Review: Transform your photos into text-based images with PicChar Lite for iOS

Convert photos or take new ones with text-photo filtering via this unique photo app.

PicChar Lite is a unique app in many ways. Designed as a photo editing tool, it serves only a single function: transforming your photos into text-based images. The effect is very cool, but the actual use of the app will vary depending on how much you need images consisting of thousands of tiny letters.

The idea is simple. Take a photo (or grab one from your photo library) and PicChar will transform the image into a collection of different colored text that forms a mosaic of your image. The animation of this happening is mesmerizing and the final effect is very cool looking, like something out of a 1990s cyberpunk film. The interface is easy to use, as well, with options such as text size, color, and background color changes to customize how your PicChar images look when converted. You can change the texture style, as the Lite version only converts half the image. The features are rather deep for a free app that does one thing, and the interface is uncluttered, while sharing is easy.

As a free app, PicChar Lite has many things to recommend it if you enjoy the effect that it creates. The Lite version is limited in many ways--you cannot create a full image, for example--but all functions are intact in the free version; and if you want to create full versions, the $1 price tag for the full edition is not too high. If you enjoy the types of filters represented by PicChar, this is an app worth checking out if nothing else.

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