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Grungetastic 2.50

Transform ordinary photos into works of art

by Mike Williams

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License: Trial Software
Operating Systems: Mac OS X, Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP, iPhone
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 29 August 2013
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 516
Developer: JIXIPIX
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Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/jixipix
Facebook: https://twitter.com/jixipix
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Grungetastic 2.50
Transform ordinary photos into works of art

Most graphics software tries to make your photos look better. Grungetastic takes a different approach, reducing colours, adding layers of scratches, dirt and grime, tearing borders, and generally leaving your images looking as though they've been left in a box in your garden for a very long time.

Why? Strange as it seems, trashing your pictures in this way can transform some of them into real works of art. Forget the feeble "oil painting" or "old photo" effects you get with some photo editors, Grungetastic combines so many filters, textures and distortions that the results can be very impressive indeed. (Don't take our word for it: check the gallery at the bottom of the official "Grungetastic Story" page to see for yourself.)

All this power doesn't make the program difficult to use, though. At a minimum, all you have to do is open an image, and click the "Randomize" button (the dice icon, top-right). Grungetastic will randomly combine a range of styles, and you can either save the result (in the full version, anyway - "Save" is disabled in the trial) or click "Randomize" and try again.

And if you need more control, there are separate options for "Tone", "Contrast", "Grit", "Paper Strength", and more. Helpful tooltips do a reasonable job of explaining what these do, but you don't have to understand the low-level details - just drag each individual slider to fine-tune the image.

These settings were mostly very effective, too, but occasionally we would have liked a few more. The ability to tweak brightness alone would have been particularly useful, although of course you can always adjust the finished image later in another application.

Verdict:

It doesn't work with every image, but point Grungetastic at the right source material and it can create some amazing aged photo or grimy pop poster effects. The price is reasonable, too, particularly for the mobile apps ($0.99 iPhone, $1.99 iPad).

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.1

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 2.12.1 brings:
 - WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply.

[...]
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