Review: BeFunky Photo Editor for iOS and Android

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“One magical day a unicorn handed me a camera and showed me BeFunky. The rest is history.”

I was browsing for a free and fast tool to add a bit of a retro touch to one image, and tried out a dozen before I found BeFunky. One thing about applications is you have to weed out the worthy ones through the whole load of the ones that just don’t work for you. I chose to focus your attention on BeFunky today because it just might be the perfect app for a lazy photo amateur, like myself.

BeFunky on Google Play

BeFunky on iTunes
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Overview

The app aims at more than just a nice mobile and web image enhancer and editor; BeFunky offers an easy, automated way for mass audiences to edit and enhance their photos, make them unique and professional-looking. In addition, BeFunky boasts of a dedicated community of users sharing their images, so you will always be entertained subscribing to new feeds of cool photos. You can process your images instantly on the go from your smartphone via a dedicated app or a web based service. BeFunky does not require a subscription, so this is my number one choice for those who do not want to share their personal data with another third-party app, or give the app extensive permissions to control their device’s hardware.

BeFunky is in many ways like Instagram, but it offers more features; for example, you do not need to register to get access to all filters and categories, but you can purchase a premium membership to get some extra tools if the free ones are not enough. Like in Instagram, there is a social community in BeFunky, but it is so much better organized, and you can filter photos according to tags.

Getting started

You can either install an app from iTunes or Google play, or use the web service which does not require registration. If you choose to install and sign up, you can use one of your social network profiles to sign up for BeFunky. Depending on where you want to share your images, you can choose from a large number of integrated social networks.

The app requires permissions to control hardware, take pictures, and have access to your social profile information, such as birth date, email address, status updates, your photos and those of your friends, as well as post on your behalf. In other words, the sign up process is quite tradition, given the purpose of the app.
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Interface

The smartphone app features a clean-cut interface with two large buttons on the app’s main screen: Camera and Camera Roll. You have the Settings button to adjust your preferences, and a Create button to start the editing process once you have chosen the image. The large part of the main window contains photo thumbnails organized according to categories: pets, nature, tattoo and the like.

At the bottom, there are more buttons to explore: profile, my stream, explore and activity. From the user’s standpoint, the main window could use a bit of cleaning to give the opportunity to integrate the standard camera icon you need to start shooting and editing pictures from there.

Shooting and Editing

BeFunky uses the in-built camera app to shoot pictures, so you do not get any extra functionality here. However, when it comes to editing pictures, BeFunnky excels and beats the competition because the number of nifty, cool, retro, vintage, texture and cartoon filters is amazing. I ended up saving a dozen edits of the same picture because I could not decide which I like best. To me, that is the decisive criteria.

Moreover, each effect has controls to increase or decrease its certain qualities, as well as sharpen or smooth the brush. Of course, the basic editing tools, like crop, leveling, white balance, fill light and sharpening are there.

Note: changes do not apply unless you check “Apply” button. Otherwise, the changes will not be saved when you proceed to the next filter. There is also an Undo option, which works pretty nifty because you can undo specific edits rather than undo the last change.

The greatest asset of BeFunky is in its filters. Unlike other apps that use “cool” names for filters, BeFunky keeps it simple and self-descriptive, which we appreciate very much. One of my favorite features is the tiny preview in the filter thumbnails: you click on the filter and the thumbnail screen shows you tiny previews of what the image would look like if you choose to apply. This saves a lot of time choosing the right filters.

There are almost three dozen filters in BeFunky featuring very trendy ones, like Holga, Cartoon, Sketch and Pop Art. You can make yourself an Andy Warhol picture of yourself, or make yourself a cartoon character, or a painted watercolor picture of your favorite self. Make yourself an old-looking photo, or apply vintage frames and vignettes.

If that is not enough for you, there are premium filters you can buy via in-app purchase on a one-time basis. $1.99 seems like a reasonable price for a set of 65 filters in BeFunky Pro.

BeFunky sports a gallery of frames, textures and text editing tools. You get to choose from six different fonts and plenty of background colors, as well as a transparent background, but the best part is you can rotate text, and you are not limited to square output.

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Sharing

If sharing is on your agenda, BeFunky offers an extensive choice of social networks integrated: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr. You can post on all 4 simultaneously, or add images to your BeFunky profile. The latter will require you add tags, name and category.

The web based service is equally comfy and offers even larger previews of filters. You can upload your images directly to the web service and edit it without sharing and creating your account. The service offers to save the output in jpg or png formats; you can also choose file size.

It is possible to upload a photo from your computer, or from any of the social networks. Likewise, you can save the output on your device, or share via social networks. By default, photos you upload are public, so keep that in mind.

Pros

  • Free of charge
  • Available for iOS, Android, and via a web browser
  • Plenty of photo editing filters and tools, even more than in the renown Instagram
  • Web capabilities are abundant
  • You can add text to your photos
  • You can subscribe to web photo channels and view hundreds of beautiful, unique images
  • You can add texture, shadows, frames, fun objects and a couple dozen of special effects to make your image unique You can “cartoonize” your photo
  • More accessible than Instagram or Flickr
  • No need to subscribe
  • Does the collages

Cons

Not as versatile as Flickr in categories. If finding unique images is your aim, Flickr offers a better selection in Groups. In terms of price for the paid accounts, however, Flickr beats BeFunky. BeFunky allows you to upload photos in reduced resolution for free, but for larger resolution with up to 2500×2500 pixel you will pay $4.45 a month or $24.95 a year. Compare that to $24.95 yearly fee for Flickr’s unlimited full-res uploads and downloads. If you choose to go BeFunky Pro, it will cost you $99.95 a year, and you will be able to upload images with resolution up to 4000×4000. Again, Flickr’s yearly $24.95 allows you to process high resolution images with Geo-tagging.

Bottom Line

BeFunky is a versatile and powerful photo editing tool ample for beginners and users who just want to beautify their pictures without having to subscribe to new services and master new software interfaces. It is simple and suggests no learning curve.

It is great for extensive filtering and processing when you use a free account with certain size and resolution limitations. If you are looking for high-resolution image processing in large quantities, though, consider Flickr.
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Competition

Flickr, Instagram, Snapseed, Camera+, Camera Genius, Pixlr.

Conclusion

Free, powerful, fun and easy to use, versatile.