Today, we’re releasing a public beta of our Pixlr Express web app. And we’d like you to try it out.
The web version of our Pixlr app is similar to Pixlr for iOS and Android and Pixlr Desktop. it has a lot of the same functionality. But one thing is very different about the current Pixlr Express that affects how well it will perform in the future: It’s built on Flash, which everyone and their brother agrees is dying quickly. Flash has been a massively useful web standard for Internet users around the world for a very long time. It deserves everyone’s heartfelt salutation as it sails off into the sunset. Rest assured Pixlr Express won’t be stuck on Flash forever. We’ve begun building an updated version of Pixlr Express for the web that is built entirely on HTML5, and you can start using it today if you’d like.
How to access the public beta
When you open Pixlr Express, you’ll see an option to switch to the public beta in the upper-right-hand area of the window. Click the “Try Now” button, and you’ll open the HTML5 photo editor in a new window. (Whatever you were doing in the old editor will stick around until you decide to close that window.) You’ll immediately notice the difference in the design.
While the new editor has a different look, eventually the functionality will be the same. Our hope is that while we are updating this Flash app to HTML5 we can also improve the user interface based on things we’ve learned over the years.
How to give us feedback
Of course, our users will be the ultimate judge of whether we are, in fact, improving Pixlr Express while upgrading the technological details. And you can help us determine how well we’re doing by providing feedback during this beta. How to do that? When you save an image, we will prompt you with a message.
You can also just shoot us an email if you prefer. If you choose to email us we will be able to shoot you a message back to ask more about your feedback if we need to. We don’t plan on using your email for anything else — except to let you know when the app is finalized and out of public beta. Any and all feedback you provide is valuable to us. Not just questions we’ve thought about ahead of time. That’s one of the beauties of public betas: Our users will alert us to details we hadn’t considered. So please try out the new beta and don’t hold back with the feedback.
It’s a work in progress
Of course, we’re building this app as you use it. It’s very much a public beta with a lot of flaws and rough edges. Right out of the gate, these are a few details to know:
- No Adjustments: You’ll see Effects, Overlays, and Borders, but the Adjustment tools will be coming in a later beta release.
- Best Browsers: Chrome is your best bet at the moment. Firefox has some minor rendering issues.
- Safari Not So Goody: if you’re using Mavericks (or an earlier OS), WebGL isn’t enabled by default in Safari. However, you can enable Developer Tools in Safari and then turn on WebGL support for better performance. If you’re on Yosemite (most current OS), it will work without turning anything on. However, you’ll need to save your final image manually to your desktop for now (right click or Command S).
- Internet Explorer: We’re currently supporting Internet Explorer 11+. (Will we support IE 6? Never!)
- Desktop only: At this early stage, we don’t recommend trying this on a phone or tablet. But in theory HTML5 can support all kinds of devices. We’ll get there.
We’re updating the app just about every day, so you’ll probably see the app dramatically improve over the course of the coming weeks and months if you use it on a regular basis. We know that a lot of people are hesitant to accept change in apps like these, so rest assured that you’ll be able to keep using the old Flash version even after we finish this HTML5 version. You’ll just have more options on more platforms (if you want or need them).