At the dawn of the social media age, it may have been enough just to be able to display your pictures online. However, now that’s the base line of operation. You should be able to put pictures online everywhere, including when you order a pizza. So now, if you really want to wow your friends with your great photos, you have to go the extra mile. Pic Stitch is an app that allows you to do just that: not only applying filters to your photos, but also allowing you to put them into collages. (The quilt-panel appearance of them when you’re done is what gives this experience its name.) Currently, Pic Stitch is available solely for mobile platforms, but a number of users want to be able to use Pic Stitch online, or on their Macs or Windows PCs.
This article will provide you with a couple of workarounds to help you do just that.
I like to do interior design, I love to quilt, I love to see different colors together, and I love to match things up. — Mary J. Blige
What is Pic Stitch?
Pic Stitch is a handy new app put out by Big Blue Clip. This is a photo editing app which lets you do a lot of the things you’re probably more accustomed to doing on more dedicated apps and programs like PhotoShop: you can crop, adjust colors, apply filters, all sorts of things.
However, you can also arrange your photos in a stylish collage, which you can then share. And unlike Instagram, Pic Stitch is not its own social media service, and so it doesn’t require a new password or username, or another online presence for you to maintain. However, this can be integrated with all of the major social networks, so you can upload your Pic Stitch creations to your Facebook or to Twitter.
Pic Stitch is freely available on Apple’s App Store, Google Play, and is even available for Windows Phone, if that’s your preference. There are two tiers of apps: there’s the basic version, which will allow you to make collages, and the Pro version (a 99¢ upgrade) which opens up new possibilities: stickers, border customization, the works. Furthermore, you can even buy and download hosts of new filters for your Pic Stitch app.
Why Use Pic Stitch on Mac or PC?
There are numerous reasons why a Pic Stitch devotee may wish to use this great app on their computer, be it Mac or PC. It doesn’t take too much diving into its functionality for reasons to reveal themselves:
This is a photo editing app, and photo editing is always going to profit from a bigger screen. Granted, since this trick involves using smart phone emulation, it won’t necessarily use the full resolution available to your computer (although mobile resolutions are getting better and better). But while it may look slightly pixellated, the larger screen will still allow you to work in a more comfortable position, and help you avoid tech neck and other annoyances of working on a tiny screen.
This is in addition to the benefit of taking advantage of your computer’s superior processing power in order to have a smoother experience with your digital photo-collaging.
Pic Stitch Online from Mac & PC
As I said earlier, Pic Stitch is available for all of the major mobile platforms (including Windows Phone, which doesn’t seem to get the app-love its solid hardware deserves). However, it is also only available for mobile platforms. This is not insurmountable, but it will require emulation of your phone.
For those of you who don’t have any experience with emulation, it’s simply the process of creating a simulation of one platform on another. Before Macintosh switched to the Intel processor for its computers, emulation was the only way to run PC executables on a Mac (now, of course, there’s Boot Camp, which allows you install a Windows Partition on your Mac’s hard drive). In the 90s, there was an explosion of console emulators, which allowed users to run game files from the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, or a number of other game consoles right on their computer.
They all work the same way: they “rope off” a section of your hard drive and set up a virtual version of the thing you’re emulating. And now, it’s pretty easy to do with most smart phones.
Unfortunately, I’ve not found an iOS emulator out there that I like. The method I’m using below uses Android emulation. Now, the emulator I’m using is free, and I’m very confident in it (regular readers will know that I recommend it all the time). But the downside is that it will require a Google Play account in order for you to use it fully. If you don’t have any Android devices (either a phone or a tablet), then maybe an Android-using friend will be willing to let you use their information. Barring that, though, there are alternatives, which you may not like as much, but which I will detail later in the article.
So, in order to emulate an Android, you’re going to need… an emulator. But I’ve got you covered.
Pic Stitch on Mac & PC with Andyroid
There are a lot of great emulators out there, but Andyroid is one of my favorites. Not only is it free, but it’s very well supported, receiving regular updates. It is possible that Andyroid might switch to a paid model at some point in the future, so you’ll want to make sure and snatch the free version up while it’s still available.
- You will need the Google Play account, or access to one.
- Head over to the Andyroid website. Don’t worry; the website will automatically determine if you’re on a Mac or PC and present you with the appropriate emulator version.
- Install it when it’s finished downloading.
- You will now be asked to verify your Google account. Don’t skip this step, as most Android apps will require an authenticated account in order to enjoy full functionality.
- The new screen is exactly the same screen you would get on a fresh install of Android on a tablet. Double-click the Google Play icon.
- Use the search function and type in Pic Stitch.
- Click it to get the app, and this will install it onto your emulator’s desktop.
- Open it up to use Pic Stitch on your PC or Mac.
Pic Stitch Online with Manymo
Manymo is an interesting emulator because, unlike Andyroid, it doesn’t require you to download or install anything onto your computer. Instead, this is essentially a sophisticated website, and runs in a browser. The upside of this is that you can pretty much access Manymo from any computer. The downside is that you will need constant internet access (but since you’re planning on posting your Pic Stitch collages to Facebook anyway, I’m sure you were already planning on maintaining connectivity).
This does still require a Google Play account to work, but if that doesn’t deter you, here’s how you can use Pic Stitch online with Manymo:
- Once you have access to the Google Play account, download the Pic Stitch’s apk file to use on the online emulator. To do so, go to play.google.com and download the Pic Stitch file to your desktop to use with the online emulator.
- Now, head over to Manymo, where you can sign up for an account. Although you need to sign up, you don’t need to pay anything: this is just to keep your emulated Android separate from everybody else’s.
- Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you’ll see you can choose screen size. I recommend you go for a screen size that’s close to your computer’s, so you’ll get the best resolution. (Fortunately, Android was producing oversized “phablet” phones long before Apple.)
- At the top right, you’ll see an option to launch the emulator with an app. When you click on it, it will prompt you to upload the app you want to launch. This is where you’ll use the .apk file you dowloaded earlier.
This will let you use Manymo for a while. Eventually, though, you will need to pay to continue service, but by that time you can be sure if Pic Stitch is for you.
Alternatives to Pic Stitch
If, for whatever reason, emulation is not for you, here are some alternatives to Pic Stitch that are out there, which are available for desktop computers. Presently, there is no desktop version of Pic Stitch released or supported by Big Blue Clip, but given the incredible popularity of this app, it shouldn’t surprise you that there are a number of imitators out there, also allowing you to make digital collages of your photos.
As you see from the above screen shot of the Mac App Store, there are several apps that return from the search for Pic Stitch. Most of them are paid. The prices are right there, so you can weigh that against the cost of Manymo registration, if that’s another thing you want to consider.
There is a free one that’s highly rated: Photo Collage Maker.
Of course this is the search from when I searched for it in preparation for this article. App availability is an ever-changing landscape, so things may be different when you look.
I hope this article helped you to use Pic Stitch Online for Mac or PC. If any of these tips helped you, please mention it in the comments. Also, if you have a workaround we didn’t think of, please let us know. Finally, if you’ve played around with any of the Pic Stitch alternatives out there, tell us how they worked for you.