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PicsArt photo editor jumps from Phone to Windows 8.1 and wins our affection (Hidden Gems)

Hidden Gems

Late last year, PicsArt photo editor arrived on Windows Phone, becoming one of the top rated image-fixing apps around. A month later, the Lumia exclusive app went wide for all Windows Phone 8 devices. Today, we're pleased to report that PicsArt is now available for all Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets, making it a true universal app.

PicsArt (www.picsart.com (opens in new tab)) is a favorite photo site where artists and regular people share their photo creations. The company bills itself as "one of the world's most installed and free photo editing and drawing apps and a unique social network of creative," and we don't doubt it. With apps on Android, iOS and even Amazon, PicsArt is now embracing Microsoft's mobile platforms with aplomb. That's why it's our Hidden Gem of the day.

Remember, by leaving a comment on our Hidden Gems, you're entered into our contest to win a new phone or tablet!

Heading to the Windows Store and version 1.1.0.7 is live, and it won't even cost you a cent. Creating an account is easy, as you can log in with Twitter, Microsoft Account, Facebook and more. Once your accounts are linked up, PicsArt can access your Facebook photos for editing, in addition to whatever is on your device and network already. Alternatively, you can use your PC or tablet's camera to take a new photo.

Browse other people's creations

The app's UI will make Modern fans quite happy as it almost looks like a mini-Windows 8 Start screen. Simply swipe over to see Home, Profile, My Network, Interesting, Recent and more. Each category pulls from the PicsArt website, and acts as a repository for other people's images that you can then browse.

Find a photo you like? You can 'Like' it, leave a comment, copy image URL or message the creator.

Photo Editor too

Accessing photos on your PC, network or linked Facebook account, PicsArt is a handy photo editing tool as well. Users can create collages (Grid, Frame, Background), take a photo, or pull up you camera roll. If you're into drawing, you can do that as well with the 'draw on photo' or 'draw blank' features. Tapping the FX button gives you quick access to the built-in photo filters, letting you quickly modify your images for posting on social networks. Filters are not an all or nothing affair, as you can control the intensity through brightness, contrast and fade sliders.

Other editing features include:

  • Tool – crop, free crop, shape crop, color, resize, clone, etc.
  • Draw
  • Mask
  • Clipart
  • Text
  • Add Photo
  • Frame
  • Border

There are also a quick undo, save and share buttons, letting you post the image to PicsArt, Facebook, saving to Gallery or making it your Lock Screen. A cool notification pop-up will tell you when the image posts.

While the base PicsArt app will satisfy most photo buffs for hours, you can selectively install additional content with various themes, including Retro, Wedding, Japanese, Independence, Summer and Scrapbook. The add-ons don't cost anything, so feel free to add them. Change your mind? You can uninstall each theme with one button.

All in all, PicsArt is a well done app joining the Windows 8.1 family. Combined with the Windows Phone app, and shutterbugs can edit their photos anywhere, anytime.

Remember, leave a review in the Store for the developers, as it helps them out! And don't forget to check out our other Hidden Gems (you can still leave a comment and enter).

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

844 Comments
  • Remember: Leave a helpful comment about this app, you're entered into our daily contest! Helpful comments include what you like, what you don't like and how it could be made better. Winners will be announced at the end of the month, so you can enter in at any time. Multiple comments allowed, but only one will be picked. Contest is open worldwide and the prize will be a Windows Phone of your choice! Need more info about our Hidden Gems series? Read our announcement post here.
  • Hi Dan, the winner will be chosen via raffle right?
  • I'm pretty sure it is
  • We're certainly not judging the comments, if that's what you mean. It's randomized.
  • Even if the comments " wow cool, i'll try it " ?
  • Love when apps are available on WP and Win!
  • What the hell? Its a lucky draw!!!!!. Then I am doomed too. You are not alone, bro. Its the same way I feel like you too. They never mentioned that they would pick the winner randomly. Then why would have we some guys posted an article like review on the app so well and clearly ,detailing the highlights of every apps. I am from India. Most hidden gems article WP Central posted was at midnight's according to our region. So, In order to be one of the first to write a detailed and genuine review on each apps and games you guys posted, I have spend my night without sleep to check the apps and give a well defined comment on UI, Bugs, Improvements needed and after all that suddenly you are saingthat its a raffle.if our hard works were for nothing then I feel shame on you WP Central. I was sick today. Even then in a hope to win this contest, I writed my review on the app ignoring my head ache , cough and all. If someone who didn't write the reviews like the way we guys did and is not worthy wins this contest. Then where is the honour for you WP Central. I am a little weak on English, even then I tried to make my comment perfect by rechecking my sentences several time, all just for you guys to read it clearly. And now I look like a fool . I dont have a pc or tablet to write faster. I wrote these big comments on my 4 inch Lumia 525. For taking all these stress, we guys deserve to be the winner for sure. Any way I have posted my comment earlier today somewhere on first page of comments. There I promised that I would write a delailed comment on this app. Any way,unlike you, I keep my words. Here's the comment I was going to post before I read Usama's and Gautham's comment
  • I feel you bro.This article came at 4:00am in my country(Pakistan) and I was awake just so I could write a review.And then I found out it's a lucky draw anyway(Not in the articles but in Daniel's comment!).I feel robbed now. :'( I don't even want to comment on Hidden Gems articles :'( WPC,Contest in my country is not equal to a lucky draw.You should have made that clear before hand that you just wanted a useful(constructive comment).Many of us wrote thorough reviews to tell the devs about the bugs/improvements they could do in their apps to make it better and now you suddenly drop this bombshell on us that it's just a lucky draw which a person who just wrote "good app" can also win. #UNFAIR
  • Above all, I just want a logical reply from WPC.
  • As i said I donmt know whoi is right and who is wrong but ya ur reviews were HIGHLIGHT...just like PRO....I liked them a lot>>>>Keep it up <<<<
  • Thanks bro, glad you liked them ;)
  • did you guys really expect them to read every single review? >.< the only way this contest makes sense is to make it a lottery... they said from the beginning that you would have to have content in your post, more than just "downloaded this app" but as long as your content was meaningful it would count as a entry for a drawing at the end.   
  • Read every single review? not possible they wont read it i know....its an obvious thing to know thats its gonna be a raffle....but they wont read doesnt mean that i wont speak up for my favourite app...its not for win its just for sharing!! I know my luck so em pretty sure that i wont win but whts there to give our opinio so i did...
  • +520
  • u r good at writing reviews....at least I appreciate work of you people
  • Its all about algorithm :D
  • Respect for ur work bro.....u r good at writing reviewas..keep it up!!! :)
  • The drawing is random. It's absolutely NOT about being the first to comment. It's just about puttin gin a comment, regardless of when you put it in.Whether it's 12 AM, 4 AM or 11:30 AM, as long as you have a comment, regardless of when you posted or the content of the post, you're entered.
  • thats cool!!! And a better way to include all people.....i knwo i know its not good for many prople who take so much time and write the review so heartfully....but if it would be like that then em pretty sure many people wouldnt be intersted in HIDDEN GEMS....ahhh it's like dilemma....it seemes that both are correct....ahhhh WPC only decide what to do...em blank here...
  • Cool, will download it now
  • Wow, why didn't i tried this app before !
    It has the best UI among all the hidden gems apps, not the fastest (i would say 512 and there is a lot of photos)
    it's the only app that will stay in my app list from gems apps
    What i like: well, it has everything me or any normal person will ever need for photo editing and it's FREE, even in app downloads are for free !
    it has Cool metro UI, which i prefer :)
    it's IMO one of the best editing apps if not the best
    what i didn't like is the live tile, i mean come on every app has a problem with live tiles the large tile isn't cool !
    after all, i'll definitely recommend to install this app 10/10 !
  • This app seems to have disappointed many of it's users according to those who reviewed it in the WPS...
  • I hope they will add an undo button in drawing, not just simply erasing the whole canvas. There is such feature in the Android app SketchBook by AutoDesk. But the other features are very workable. Cheers.
  • I think FreshPaint has by far the best set of features and implementation in the "drawing" category...although this app is rather in the "editing" category.
  • This looks like a really good app. The review already gave me ideas! LOL!
  • Why is the Hidden Gems series hidden?  I check http://www.wpcentral.com/hidden-gems but it doesnt get quickly updated with the new Hidden Gems posts and I have to use search to find them.  Plus they never show in the Articles section of the site.
  • This app is pretty amazing. Works well on my lumia phone. A hidden gem indeed. Nice work 
  • Hey Daniel. Eventhough PicsArt for WP8 has already been released for awhile, do i still need to comment on Windows 8.1 or do i proceed with commenting the apps on WP8? Because my PC isn't using Windows 8.1 yet
  • Another art app in our store, simply designed, it's gonna start the war, war in comments section, so write down below. App installed, it feels nice, I'm drawing ice, there's no price, guess I'm gonna chasin' mice, photos look like adding spice, would be helpful, parts to slice, kids are throwing up on dice, cropping rice, cloning it trice.. All functions are working nice, needs to be reporting twice, sometimes app just shut self down, made me look like freaking clown.. O.o
  • It's good app for hone but it should have more features when running on a tablet or any faster device
  • I'm gonna try this one
  • Finally!
    It's one of the my type of apps. Will surely look into and leave a detailed review.
  • @WPCentral: In our region, we generally refer to “contest” as an event where the best among all the participants are chosen as winners but everyone’s work is appreciated and certified. I thought it to be similar to that (ecept that its "worldwide") since I couldn’t find that the winners will be chosen “randomly” in hidden gems, in any of the articles written to-date until Daniel mentioned that as a reply to a comment above. There was a mistake on my side too, I never asked. I apologize for my misunderstanding and yeah I’m broken.  I guess I never thought otherwise and started hoping too much :’( …………………………………………………………………................................... But anyway, here’s my promised review:  (And remember, this review is for the developer’s team only, WPC clearly doesn’t want a review like this) *REVIEW FOR WINDOWS 8.1 PC VERSION* Well, to be honest, I love photo editing apps than any other kind because I love painting and editing ;) and this one is really awesome. FIRST IMPRESSION (10/10) Can’t believe it has this much potential and still consumed only 12 MB of size in the store. I think any photo editor should try this once, no matter what version of Photoshop he is running in his computer. And its free, so there’s no room for any argument on its price. Secondly, it’s a universal app. And I just love universal apps! WORKING + BUGS (7/10) Installation: I successfully installed the app but again, I couldn’t find the app in my Windows 8.1 start screen. Kindly fix the option that enables the function. Registration: I think it’ll be better to replace the “Sign in” tile with a “Sign in / Sign up” tile. Just like me, any other guy would immediately look for a “Sign up” tile after seeing the first one. Performance: When I tried opening an image (2.3 MB) in size, this was actually taken by my Digital camera, the app lagged for few seconds and then automatically went back to the Splash screen. I’ve a laptop with decent RAM and processor. Kindly fix this bug as well (or at least mention the maximum accessible size of image in the description). However, when I opened another picture (734 KB to be exact), it worked just fine. Little Bug: The names of the “Effects” under  “FX” are unreadable because its hidden by the scrollbar. And you can’t actually read it unless you tap / click the scroll bar which then turns translucent.  I’ll suggest to put the effect bar a little above the bottom of the screen. Multitasking: Suppose I’m in middle of editing a picture and minimize the app for few minutes and browse some internet, then when I come back, whoa!! It’s gone! I just see the Splash screen. So I guess, background tasks should be improved. I’m not sure what “My Network >” section does. In my case, it just shows some grey tiles under the title. SOCIAL + SHARING (10/10) Being in the world of social networks, this is something we often look for in every app. And luckily, this app provides a “Share” option. Good job developers! It’s my second favourite photo editing app in my phone after Fantasia. And now its my favourite photo editing app in my PC (just because it works way slower in my phone, 520 but fast enough in PC). And please look for the bugs I’ve mentioned, other than that, I’m in love with this app ;) __________________CONCLUSION__________________ AVERAGE RATING: 9 / 10 ________________________________________________ Honestly, I wanted to write a more detailed review, just like my previous ones, but its too difficult for me now. P.S: WPC, you can delete this comment if you feel its misleading or misinformative. I loved WPC ever since I bought my 520. I'll love it forvever. Opening my phone to check latest WPC articles will definitely be my first thing right after I wake up in the morning (or sometimes day). But the impression I had for WPC will never be the same again, not, even if I wanted to.
  • oNE MORE TIME U NAILED IT DOWN BRO!!! sUPERB
  • Hey thanks again!! ;)
  • Brill review man, great points you bring up
  • Thanks bro!!!
  • I'm leaving this comment for Usama Jawad96, we were waiting for this eagerly. We made a deal to compete amongst ourselves and to try to give our best. Later, he'll write a reply to this comment as a review. I sincerely request you to ignore this comment unless you're Usama :)
  • Ha! Finally! Thanks man! :D downloading right now. Will review in the morning :D
    P.S:-WPC,you were a bit late this time,its 4am in my country and 4:30am in Gautam's country.we stayed awake so long for this.now its finally here so we can sleep in peace and write a good thorough review in the morning :D
  • hahaha same here :P
  • Ok,here's my review.But first I want to say something important.WPC,you disappointed me for the first time.I thought this would be a fair contest for the first time.Everybody would get an equal chance and the best review in each of the hidden gems would decide the winner so I worked so hard,used all the hidden gems apps for a long time.Spent my time writing a long and thorough review only to find out that it's just another RAFFLE.I'm really disappointed because for the first time I thought that I could finally win something.I would have not even known now if I hadn't read Daniel's comment above.In the Surface Pro 3 article you guys clearly mentioned that it was going to be a raffle.In these articles,there were hints as well but no clear indication.You guys told us to write good comments to help the devs and so they get feedback.I did just that,wrote thorough and good reviews in every article just to find out today that it's just a lucky draw contest.Sorry if I misunderstood your opening article but maybe you should have been a bit clear about what this contest actually was.Now,I know my chances are slim to none and I'm heartbroken.I don't even want to write a review but since I already said that I will,here you go:- "It's a good and neat app with an excellent UI" Was that all which was required just to enter this contest/raffle?Then I've had enough.I'm not participating in this lucky draw anymore(I know only 2 days are left).Raffles depend on luck,but I don't.I always want fair contests and I thought that this was finally one global contest in which I stood some chance but I'm left in shambles again.Sorry for this long comment but I just needed to get it out.I'm a huge fan of WPC and will remain to be so but today was a big let-down.I'll continue to read and comment on your other normal articles though.Sorry,if I misunderstood this "contest's" rules in any way but it's over for me.Over and out.
  • It's your own fault, it was clearly written in the 'Hidden Gems' article that WPCentral will 'randomly' pick the winner. To enter you just have to comment something helpful e.g people who have commented 'WOW! Beautiful app, it has great UI, although you can give us Push Notifications' are also the part of the giveaway. Don't blame WPCentral, it's your own fault....
  • @Master Chaos5,please point out the word "randomly" for me in this hidden gems article. "Besides bringing these apps to your attention, we figured we spice it up a bit too. So we're going to give away a prize. Each. Day. You read that correctly. Every day, you can enter the contest by simply leaving a comment on why you like (or don't like) the app or game we're highlighting. No need to pretend here folks, we and the respectivedevelopers, want your honest opinion. The only thing we do ask is for you to try and make your comments constructive. One-word comments are not going to cut it. If we're going to take the time to give away a phone or a tablet, the least you can do is write a sentence or two with an honest opinion, cool? The contests are open worldwide. At the end of the month, when everything is wrapped up, we'll do a massive winner's post, highlighting who won for each of the preceding days in one shot. That also means you can go back and enter the contest for previous Hidden Gems articles up until the end of the month, so don't fret about missing a day. Hidden Gems is a big experiment for ourselves and Microsoft, though we're confident that we can deliver an exciting and unique campaign for you, our core audience. We're not expecting you to love everything we cover, but we're sure that you'll find something you like. Helps us make this a fun series and join in!"
  • Kidnly mention where they used the "Randomly" word, I'll agree with you.
  • And I think its missing not only in this article, but every Hidden Gems article.
  • In an attempt to get the community involved and as a way to say ‘thanks,' Windows Phone Central is teaming up with Microsoft to give away some great prizes. The intention is to get people talking about the selected Hidden Gems, hopefully providing some positive feedback and constructive criticism for the developers. The winners of the prizes, selected at random from the comments, will be announced at the end of the series. ...right on the main page of hidden-gems...  
  • Looks like I did a fatal mistake by writing the reviews.
    Now, I need to explain each of you what I've been already saying in the whole conversation. First, Daniel has already made us everything clear, and obviously the reviews we're writing now are not for the hope of winning prizes, it's to help the developers so its not going to affect your chance of winning by any way. Second, I repeat, the random winner selection was not mentioned in any of the articles till date, not even in the introductory article, and by the time it was mentioned in the page you're referring, the contest (sorry, lottery) had already began (see the article dates in case you don't believe) so that's obvious none of us knew that (and many others who keep asking Daniel for the manner of winner selection). And yes, I've been keeping an eye on each hidden gems article from the very beginning so I'm pretty sure what was published when.
  • Agreed with u.... Usama Jawad96
  • Give me a reason to disagree with Usama. My Belief: Only those will agree with this guy (Usama) who've actually worked hard to review every app. Others (leaving a word for a comment or a sentence) will try to let him down.
  • Gautaum/ Usama look at my reviews, I worked hard too then realize it was a raffle. I went to read the Hidden Gems article them realize it was my own fault. Things happen.
  • Yeah, knowing its a raffle, already after working this hard, hurts. But I want to know did they ever said its a Raffle? Or that winners will be picked randomly? I rechecked every single article only to find out they didn't. I'm not sure if that's my mistake. It hurts becuase unlike few others, my reviews are 100% original. I didn't copy a single line or style of writing from anyone else's. This was another reason why I always wanted to comment first and finish my review first - others couldn't say I've copied.
  • http://i.imgur.com/PUrpLoW.jpg Read the highlighted part, WPCentral clearly stated you can write a constructive comment of 2-3 sentence to take part in the giveaway.
  • They didn't tell any word limitation either.
    "Constructive" comments are ought to take some space. And if "Wow! nice app, I love the design and the functions!" is a "Constructive" comment or that "it'll help the developers", I should start learning alphabets, from Kindergarten classes right from the beginning. And I'm not sure if you can put "what you like", "what you don't", "suggestions" and to "help developers" in 2 lines of comment.
  • What the hell? Its a lucky draw!!!!!. Then I am doomed too. You are not alone, bro. Its the same way I feel like you too. They never mentioned that they would pick the winner randomly. Then why would have we some guys posted an article like review on the app so well and clearly ,detailing the highlights of every apps. I am from India. Most hidden gems article WP Central posted was at midnight's according to our region. So, In order to be one of the first to write a detailed and genuine review on each apps and games you guys posted, I have spend my night without sleep to check the apps and give a well defined comment on UI, Bugs, Improvements needed and after all that suddenly you are saingthat its a raffle.if our hard works were for nothing then I feel shame on you WP Central. I was sick today. Even then in a hope to win this contest, I writed my review on the app ignoring my head ache , cough and all. If someone who didn't write the reviews like the way we guys did and is not worthy wins this contest. Then where is the honour for you WP Central. I am a little weak on English, even then I tried to make my comment perfect by rechecking my sentences several time, all just for you guys to read it clearly. And now I look like a fool . I dont have a pc or tablet to write faster. I wrote these big comments on my 4 inch Lumia 525. For taking all these stress, we guys deserve to be the winner for sure. Any way I have posted my comment earlier today somewhere on first page of comments. There I promised that I would write a delailed comment on this app. Any way,unlike you, I keep my words. Here's the comment I was going to post before I read Usama's and Gautham's comment
  • Alright then, I used the “picsart” for a long time on my windows phone. Not because I wanted to give a well defined review on the app ,its because I loved this app. I spended a lot of time taking new photos with the inbuit “camera” , editing those photos, posting it on picsart and checked out photos posted by other people. I have seen this app in the windows phone store many times but didn’t care to download it. Now I think this is the best photo editing app on windows. But , I don’t think this should be on “Hidden Gem” because this app is already a world known app. There are lakh’s of users already. Anyway thanks for noticing the public about this app is also available on windows 8.1 . From the comments I read on this article, I think this app is even more rocking on Windows 8.1. I couldn’t use it on a pc or tab since I don’t have any. So , I am gonna give a review on what I liked about “Picsart” on my phone. But unfortunatly I can’t give a comment on ‘what I didn’t like on this app’ ,cause there aren’t any.
    ..............FIRST IMPRESSION……………….
    When I first opened the app, the splash screen with the name and caption :”Where every one becomes a great artist” was really impressive,
    I liked the main screen with the banner showing advertisement about the app. Other features like ‘Effect’,’College’,’Draw ‘,…….. were arrangedwith different colours were very attractive.
    The app is only 13 mb and has a lot of features worth more than 30 mb.
    The inbuilt camera option was very professional .
    UI is very nice. Its simple to use this app and the graphics and sliding was smooth .
    ……………THINGS I MOST LIKED ON PICSART (WP)………………
    Totally I liked the app so much. There ain’t any problems ike bugs and all.If I write about “what I liked on the app” , then I will have write every feature of this app one by one. So I am gonna make it short with only writing what I saw exceptionally Perfect features and how these features are usefull .
    MAIN MENU:
    The inbuit camera was a nice idea and is a quality one except that it lack features like focus, Brightness,…….
    The “Draw” and “college” feature was so good. No other apps on windows phone give such many options like size, opacity, and all. Even apps built only for drawing don’t have features like opacity.Collage was superb too.
    PICSART “Shop” is a very good store just like WP Store. It loaded ver quickly even on my very slow 2g internet connection
    The main Feature about the app is that we can import photos from Facebook, Cloud, Picasa, Google and so on
    MY NETWORK:
    Its an impressive way to follow someone or the photos , so that we can keep track of our intersts
    INTERESTING:
    Surely I loved it so much. The photos shown are marvelous and it even upadate every minute.I was like “which photos to save first”, its that fantastic. But it lacked the feature to save photos directly.Insted we have to copy URL and have to browse on internet.
    CONTEST:
    A best way to reveal our talents on Photography and Drawing to the world.Unlike most other apps , PICSART contest several competetions every month.
    TAGS AND ARTISTS:
    Another quick way to find photos. Through tags it makes easy to find photos related to a topic, like World Cup.And thrugh Artists , it make easy to find photos of our favorite photohgrapher.
    ……………….WHAT I LIKED (WINDOWS PC)……………..
    From the above given photos in the article,I think the features on Windows 8.1 are same as that is on windows phone. The only difference I found on the picture is that there is an option to make the photos as Locksscreen which is not there in the phone.other that that, the difference is the way in which things are arrtanged on windows. I couldn’t find anything new unless I had a Windows 8.1 device.
    ……………….CONCLUTION………………..
    The app has a very good built in quality. I found many unique features in PICSART that other apps do not pocess. PICSART is the best for editing and sharing of photos.I think its much better than Instagram.
  • Looks like you're in the same boat. Yeah that's what I've been saying, they never said its a Raffle or a Random winner contest. Had I known earlier, I could simply skip this contest because I know these contests are meant for "Lucky!" people and in my 17 years of life, I've come to know my luck has never been any good (see this scenerio for example!). But I believed in creativity, honesty and hardwork and see where I'm today.
  • The winners of the prizes, selected at random from the comments, will be announced at the end of the series. FYI: They did mention it is a RANDOM winner contest. http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y170/Ken_X/wp_zps0f4fda19.jpg
  • I cant see any words even meaning the word "random"
  • Then you didn't click on the link provided by Ken Xia.  The last sentence of the third paragraph shown clearly states: "The winners of the prizes, selected at random from the comments, will be announced at the end of the series."
  • I feel you man,I wrote long reviews discussing every aspect of the app in the hope that the developer might find it useful and I might stand some chance.But now I suddenly find out that people who just wrote "Neat app" are on the same