Over the last six months we’ve been tracking the progress of Picplz, a service that aims to make sharing your photos as easy as possible: point, shoot, upload and you’re done. The service was created by former imeem executives Dalton Caldwell and Bryan Berg and launched an early Android app in May, followed by an iPhone app in August — between them the apps have over 100,000 downloads. You can download the iPhone app here; Android users can just search the Market for Picplz.
But while both of these apps made it easy to take a snapshot and quickly upload it to the web, they were missing something that’s all the rage in mobile photography: effects. Yes, just like Instagram, Hipstamatic, and a bevy of others, Picplz now allows users to add a variety of effects to their photos. But the apps are doing it in a way that CEO Dalton Caldwell says makes Picplz better than the competition.
For one, the effects are free (some competitors charge you for each filter as in-app purchases). And the effects are also non-destructive: Picplz uploads a copy of your original photo in its original high-resolution to its server, and applies whatever filter you want server-side. This means that you can log back into the site a few months down the line and remove the filter, or, should Picplz come out with an effect you like more, you can apply it retroactively. Caldwell says that Picplz is the only mainstream app to upload photos non-destructively, and he also says that the upload resolution is much higher than the competition’s (Picplz can upload an image that’s 2048 pixels wide from an iPhone 4 while Instagram currently has a max of 612 pixels, though that company plans to boost their limit).
Aside from the new effects, the mobile apps are getting an improved interface. Before now iPhone users who wanted to view their photo stream would get kicked into an instance of mobile Safari — now Picplz has improved this so you can view the photos in a native viewer and easily swap back to your camera. The iPhone app is also getting improved photo upload speeds and Push notifications.