesy (yes, Glitter, I’m talking to you) but quite of few of them are really quite interesting.

Next, you’ll want to frame your bit of loveliness. Here you’ll find 31 different frames, like Wispy, Rustic, Smoke, Flowery, Dirt, and so on.

Once your masterpiece is complete, you’ll want to save it, of course. Tap the disk icon and you’ll be given the option to save to your photo library, Facebook, or lmm.io (their proprietary photo-sharing site).

Even though this app is barely a week old, the developer has already released an update to address the oft-repeated complaint, low resolution photos. Now, in version 1.1, the app saves your photos in high resolution! I can’t think of many negative things to say about Pixlr-o-matic. If I had to pick at something: processing is just a smidgeon slow, slower than in other apps I’ve used. Still, it’s an excellent app. It’s free, but I can’t figure out why or how — I did not come across any ads or nag screens to buy something or upgrade in-app. If you have any interest at all in iPhoneography or artful photography editing, all I can tell you is: download this app!