Editing pictures can be such a hassle, especially if you rely on a professional image editing app. While applications like Photoshop are great, they can be overkill when I just want to share my weekend photos from the beach. Still, I want those pictures to look good, or better than they do now, so I need an image editor that’s just enough for social sharing.
Polarfox may be that app. With some great presets and fun filters, image editing is easy while still making some great pictures. Integrated sharing lets me put all those pictures on display, too. But is this tiny image editor enough or will I end up wanting more?
Easy Image Editing
Polarfox, though quite a good looking app, doesn’t exactly point you to what you’re supposed to do. It’s really not immediately obvious how to open an image in Polarfox, and it took me a few tries of poking the up arrow icon to figure out the “upload to Polarfox” window I got meant that I was opening the image and not actually uploading anything anywhere after all.
Once you do have an image open, though, Polarfox is a pretty nifty, if not feature-rich, image editing application. The shapes that appear on the right side of the image once you’ve finally gotten it open are your editing tools. Less than tools, really, they’re presets. Click each preset to adjust the colors, brightness, contrast, etc., for your image. If you find a preset you like but it isn’t quite perfect, you can fine tune the image using the preset’s sliders.
Beneath the image presets are ten colorful filters named after world cities. Click a filter to apply it to your image. Again, each filter has a set of sliders you can use to adjust each attribute. There’s even a “filter strength” slider, which works more or less to tune the filter’s opacity. It’s a nice one to have so the filter doeesn’t overwhelm the underlying image.
That’s really all there is to image editing in Polarfox. You can’t crop or sharpen or adjust the noise. There’s definitely no opportunity to remove blemishes. That’s not the point of Polarfox; this app is just for some quick and fun image editing.
Saving Your Picture
You’ve gotten this really cool looking image, so now what do you do with it? Well, first, you can save it to your computer. The downwards pointing arrow on the left side gets you into the save menu. You’ll notice when I listed the things I said you can’t do, I didn’t say you can’t resize, and you’ll be able to resize in the save menu.
Your resize options are limited, though. There are really only four; you get the maximum, which seems to be the original image size, medium, small, and thumb. Depending on which size you choose, your image’s filename will have a suffix appended to help you keep them straight.
It’s good to note that Polarfox only saves in JPG format, no matter the file’s original format. So there won’t be any PNGs or GIFs coming out of Polarfox.
Polarfox has some really great sharing options, and sharing is probably the main reason for using an image editor of this kind. To get sharing, though, you’ll need to set up your sharing settings, first. You can get there by clicking on the gear icon and then selecting Upload Email Settings.
You won’t be logging in to your social networks via Polarfox, which is a pretty nice thing, actually. What you’ll do is paste your personal upload email for each service into the appropriate field. Remember, this is not your login email. Lots of services give you a randomized email address attached to their own domain and visible only to you. You can use this email address to upload or post to their site. This is what you’ll need to use.
If you don’t know what your email address is with each service or how to get it, Polarfox has you covered. Just click the service icon next to the email field, and the app will direct you to a mini tutorial with screenshots on how to get each email address. Once you’ve got them all entered, click save and get out of the settings.
Now you’re ready to click the sharing icon, the one that looks like a square speech bubble on the left side of the Polarfox workspace. Some services will allow a title, all allow a message, and some allow tags. If you’re not sure what the service you’re sharing to allows, click the message and quote icons in the Share window for a hint. When you’re ready to go, click on the sites you want to post your image to, and click Send.
Polarfox is a really great application for doing some quick, fun image edits before sharing the pictures on social networks. Once you’ve figured out what the icons mean, and it’s not obvious, there’s very little learning curve. Because you’re just going to be sharing these pictures with your friends, there’s nothing to lose, so it really is a lot of fun to play around with the different settings, and you can turn out a cool looking picture lickety split.
This isn’t going to be an app for everyone, though. My husband’s a professional graphic designer, and he’d laugh his face off at something like this, because he needs so much more than Polarfox can offer. To be honest, sometimes I do, too. But if I just want to get some pictures from last night at the club up on Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr, I don’t need all those extra features. Polarfox keeps social image editing from being a chore and makes sharing pictures really a fun thing to do again.