Pixlr-o-matic is a tough one to say out loud. It’s a one-touch (well, three-touch) photo app that turns pictures into cool looking vintage images. Simply choose from one of the many retro film effects, add a lighting effect, then select a frame. There’s no editing or other adjustments, but the effects created are nicely rendered.

The new 1.1 update now supports full resolution saves and makes the app much more usable to a wider range of iPhoneographers.

The previous version of the app saved in medium resolution (barely) – 720×960 pixels and took a lot of heat in App Store reviews. The new update now supports full 5 MP resolution of the iPhone 4 and renders its pretty nice effects in full res.

Two of Pixlr-o-matic's effects with aberrations

Pixlr-o-matic renders a nice range of film effects from LOMO-style to black & white to cross-process. Colors are rich and there’s a big variety of effects. Some of the filters have some cool film and lens aberrations that might interest owners of other apps with similar effects. Many other apps render styles similar to these, but Pixlr-o-matic’s are very easy to create.

The app also features a ton of borders and lighting effects. The variety of lighting effects are cool, including some good ones that I haven’t seen in other apps. There’a selection of good borders and a minimal amount of cheesy ones – fewer than you’d expect.

The film effects are oddly named. They’re not named after the film style they emulate, they’re named after people – Sophia, Anne, Josh, etc. So, if you’re a friend of the developer and you’re named Peter, my guess is you like to cross-process your film. Amber seems aptly named, though.

None of the film and lighting effects are randomized like Hipstamatic’s are, but they look good nonetheless when applied. Many of the frames look like they were designed for square-format prints and become distorted when applied to a standard 4:3 image. Unfortunately, there is no built-in crop to square up your image.

Despite these issues, it’s not a bad app if you’re looking to start a more advanced camera bag than Instagram or Hipstamatic. Users of PictureShow, Cameramatic, and similar apps may already have these effects covered, but it’s even got some great filters and lighting effects to make it worth considering adding to your toolbox if you like what you see in the preview photos. This new update makes it a good app for a lot more users.

As of this writing, the app is FREE in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Pixlr-o-matic - Autodesk Inc.



UPDATE 08.13.11 @ 09:40: Where did I read that this app was $2? It looks like it’s still a free download. I’ve updated this post to reflect that. =M=