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PhoXo 8.3.0

A fun and free image editor

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 08 November 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2010
Developer: Fu Li
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PhoXo 8.3.0
A fun and free image editor

PhoXo is an image editor which emphasises its fun extras, but also has some useful tools to explore.

Launch the program and you'll first notice the large Clip Art and Frame windows. Cartoon-style emoticons, car images, animals, flags and more are available to be pasted into your images, and a whole gallery of frames can be added with a double-click.

And there are other quirky options, too, like the ability to turn your photos into ASCII art.

The program has plenty of more useful features, though: four selection tools, simple paint and drawing options, lots of colour tweaks and adjustments, layer support and a batch watermarking tool, as well as the usual basics (crop, resize, rotate and so on).

We particularly liked some of the effects. While they're not exactly original, filters like "Oil Painting" and "Lens Flare" do deliver good results with minimal effort - they're not just the very basic and limited equivalents you'll sometimes see with other tools.

PhoXo does have a few interface oddities. It always opens full-screen, regardless of how you closed it; the lack of an Edit menu is annoying when you're so used to seeing it everywhere else, and the zoom option is a little clumsy.

On balance PhoXo is a useful tool, though, and it's entirely free: no ads, no nag screens, even clicking the "Sponsor Us" button on their web site asks only that you "tell your friends" about it.

Verdict:

It's not going to compete with Photoshop any time soon, but PhoXo is a good editor, fun for beginners yet also with the power to do more serious work

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: