Version Reviewed: 1.09
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Working like a slower version of Instagram, PictoRealm holds some original promise but its speed issues - and the very fact that Instagram has such a dominant hold on the market - really isn't going to help its case.
Nor, admittedly, does the fact that the app requires one to type in their social networking details manually. Sure it's a minor thing, but when starting out with a new app first impressions count and I was surprised to find that PictoRealm didn't automatically pick up my Facebook details like so many other apps already do. Once past such minor niggles PictoRealm turns out to be reasonably straightforward, if slow to navigate.
It looks a lot like Instagram, right down to being able to browse through popular/trending photos and also viewing different user profiles. It's an interface that works well visually, but PictoRealm suffers from some odd slowdown. At times it didn't respond to my trying to swipe through photos, and once or twice I thought it had frozen. It's certainly not as fast-paced as one would like from such an app.
However, the key selling point to PictoRealm is a moderately good one. Rather than solely being about uploading one photo to share with others, the app allows one to create a kind of collage of photos. One photo is the dominant image with others scattered around it and available for users to tap on to see more. It's a neat idea, but one that doesn't quite encourage users to switch entirely to PictoRealm.
Other than that, PictoRealm is business as usual for a photo-based social networking app. Users can like and comment on other people's images, hashtags can be added, and locations can be tracked. Excluding the speed issues there's nothing fundamentally wrong with PictoRealm, it's just that it's all been done before. The ability to combine multiple images is a neat touch, but when the community is weak it's still a tough sell.