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(Update: video added) Prisma hands-on: this app turns lousy pics into artwork

We go hands-on with Prisma, a new “filter” app that’s going viral on iOS, and that will soon be available for download on Android. Beta opening tonight!

Published onJuly 21, 2016

Update 7/21: Registration for the beta has now closed and if you don't already have it, you'll need to wait for a general release. As the new video above shows, the Prisma app might just be worth the wait!

Original post 7/19: Prisma, a new “filter” app that’s going viral on iOS, will soon be available for download on Android. Actually, calling Prisma for Android a “filter app” doesn’t do it justice. The word “filter” implies that you’re just playing with the tone, contrast and hue of the image, Instagram-style.

Images created with Prisma for Android are much more than basic filters – they are an AI’s reproduction of the original image, from scratch. So instead of simply tweaking an image, Prisma’s AI algorithm “views” your image and “redraws” it in one of the many available styles.

Prisma launched a few days ago on iOS and it already created quite a stir. And it’s easy to see why. The images it generates look like the work of a human artist.

When is Prisma coming to Android?

Prisma will launch on Android later tonight in beta form. You can sign up to be among the first beta-testers here. According to the app’s developer (a nine-person outfit based in Moscow), Prisma for Android could become available for download in the Play Store by the end of the month, if everything goes to plan.

Prisma for Android 3

Taking Prisma for Android for a spin

We’ve got to try Prisma (beta) on a Galaxy S7 today. The app, while quite simple in terms of UI, is already pretty stable and polished. The only small issue we noticed was that sometimes the process of applying certain “filter” hanged or completely stopped.

Prisma lets you choose images from your gallery or take a new one. You can crop it and change some basic options like toggling automatic image savings and toggling the Prisma watermark.

Next, you can pick from one of the dozens of styles, which include everything from comic-book, cubism, impressionism, paper art, engraving, sketching and many others.

Here’s a gallery of the various styles you can apply, along with the original shot.

Choosing a good picture is key, and you will want to experiment with different styles for different kinds of scenes, like portraits, landscape, or composition.

You’ll also want to play with the slider that lets you choose the “strength” of the style overlay. It’s possible to create some cool effects by making the overlay less visible.

Let us know what you think, sign up for the beta, and keep it tuned for the official release of Prisma for Android.

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