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Spruce-up your Photos with ‘PicMonkey’ for Chrome

The last several weeks I have been writing about extensions that replace your New Tab page with something else. It’s time for something different and fresh.

For this week’s extension review, I wanted to write about something that works great as a standalone product, as well as featuring great integration with Google Drive. I think I’ve found that perfect something…

PicMonkey

‘PicMonkey’ is an excellent and free-to-use online photo editor which embeds itself into Google Drive, meaning you can easily open up the extension on a right-click of a photo in your Drive.

If you haven’t heard, Google Drive is a fantastic service to use for storing all your files online. I have found it invaluable for storing years of photo memories without worrying about losing them along with my laptop, as the files are stored in the cloud.

Ridiculously easy, staggeringly gorgeous.” – PicMonkey

I can’t say it better myself, PicMonkey has a bright and bold look with an easy to navigate user interface.

When you open up the extension, you are greeted with several humorous banners which briefly show off some of the things PicMonkey can do. If you’re not a fan of the wood background, you can also change it to something of your taste on the homepage.

A compact left-sided UI gives your photos space to shine

Features

PicMonkey offers plenty of tools to help you turn a bland photograph into something awesome, or at least interesting.

As you open up a picture using right-click > open with… > PicMonkey or by clicking the logo on the apps tray, you will see a set of symbols along the left-hand side, clicking on one of these will open up a list of tools or filters (depending on what you have clicked) to enhance your photographs with.

Google Drive integration makes PicMonkey very handy

These categories are:

  • Basic Edits – Tools such as cropping and tweaking exposure. Also features an auto-adjust option
  • Effects – A set of Instagram-esque filters
  • Touch Up – A set of options for editing photos with people in them
  • Text – Select from a variety of fonts and add text to your photographs
  • Overlays – Add from a wide-selection of overlays from arrows to moustaches!
  • Frames – Add frames to your photos
  • Textures – Transparent textures to add on top of your photographs

Apart from editing your photographs, PicMonkey will also allow you to create whole collages with an easy-to-use tool, which you can use to whip-up a professional looking collage in a minute or two.

“Here’s one I made earlier”, a slightly feminine collage made with sample pictures

What’s the catch?

Although all the features available are free to use, some tools and effects are labelled as “Royale”. This means that you can use them for a while as part of a free trial, but in the near future, the developers who work on PicMonkey will introduce a premium membership for those who can’t get enough.

They say it better than me:

Stay tuned for the start of official Royale membership, when you’ll be able to sign up to access all the eye-gasmic premium effects for as long as you like.”

I don’t see this as much of a problem, as the developers deserve to earn money from their own service. I can see myself being a premium member if they introduce more “Royale” tools and if the price is right.

Download

As usual, PicMonkey is available to download using the Chrome Web Store.

Download PicMonkey for Chrome

Got an extension suggestion for us to review? Then feel free to give your recommendations in the comments! 

Rating
First Impressions
Features
Design
Ease-of-use
Web Store Rating
Summary: PicMonkey crams plenty of features in a nice looking and easy-to-use user interface. Although Google Drive integration is the only difference between the Chrome extension and the website, this is what makes PicMonkey install-worthy (if you're a Drive user).
4.5
Drive Integration