I’m a sucker for sticker apps. If you like it, then you should’ve put a stamp on it. That’s my motto. I can never really have enough photo apps, because my thirst for stickers will never be satiated.
That’s why I was happy to try out Moonfrye, with its tons of free stickers to download. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye, though, and I’ll take a look at this surprising little app.
Stuck on You
All of the sticker themes in Moonfrye are free. I didn’t see a single download that cost red cent, and I saw no sign they’d be going paid anytime soon. That’s certainly unexpected in a photo app that was already free to begin with. There are a fair number of stickers in each theme, but a lot of them are the same sticker over again with a different color scheme, so that limited what I could do. It would be great to mix and match stickers from different themes, but unfortunately, that was a nonstarter.
There are two ways to get a new photo project, called a Memory in Moonfrye, going. Choose either a collage of up to four images or create a photo cutout. There’s no way to just take a new photo and start editing it like in photo apps I’m used to. If I just wanted to work with a single picture, I had to add it to a collage by itself and then zoom in and center it manually. There are definitely sleeker apps for creating photo collages and apps that make it a lot easier to add stickers to a photo.
What stands out in Moonfrye is the cutout photos. The app tried to identify the people in my photo and then stuck them in a fun scene that coordinated to the theme I had chosen. It never got the cutout just right, though, and I had to adjust the mask to get just what I wanted in the final image. I could never get as precise as I liked, and always ended up chopping off an ear or including a big chunk of the original background.
Whenever I’d save a Moonfrye image, the app would direct me to a related craft — which is nice, I guess. If after setting my cat adrift on a pirate ship and posting the picture to Instagram, I were then interested in building little egg carton pirate ships I’d be all set. It just seems a little tacked on.
While all of that was going on, I was also unlocking Collectibles, funny little fantasy creatures. All of the unlocked Collectibles are browsable in the main menu. They each have a name and a backstory. In the app, Collectibles are additional stickers I could add to my photos.
More Than Just Stickers
I love photo apps, and I may be alone at AppStorm in appreciating stickers. I just never knew where I stood with Moonfrye. It never seemed to know what it wanted to be. I’ll admit that I was slow on the uptake in figuring out that Moonfrye is a tie-in for celebrity Soleil Moon Frye’s website. She’s trying to cover a lot of bases, and I’m not sure the app is doing any one thing well.
The feature attraction is obviously the photo editing and sharing, but even that is lacking. There aren’t enough stickers in each theme, and I felt I lacked choice. The app forces the user to do some form of collage, either scissoring out people from photos and gluing them into Moonfrye’s backgrounds or pasting several different photos together. There’s just not a mechanism to edit a single photo easily.
I didn’t know what I was doing unlocking ponies and bunnies. While there were some great-looking stickers in the app that I really enjoyed using, these overly stylized collectible creatures and their magical origin stories seemed to be aimed at a younger set. I was no longer sure if the app was intended for me or not. It didn’t seem like an app for kids when I downloaded it, but the preschool-style rewards made me feel excluded.
There’s a lot of nice stuff in Moonfrye, especially for an app that’s 100% free. It’s just that I became increasingly unsure what sort of experience the developer had been going for and whether I was the intended audience after all. When a fun photo app stops being fun and becomes instead an existential photo app, it’s going to lose its spot on my home screen.
Fans of Soleil Moon Frye, on the other hand, are going to have a bang up time. Anyone following her on her website or social media is going to dig this app. I still think Moonfrye could do with a redesign to make it more focused, to give it a clearer purpose, but if you’re already in with the Soleil in crowd, you should do fine.