Feather – A Light, Simple But Powerful HTML5-Based Online Photo Editor

Jeffry Thurana 07-12-2010

online photo editorI think many people would agree that one of the most controversial turning points in the tech world is Apple’s decision not to support Flash technology in its iDevices and go with HTML5 instead.


Despite the pros and cons that surround the decision, the real question is whether this new technology has what it takes to at least stand on the same ground with Flash. For the time being, the answer might still be “not yet”. However, a new online photo editor from Aviary called Feather shows us that we can definitely expect great things from HTML5.

The Photo Editor

Aviary is the maker of the online photo editor suite Edit Images Online with The Aviary Photo Editor Suite Read More . Feather, its latest creation, is the simplified version (with HTML5 twist) of Phoenix, Aviary’s Flash-based online photo editor. But being the simplified version doesn’t mean that Feather is less powerful than Phoenix. Feather collects the most popular tools of Phoenix, and packs them into one light and simple tool. Feather is perfect for everyday users who will never use advanced image editing tools to re-touch their images – and who could use extra system resources while doing so.

Anybody can use the tool without any obligation. Just visit the site and click on the “See it in Action” tab.

online photo editor


Then you can upload your image to edit.

01aa HTML5 Editor - Upload Image.jpg

Or you could also point Feather to an online image location by providing the image’s URL. Feather will download the image to its server.

01ab HTML5 Editor - Image URL.jpg


The image will be opened along with a bunch of image editing tools such as Rotate, Flip, Resize and Crop. There are also quick effect tools that you can use, like: Instant!, Toy Camera, Old Photo and Retro.

01ac HTML5 Editor - Edit.jpg

More options of a specific tool will be available after you select that tool. There’s also Undo and Redo buttons.

01ax HTML5 Editor - Crop.jpg


Feather allows you to add text to your images, but the options are very limited. You can’t change the font type nor add effects. All you can do is change the color and size of the font.

01ay1 Test Text.jpg

To delete a text group, select the text and click on the “X” button on the top right corner of the text box.

01ay2 Test Text.jpg


To get fun effects quickly and effortlessly, use the quick effect tools. Below is the result of “Instant!” tool.

01az Quick Effect.jpg

After you are done, click the save button and wait. You will be given a URL and a download button to download the image.

01ad Download Edited Image.jpg

On The Mobile Side

Out of curiosity, I tried to open Feather using iPhone’s Safari. Even though the site could be opened just fine, I couldn’t upload any image from the phone to the editor. The only option left was to use an image URL.

01ba Opening Editor In iPhone.jpg

So I opened my blog, then tapped and held on an image. I chose “Copy” from the pop up buttons to copy the image.

01bb Copy Image URL-1.jpg

I went back to the editor, tapped on the URL field and chose “Paste“. The image URL was pasted inside the URL field, I clicked “Go” and the image was opened along with the editor and I could edit the image as if it was done on an ordinary browser.

online photo editor

This little experiment showed us that this free, light and powerful image editing tool is also accessible from iDevices (and other smart phones) as long as they can connect to the internet. The best method is to edit images that are already on the web, something like Flickr photos or pre-uploaded personal photos.

Embedding The Tool To Your Site?

The developer mentions that you can also embed the online photo editor to your site. After a few failed attempts to use the embedded tool as a personal online image editor, I contacted the developer asking whether I made mistakes in the process. It turned out that the current version of the embeddable image editor doesn’t support image uploading and will only add an Edit button below specific images on the page where the code is embedded.

The developer also said that an image uploading feature might be added in the future. But until then, we’ll have to stick to the online editor on the Aviary site.

In conclusion, I think Feather is a very useful light, simple and powerful image editor. The tool could be a good alternative to heavier online (and offline) image editors.

Have you tried Feather? What do you think of the tool? Share your opinions using the comments below.

Related topics: HTML5, Image Editor.

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  1. Saikat Basu
    December 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    There are two more HTML5 image editors worth mentioning - Sketchpad and CloudCanvas. These are really helping HTML5 come to the fore.

  2. Elton Sites
    December 8, 2010 at 10:55 am

    This is the first time I came across Feather. I will try to use it for online photo editing and see if it is cool than using my current photo editing software. There is a lot of work to be done with HTML 5 before it can compete or shall we say replace flash. Apple had it too early to abolish flash totally. Apple users are still opting to use flash on their Macs as lots of websites still use flash.

    • Aibek
      December 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

      please let us know your feedback once you have tried it.

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  4. spotht
    December 7, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    It's too early for HTML5 to compete with Flash.