If there's one thing people like to do more than taking pictures with their smartphones, it's tinkering with those photos in some way. Numerous apps have sprung up over the last several years that allow you to use filters and special effects to transform your pictures, and it doesn't seem like the appetite for those tricks has been satisfied for all smartphone users just yet.
As evidence, consider the rise of Prisma. Originally released in June, the app has been steadily climbing the App Store charts since then, and is on the verge of breaking into the top 10 as of the time of this post. Prisma's calling card is turning regular photos into pseudo works of art, complete with effects that make it appear your images were painted.
It's a cool concept whose time appears to be now. Getting started with the free Prisma app, couldn't be easier either, and we'll walk you through it if you simply read on.
Allow Prisma to access the photos on your phone or tablet
While you might be rightfully wary about which apps receive which permissions on your device, Prisma needs photo access to work its magic, and it's defeating the purpose to deny it.
Take a picture or select one from your device
Prisma has a very simple photo interface that allows you to take pics with either the forward or rear-facing cameras on your phone or tablet. If you snap a pic, it then becomes the default image with which you are currently working.
The alternative is to select an image to use from your device's gallery, which you can do by tapping on the image in the bottom-right corner.
Choose a filter and the intensity of the effect
After you have a photo selected, the filter options will appear in a carousel format at the bottom of the screen. Simply scroll through the selections, find one you like, and tap on it to activate the effect. It can take a minute or so for it to kick in, so be patient.
Once the image has been filtered, you can select the intensity of the effect by taking a finger and simply swiping on the screen. Swiping left reduces the way the art style transforms the photo, while swiping right makes it even more pronounced.
Note that if you're not all that jazzed about your current filter, you can simply scroll through the other filters to select another one.
Share your creation
Once you're happy with the way your new work of art has turned out, you can share it easily thanks to a series of buttons above the filters. From left to right, the buttons allow you to share on Instagram, post to Facebook, download it to your device's gallery, or bring up the full range of sharing options on your phone or tablet.
There's no question that Prisma has a unique niche staked out when it comes to photo apps, and it should continue to intrigue users with plenty of room to expand in future updates.