Review: ‘Disney Pix’ for iPad Provides Hours of Creative Play for Free

Disney AppPix for iPad with Disney Pix SoftwareDisney recently released ‘Disney Pix,’ its free software for its new AppClix iPad ‘appcessory.’ Manufactured by Vivitar, the AppClix effectively replaces Disney’s previous lines of licensed PIX digital cameras. In addition to being able to plug directly into the iPad to download and share photos, the AppClix boasts a 7MP camera, which is an impressive milestone for what is basically being marketed as a toy.

But this is not about the AppClix camera, it’s about the ‘Disney Pix’ app released to support it. While the Disney PIX cameras were not well received by consumers, the photo-enhancing software that came packaged with it had been uniformly praised. While I must confess I have never seen the PIX software in action, I have no qualms with blindly stating that what ‘Disney Pix’ offers has to match — and more than likely, exceeds — what the previous software offered.

Disney Pix creation featuring Tinker Bell, Muppets, Perry the Platypus and Mickey and Minnie MouseThe first thing to know is that like the free Cars AppMATes app, you do not need to own the AppClix to download and use ‘Disney Pix’ as you can not only reference photos from your camera roll, but there are opportunities to create full images from scratch using a combination of theme backgrounds, stickers and frames. For example, here I took a theme from the Disney Fairies section and added stickers from Disney Fairies, Mickey & Friends, Muppets and Phineas and Ferb. There’s also a section for Disney Princess and a More.. option which offers more generic stickers and frames (Pixar and Marvel are noticeably absent). Stickers aren’t just as straight forward as the ones seen here either. There are fun elements such as face and hair pieces so you can decorate a friend’s photo, props from the respective franchise, etc. Mickey & Friends even features the Fab Five in different art styles, including the popular Cuties line.

Stickers and photos can intuitively be resized and rotated by using two fingers and the appropriate gestures while photos can also be cropped and flipped with a basic editing option. The app even understands layers so you can place objects on top of each other as you wish. Other tools include a text tool which allows you to add text to your scrapbook creation with the color and typeface of your choice and an airbrush tool which will allow you to draw anything you like freehand with a range of colors and sizes. The app also handles switching between portrait and landscape modes exceptionally well.

Once your work of art is complete, you can save your project permanently and/or email it to someone. Save projects can be viewed and retrieved through the main menu which allows you to sort your projects by date created or alphabetically, although I could not see a way to actually name the project, so the option appears moot.

There are a few problems with the app which tend to be more of a tradeoff considering what the app offers. The first thing you’re likely to notice is that it appears to be very memory intensive and you’ll soon see warnings telling you to delete objects before adding them or the app may take that liberty itself (it tells you it removed objects when it does so). The iPad I tested the app on is a 16GB device so larger devices may perform better in that respect. While the text tool allows you to choose your color from a full color palette, there’s no preview option when selecting and the tool doesn’t show you the color chosen until you type (or you can type first and change font/color after), which is a minor annoyance. Lastly, the app may favor smaller fingers because there are so many options when it comes to stickers and frames, that it’s easy to pick the wrong one, although it’s very simple to remove undesired objects.

How the Disney AppClix performs has yet to be seen, but if you own an iPad and are a fan of Disney and its franchises, this app is a zero brainer. You can download it straight from the App Store for free today.

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