Critics might disagree on just how good or bad Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is, but most of them agree that one of the highlights of the OS was its Fresh Paint app, which made making pictures a whole lot of fun on touchscreens. Well, a version of the app has now arrived on Windows Phone and is available for free download.
At 22 MB, Fresh Paint is not exactly lightweight, but once it installs, you do get a decent dollop for any bandwidth cost you may have expended. You can start off by either choosing to edit an existing photograph or picture, access the camera from within the app to shoot a new image, or just simply choose a blank canvas and start sketching or painting. You get a choice of two brushes and a dozen colored palette to play around, as well as the option to mix colors if you wish. Brush width can be controlled and there is an eraser as well for you to do away with stuff you regret making. However, for us, the real strength of the app was its ability to add a watercolor or sketch like tinge to routine photographs.
The app adds three filters to the camera, which you can access through the camera app itself or through the app, and returns some very interesting results. There are compromises, though – autofocus does not work from within the app, there is a clear lag in photography, and if you are the type that is addicted to the variety served up by Instagram and its clones, you will find the preset filter options limited.
It is however grossly unfair to compare Fresh Paint with filtering apps, for it actually gives you the option to mix colors on a palette and then add them to an image. So you can actually add on daubs of paint to a photograph or add sketches to a photograph. No, not exactly for the casual snapper, we agree, but a very powerful option for those who do know their drawing, especially if they have a stylus handy – we found drawing and painting using our fingers a bit of a pain on the Lumia 920. And of course, once you are done with your artistic labors, you can share its results across social networks, on mail and the like.
All of which makes Fresh Paint a very handy addition to those looking for image tweaking on their Windows Phone devices. And yes, if you are up to using a stylus, there’s a bit of sketching and painting to be done as well. It therefore is a colossal pity that the app is available only for high-end Windows Phone 8 devices – those with more than 1 GB RAM on-board, which ironically rules out the recently announced Lumia 625, which with its large display would have been perfect for the app. We really hope that changes because mainstream users of the platform could do with more apps like these. As of now, the app does bring a little of its desktop magic to mobile devices, but alas, to too few. If you do have a high end Lumia or a HTC 8X, this is one app that’s well worth grabbing.
Available from: Windows Store