Top iPhone App of 2016 is Prisma

At the end of the year almost every publication names their top apps of the year. Apple chose Prisma as the top iPhone app for 2016. I believe this was the first time a photo-related app was selected. Prisma is an app that will convert your photo to a ‘work of art’ in a variety of styles by famous artists.

Local eatery shortly after sunset. Used Prisma to create the artwork.

When it was first released it would upload all the photos to their servers to process the images using sophisticated algorithms (computer code). Some were concerned about privacy issues. Since that time the app runs locally on your iPhone (at least for most of the styles – I’m not sure if there are any that still get uploaded to their servers). The app continues to improve in stability, and can even do video in a recent update!

It’s a free app, so you should download this one. I really enjoy using it. You’ll quickly learn which styles are your favorites, and new styles are often being added.

When using it there are a few things you can do. If you drag your finger left/right on the image you can apply the percentage of artwork over your image so your photo can be blended with the artwork. If you swipe your finger downward on the image it will add a ‘split line’ down the image, so artwork only covers half the image. If you swipe your finger down a few more times it will change the direction of the slice. After several swipes the line will go away again (you can also swipe upwards to reverse the process).

Currently the app seems to have a maximum size of 2 million pixels in dimensions for the image, so it does not save full resolution images. An image on my iPhone 6s will be 1608×1224 pixels. This has increased since the app was first released, so maybe that will continue to increase with future updates. I haven’t played very much with the video and am not sure what the output resolution is.

Below are a few of my images. You can find far more on their Instagram page. You can download from their home page at

Now…why haven’t I been doing more posts? Work continues to drag me down. I’m on a multi-year software project that is consuming all my time. Unfortunately, it is running rather significantly behind. There isn’t really a project manager on this one (even worse, there are a number of people that partially do the job), and it is rather disorganized as far as timelines go. Typical frustrations of work. Hopefully I get to retire some day and I’ll have far more free time. I can dream. 🙂