Picas App Review

We live in a world of filters and photoshop. It’s rare that we see actual art, yet there are thousands of apps and filters that are designed to make our photos look like paintings or drawings. Needless to say, not all of them are created equal. And, to be honest, for a long time I was really skeptical of them.

I was approached about a month ago by a representative of IObit, requesting that I give their app, Picas, a go. In order to get a better grasp of how the app functioned and felt, I was also provided with a special code that gave me a month of access to the premium features that they offer.

Picas- Free Art Photo Editor

Picas is a free art photo editor. It can turn every your photo into artworks! With deep neural networks and artificial intelligence, Picas offers variety of different effects, filters and styles for enhancing pictures. Picas easily allows you to share your artworks on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or simply save to albums to use where you like.

Have you ever imagined that Picasso would paint you a portrait? Or Van Gogh paint Manhattan as starry night?

Picas helps you create artworks easier than ever!

The general idea behind Picas is to make photos that you take on your phone appear as though someone has drawn or painted them in some sort of way, giving selfies a whole new look.

Here’s a listing of all of the features mentioned in the app description:

What makes Picas outstanding:

  • Be an artist and create artworks for daily life
  • Deep AI and neural network algorithm integrated
  • 100 more creative and fantasticย artistic filters
  • Free to crop and fine tune the intensity of filters
  • Super fast photo processing
  • Clean UI easy to use and share

With VIP subscription you can:

  • Create HD images unlimitedly
  • Enjoy 10 exclusive art filters per month
  • Enjoy thunder speed processing photo
  • No watermark
  • No ads

Pretty neat huh? Using AI to help make your photos look like actual art? How cool is that?! If you want access to the VIP/Premium features like no ads or watermarks, there’s a $9.99 charge. For the sake of this post I left the Picas watermarks on the photos. I unfortunately don’t remember the names of the filters I used…but they’re all fairly straightforward.

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The filter above turned my selfie look almost like a painting…see those “brushstrokes”? I makes me wonder how it would look if it was printed onto canvas…idea maybe? We’ll see. The great thing is you can adjust how strongly you want your chosen filter to be applied, which I had to adjust on the images in this post. Some of the filters come on a little too strongly, but depending on your preferences full filter could be exactly what you need.

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It was interesting to play around with the different filters, from ones that looked like sketches, watercolor, to this one above that made the photo of Harli look like it she was painted in some modern art style or recreated in a digital program. (I kinda want to get this one framed, it’s so interesting looking!)

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Obviously Picas works well on both people and pets, but places too! Ya’ll know I have a certain fondness for the Japan section in Epcot, I can almost never resist taking a new photo of the buildings every time I go. The filter I used on this picture made it look like it might belong on a Japanese tapestry….maybe ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what’s the verdict? What did this geek think of the Picas app?

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Overall, it’s a great app. It handles photos really well, and there are quite a few neat filters to use and play around with. It does take a little playing around with to really get the feel of the app, and to get a grasp of what pictures are best to use with certain filters. For example, the cartoony/modern art filter I used on Harli looked suuuuper wonky on both my selfie and the Japanese landscape regardless of how much I toned down the filter.

It is definitely what I would call an “acquired taste” kind of app. You wouldn’t think that it’s that big of a deal, but once you get into it the appeal definitely becomes a little infectious. The only thing I wish I could do is mix different filters on the same photo at the same time. Sure, you could put a filter on a picture, save it, and then apply a new filter on top, but that takes a little too much time.

All in all, Picas is a fun and quirky app. While it takes some getting used to, once you know how it works it’s almost addictive. You guys should definitely check it out! You can :click here for the iTunes download: or :click here for the Google download: ! โค

Have a great weekend loves!

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*I am not affiliated with IObit, nor am I receiving compensation for writing this 100% honest review*ย 

Adobe Spark Post App Review

~I am not affiliated with Adobe, nor am I receiving any form of compensation for writing this post~

As a blogger, I’m always on the lookout for things that can make making posts both fun and easy for me. I’m also almost always on the go, so being able to create image content for my posts while traveling is important. A little while ago I discovered the Adobe Spark Post App. Not only is it free, but it makes creating blog images sooooo easy to do.

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I don’t use this as an image editing application, as it’s not what it was designed for. Spark Post is meant to transform basic images into content photos that you can use on your blog, then easily reformat to fit instagram, pinterest, facebook and more.

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Spark Post provides you with multiple pre-made themes to choose from, all of which you can tweak as you need, be it the color scheme, font, or text layout. Just pick one and you’re on your way to making a great header image.

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The app also makes playing with typography super easy for those of us who are less than awesome at it. Just drag the corners of the text boxes around and the text will move and fit to make anything look amazing. You can choose from a variety of border shapes to go with the text, adjust the text alignment, pick from a multitude of fonts to go with your theme, play with the opacity levels and even the spacing!

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And on top of all of those neat features to play with on your images – Spark Post provides you with tons of pre-made designs to choose from to play with or give you inspiration. Need a basic background image? They’ve also provided you with a large library of free-to-use images. I’ve taken advantage of this feature multiple times to create images for my QOTW, like this Peter Pan inspired post

to live would be an awfully big adventure

And you can decide to just use a plain color background for more simplicity, like I used here –

every-day-is-a-new-adventure

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You can even use Spark Post to make your designs move in a video-like post, which is one feature I’ve yet to experiment with.

This app is wonderful and amazing and the fact that it’s free to use is incredible. It’s made it so much easier to bring you guys fresh takes on quotes for my QOTW posts, and I can’t wait to start using it in more situations.

My overall rating?

five(5)

5 Stars for sure! The uses for Adobe Spark Post are endless, and so far it’s inspired me to create some pretty nice pieces.

Have you guys tried this app out? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

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~all app display images are from the iTunes Application Store~

 

 

iOS 7, Here We Come!

this is not a sponsored post. I was not offered any form of compensation to write this. all thoughts and opinions are my own*ย 

I think it’s safe to say that I’m a huge Apple fangirl. I love Apple products. Every product I’ve owned has worked so wonderfully and just makes it a joy to use, even for daily and mundane tasks like basic office work. Heck, I loved my iMac at work so much that I invested in one for myself at home. And while I don’t consider myself a “hardcore” Apple fan-girl (I don’t have the urge to buy every single new product they push out, however awesome they may be – my iPad 2 works just fine), I’m always excited to see their newest pieces of technologic goodness. Like the to-be-released-tomorrow iOS 7. I’m totally psyched for it. It looks so clean, functional, minimal, and deliciously pretty (yeah, I’m kinda shallow in that way), and much more Apple-Like (sorry Steve Jobs). I think it’s about time that they updated the look of their products on-screen to match the sleekness of their physical forms. Here’s a rundown of what I’m looking forward to (and will be ready to download first thing tomorrow) in iOS 7:

#1 Gorgeous New Design

Something about how the new iOS looks just screams “APPLE” to me. Perhaps it’s the clean lines and graphics. Or the transparency of things like the notification center and keyboards. Or maybe it’s how 3-Dimensional it seems. I think a lot of it is how much brighter and cleaner and more colorful it seems. More modern and well…Apple-y.

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#2 Super-cool Features (woot!)

Nothing makes my geeky heart happier than when given even more neat features to use and take advantage of. Even better is when these new features makes my Apple products more functional for me to use, and more fun. Like the improved Control Center; all of the basics just a swipe away. Music, brightness, wi-fi, calculator, camera. Oh, and a flashlight. The new iOS makes multi-tasking even nicer and easier. It will learn when you like to use certain apps; so if you look at your social apps at 9, it will make sure that your social feed is updated by then.

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#3 iTunes Radio

Hello iTunes Radio, Goodbye Pandora. I think that this will likely put Pandora Radio out of business. Because iTunes Radio is basically like Pandora, except you can add a song to a “wish list” on iTunes or purchase it directly in the app. You can also see a history of songs you’ve heard from iTunes Radio, so if you hear a song you like but can’t remember the name, all you have to do is check your history.

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#4 Siri

As of now I have an iPhone 4. No Siri. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I’m planning on upgrading to an iPhone 5S so…. ๐Ÿ™‚ Siri will be even more functional and capable of helping you. From returning calls, controlling iTunes Radio, and even referencing online resources like Wikipedia to answer your questions. Not to mention that Siri will sound more human than ever (also available will be a male voice).

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Granted, the iPhone 5S will help iOS 7 be even more functional than if you ran it on, say an iPhone 4 or 4S. But it will still be a huge change for Apple…a change that I’m very much looking forward to.

Here’s a list of what products iOS 7 will be compatible with:

  • iPhone 4 and up
  • iPod Touch 5th generation 16 GB + iPod Touch 5th generation 32 GB / 64 GB
  • iPad 2 and up

Keep a look out for a “First Impressions” post on the new iOS by the end of the week!

till next post, Katie

*for more information, visit my Disclosure + Policies page.

Review: Griffin Tech Pencil Stylus

items in this post were purchased by me to use and review*

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a sucker for anything for my iPad. From cases to stylus’, I’m all over that. So, whilst perusing my local Target last Friday with the one and only BF, my eye caught a glimpse of this adorable little bugger. That’s right everyone, I’m here to introduce to you the Griffin Technologies Pencil Stylus.

in_paper

Ta Da!!! Cute eh? I’m just sitting here fawning over it. ^_^ BF of course, who doesn’t understand my love for iPad’s and their accessories, thinks I’m crazy. But, to each her own I say. I went ahead and used my favorite note-taking app (Noteshelf, I love love LOVE this app, I’ll have to do a review at some point in time) to test it out…

griffin_tech_pencil_stylus

And for those who can’t read my handwriting (I’m sorry):

The first thing to note is how very pencil-like the stylus feels. It is a good length and has about the same in-hand weight as a real #2 pencil. The stylus writes smoothly, though you need to hold it fairly up-right, otherwise it won’t write very well. This is fine for me, as it fits my writing style just fine. For those that hold their pencil at more of an angle however, this could be a bit problematic.

I found it stood up well when signing my name, which is always a good thing. The Griffin Pencil Stylus is just a tad bit shorter than your average un-sharpened #2, but this helps determine your stylus from a real pencil. I found that it was much more comfortable to hold when writing due to it’s longer length, something that my Bamboo stylus was lacking a good inch of.

comparison[edit]

I would definitely recommend that you don’t leave this lying around anywhere though. Especially in a classroom setting. Anyone desperate for a pencil will see yours and just *yoink* what they think is an innocent and unguarded pencil. This isn’t exactly a cheap “pencil” either, cashing in at $17 from Target.

Conclusion:

The Griffin Technologies Pencil Stylus is perfect for anyone that is looking for a longer stylus to use when taking notes on their iProducts. Though I wouldn’t recommend using it for playing games, it’s great for when you need to jot something down in class. This faux pencil would look fantastic when paired with an iPad dressed (yes, I said dressed) in a Composition notebook cover.

The Beautiful Geek Rating: 5 of 5 stars

five(5)

 

 

 

 

I love using this stylus, and I hope you will too! I’ll see you this Friday for another Pins of the Week (I promise I’ll post one lol). Now for a quick little question: What is your favorite stylus to use? Bamboo? Jot? Leave a comment down below!

Also, for anyone who’s wondering, the app I was using in the first image of the post is called Paper. It’s a fantastic art app, and I love using it for on-the-go sketching and doodling. Hmm…well there’s another idea for a post. ๐Ÿ˜€

till next post, Katie

 

*for more information, visit my Disclosure + Policies page.ย 

Review: The Olloclip {Warning! Photo-Heavy Post!}

Last week I mentioned the Olloclip in my post about why ThinkGeek is awesome. So this week, I’m here with a review on said item.

items in this post were purchased by me to use and review*

pouch[edit]

“The olloclip is a quick-connect lens solution for the iPhone-now available for the iPhone 5.

The olloclip gives you three lenses in one-in a quick-connect solution that enhances your iPhone photography. Plus it works with all your favorite apps.

  • Attach or remove the lens in seconds
  • Fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lens
  • Microfiber carry case doubles as a lens cleaner
  • Works with all your favorite apps!”**

The olloclip is an amazing little device, so much potential in such tiny little space. All you have to do is slip it on to your iPhone over the rear facing camera lens and-voila! You now have a wide-angle lens….

wide_angle_lens[edit]

This is great for photographing large subjects, such as the tree pictured below. It lets you get as much of your subject into the shot as possible.

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Unscrew the wide-angle lens and the macro lens is revealed, allowing you to take awesomely detailed photos(approximately a 10x magnification)…

macro_lens[edit]

This is the lens that I pretty much bought the olloclip for. Since I do nail art I wanted to get up close and detailed shots of my designs, but with the iPhone’s camera it’s just not possible. I haven’t tested it out on any nail art, but it has proven useful when swatching some new polishes (to be reviewed soon, and posted on my polish collection site ย as well). I’ve also been able to use it for photographing my Warhammer 40k figures, which are roughly 1.4 inches in height. I’ll also be posting photos of a finished Dark Eldar troop I just completed. It took absolutely forever…. O.O lol. Anyways, back to the olloclip. ๐Ÿ™‚

macro_compare_edit

Turn this little baby around and you’ve got an instant fisheye lens, giving you a great 180 degree field-of-view…

fisheye_lens[edit]

I quite like using this lens, as it gives your images a pretty cool effect. It lets you get as much as possible into your shot, without having to back away from your subject too much. This would be useful for photographing rooms, I imagine.

fisheye_compare_edit

The lenses have proven to be made of quality materials, though I would expect nothing less from a $70 item. They come with rubber lens covers that fit snugly over the lens. It also comes with a rubber insert adapter for the iPod Touch. One of the awesome things about the olloclip is how small it is. It can easily fit into your pocket (and lens_covers[edit]that’s saying something, considering women’s pockets are much MUCH smaller than men’s pockets), and as long as you don’t put it in your back pocket and sit on it, it should be fairly safe (no guarantees here). The olloclip itself fits snugly onto my iPhone, so I know it won’t just fall off when in use. When I’m not using my olloclip, I simply put the lens covers back on and put it back in its microfiber bag. Unfortunately, you do ย have to use your iPhone naked when using the olloclip, so every time I want to use the lens I have to take off my Griffin Tech case. But I rarely use the olloclip away from home, and I hardly ever drop it at all (watch me drop it today lol), so I’m not too concerned with the safety issues. Not to mention that technically the iPhone is supposedly built to be able to withstand the occasional drop. I also noticed that I had to remove the screen protector from my phone, which stinks, since I had just put on a brand new one…and the olloclip ended up bending the screen protector…*sigh*. But it could be different depending on the thickness of the screen protector. Regardless, I have gone the past month or so without a screen protector and just my case, which is nothing special; just a rubbery bumper with a clear plastic backing. But it gives me a little bit of extra security. I can say that clumsy me dropped a pen on my naked iPhone screen and, well…..no scratches! ๐Ÿ™‚ Granted, I am always really careful with my things.

So, to sum it up, if you drop your phone a lot or you just can’t stand the thought of your iPhone/iPod Touch being without a screen protector and/or case, this product may not be for you. I have noticed though, that Olloclip has released a case specifically designed for use with the olloclip. All you have to do is snap it on, and it features a bit of plastic that rotates away from the camera area where you need to put your olloclip. I’m planning on purchasing this soon, so I don’t have to keep removing my case, I’m hoping this will encourage me to take more photos with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Conclusion:scale[edit]

The olloclip is a truly genius piece of equipment, perfect for anyone that likes to take photos but doesn’t want to lug around a giant camera and different lenses. And, for those of us that have had their iPhones for a while and don’t currently have a quality camera to use, the olloclip is a reasonably priced way to get some of the same benefits of having a true blue camera without having to shell out nearly $270(the price of the currently best-rated point and shoot camera at Best Buy, the Samsung WB800F). So, by purchasing an olloclip rather than a new camera, you’re saving roughly $200.

As far as the issue of not being able to use the olloclip with a case or screen protector on, it’s not that huge of a deal for me to make a difference in my opinion of the product. I know I’m careful with my iPhone, so I’m not afraid of dropping and breaking it. Though, I wouldn’t put the same trust into someone else, just because that’s how I am.

The Beauty Geek Rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Pros:

  • compact
  • 3-in-1
  • snug fit
  • easily fits into pockets
  • doesn’t scratch iPhone

Cons:

  • iPhone case must be removed before using
  • can’t be used with a screen protector

Thanks again for stoping by! What do you guys use to take pictures for your blog? Leave your answers in the comments section below!

till next post, Katie

*for more information, visit my Disclosure + Policies page

**from the Olloclip Website