Photo Editors – Future or Fail #1

Hiya everyone! It is finally time for a new series on the main blog! Today, I bring you the first post of the “Future or Fail” series! For this post, I am going to try out some experimental photo editors for both Windows, Linux & Android! Without further ado, let’s begin!

Experimental Editors:

First, I want to layout what I would classify as an experimental photo editor! I think a good place to start is with the actual definition of experimental! Here it is in this totally legit and not badly photoshopped photo from a dictionary!!

FYI, this is the definition from the Oxford Dictionary πŸ˜‚

So, I am going by that definition. Basically, ideas (software) that has not been previously established (made into app form) or finalized (made mainstreamed).

Now for finding these experimental editors. Yes, this is the tricky part! I did a lot of research just by simply playing with search words:
By doing this, I was able to find a few editors! The first editors were from the Google research team! They were published under the name “Research at Google” on the Google Play Store. The team has a few experimental or “appsperimental” (as they call it) apps. Storyboard was the app that caught my eye.

Now, the app isn’t that new at all, I just love the concept and it still seems really cool! Okay, so let’s look at this thing!

Storyboard, by Google:

I downloaded the app and actually noticed something hilarious! The app was updated before it was even released!
Please explain this! πŸ˜‚

Now that I have it downloaded, I opened it up! I was first greeted by this splash screen and then the app!

I loaded in a video of some chickens and after reloading it a few times I ended up with this:

I honestly really like this! These were just different parts from a 5-minute video!
Here are some of the editor’s failed attempts for this video:

The one’s above just have the issue of overexposure!

Here is a video from Chincoteague of the waves that I also liked!

The Verdict:
So… what is it? Future or fail? I am going to have to give this one a fail. The fact is that although the concept is cool, it already feels outdated. Why? I feel like the app only generates the same types of filters. It doesn’t feel like there is a lot of variation. Don’t get me wrong, the concept is incredible… but the application just didn’t hit the mark.

I want to note that I know that this may be a stretch for a “photo editor” but I really wanted to check it out anyway since it isn’t really a video editor either.

This is of course why Google makes apps under different names and tells no one about them. Google just tries things out here and there and if the idea works out. If it works out, it will make it into Google Photos or another part of Google’s core app selection. If not, it will be left without an update since it was launched. (or in this case, before it launched πŸ˜‚)


Now onto the next editor! Glimpse is an editor for Windows & Linux, sorry mac users, with intent to change the way photo editors work for the future. It is driven by donation and not subscriptions like a notorious company (yes adobe, I am talking about you). The dev’s want to make a user-friendly and user driven! With all of that, I am excited to try it out!

I have downloaded the editor and am ready to go! This is what the editor looks like:

I want to comment on how quickly this loaded!
I was opening the photo up and this popped up! Isn’t that cool?! The editor knows that the phone originally took the photo like that, but of course because of my phone’s orientation, the camera app rotated it automatically. I think that is extremely clever that the editor found this info in the file!

Next this pop-up came up:

It knew that the photo was using the standard sRGB that Google developed for the first Google Pixel and will let me change it before importing the photo! I am going to keep it as the original for now. πŸ™‚

The photo is now open!

I spent the past 20 minutes engulfed in this incredible editor and I just have to say “wow”! To the right I have the before edits (in windows photos), and to the left (in the editor) I have the finished edit! Wow, wow, wow!

Wait… OMG! There is a custom task bar icon!

sorry for the bad screenshot!

I am literally blown away by this incredible photo editor! I want to remind you that this is a FREE photo editor that has the features that Photoshop 2021 has!

I want to note that sadly, the Glimpse project was put on hold by the developers due to the pandemic in 2021. If you are interested in learning more, go check out their post about it:

The Verdict:
For this editor, I have to say “future”. I do need to explain this though. If you focus on the editor itself, it has the same features found in Photoshop. Instead of looking at the editor, look at how it is being run. It is Open Source, Free, Community driven, photo editor. You’d struggle to find many other editors run like this that are this good. So, although the features of the editor are not new or futuristic, the editor’s developers have created a unique editor that is futuristic. I really would like to see more editors made like this one!

This editor is for sure going to be featured in future posts. Also, I am crowning it as being the best Photo Editor for Chrome OS users! I have previously recommended Polarr, but this editor has SO much more power! Now, let’s see if I can top this editor!

Photo Demon:

Now for the last editor for this post: Photo Demon. Now, this photo is still in active development (to my knowledge) but the newest release is from September 2020… This is on github btw!

So, why did I pick this editor? There weren’t any unique features, I just liked the idea of the editor… I opened up the editor and was greeted by this popup:

I opened up my photo, and I am going to comment on the UI. I like the colourful icons! I definitely don’t think that this editor looks “futuristic”, but I am still intrigued.

I did some editing in the editor on this photo and have the before on the right (in windows photos) and the after edits on the left (inside photodemon).

I like the editor, I am just not getting the same vibes that I got from Glimpse. I think that Glimpse was a bit more polished and better. That doesn’t mean I dislike the editor, though! I love that you can do Ctrl Z as much as you would like until you get to the base photo. If you have used Photoshop, it is a pain that after a few Ctrl Z’s, you can’t undo any more without deleting layers! Guess what?! The editor has the same taskbar custom icon that Glimpse has! I love this so much!

The Verdict:
Although I like this editor, I don’t think that it is a “futuristic editor”. I hate to give this a fail, but I have to. A “fail” in this series doesn’t mean that it is a bad editor, it just means that it failed to be super unique and futuristic.

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post! I hope that you are just as excited for this series as I am! Drop a comment on what you think the near future of photo editing is! While you are down there, you can also drop a follow! It helps out a ton! 😁

Have a fantastic week!

-Digital Wonders & Smiles

Published by Digital Wonders and Smiles

I am a photographer, writing a photography blog here on WordPress. I am based in the USA and take photos in my hometown. I also occasionally travel both domestically and internationally and write photoblog posts and make videos about these trips! On my blog, I cover everything from mobile photography to dslr photography to photography techniques for anyone!

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