Review: iAscii Art - Macenstein

Review: iAscii Art

Turning photos into Ascii art may seem like useless parlor trick (and it is) but to many tech geeks who began their lives using DOT Matrix printers to print out “pictures” using Ascii characters, Ascii art still holds a special place in our hearts. I actually remember the first naked woman I ever “saw” was an Ascii rendering of a woman from a program called Peek-a-boo on an HP85 my friend’s dad brought home one day. (OVERSHARE! (anyone watch the Sarah Silverman show?))

Well, now you can have all the fun of making your own Ascii art wherever you go with the new iPhone app iAscii Art!

Ascii art iphone

Ascii art iphone

The controls are quite simple. When you first fire up the app you are taken to your Photo libraries where you can select a picture to convert to Ascii art (you can also cancel out of that screen and take a new picture with the iPhone’s camera if you’d like). Next, choose from 7 different Ascci algorithms, each of which uses different types of Ascii characters to generate your image, and each gives a decidedly different look.

Below: the 7 different algorithms (click to enlarge).

Once you’re happy with the result, you can save the photo to your iPhone’s camera roll.


My main issue with iAscii Art is that there is no scaling option when saving the photo, nor is there any zoom option. The whole point of Ascii art (to me anyway) is to be able to zoom in and around the image, and see what characters the program used to generate the image. With the exception of effects 5 and 7, the resulting image is too small to really tell what’s going on. Since the Ascii art doesn’t really need to be a 1 to 1 match with the original, it would be cool if you could opt to save out a larger image (Right now the maximum output width seems to be 800 pixels). I’m actually not sure if this is a limitation of the iPhone or not, as the iPhone seems to resize all imported photos to no wider than 640 pixels. But if possible, larger exports would be a great feature so you could e-mail yourself the photos and perhaps make prints from them. Whether there is a size limitation imposed by Apple or not, this somewhat limits the usefulness of the app in my opinion.


I’m not sure how many people would be interested in an application that turns your photos into Ascii character art on your iPhone, but for those who would be, iAscii Art works as advertised, and is worth the $0.99. The only issue is that at the end of the day you have produced Ascii art at a fairly small size, suitable for e-mailing, but little else.

Price: $0.99
Pros: 7 different Ascii algorithms to choose from, works fast, can grab photos from your library or camera
Cons: No zooming option to see the characters it has used up close, no ability to export larger sized images for printing means the utility of this app is limited.

3 Responses to “Review: iAscii Art”
  1. dizzy says:


    Kind of dumb show, but I love it!

  2. dPeace says:

    dude, that’s hilarious. you’re bringing back memories of the naked women ascii art.

  3. Andy says:

    And of course you needed the continuous feed paper to properly print out the lovely art which at times was several sheets tall. Ahh the days of BBS’s and 2400 baud modems…

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