Goodbye, Aviary – Looking for cloud-based Photoshop alternatives

Sometimes, things go wrong. (Like trying to dictate this blog post using Dragon Naturally Speaking 12, and discovering the new “enhanced” Bluetooth headset doesn’t work. But that’s a different story.)

No, today’s story is about, Aviary.

Aviary was a nice collection of free online image and multimedia editing tools. Not as powerful as Photoshop, of course, but if your classroom lab is a set of underpowered netbooks (or Google chromebooks) which you can’t install Photoshop onto, then Aviary’s Phoenix was great because you have layers, masks, etc and it integrated tightly with Google apps for education.

From a teacher’s perspective, this is powerful because students could create Aviary documents from within their school Google Docs account.

  • You didn’t have to worry about creating and managing third-party accounts.
  • You didn’t have to worry about minors under 12 creating user accounts.
  • Everything could be done from within Google Docs.
  • Plus, they had a lot of great tutorials, so Aviary could become a great way for you to integrate art and media literacy into your language program.

I was looking forward to using their effects editor to make cool images like this one.

I was also looking forward to using their swatch editor to talk about color. It was a very cool interactive tool to play with the color wheel and talk about choosing colors in graphic design.


Unfortunately, Aviary is shutting down their multimedia online suite in September 2012.

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