Bitstrips full review
What better way to spend a morning hanging around a deserted train station in the aftermath of St. Jude than to create hilarious comics starring yourself and your Facebook friends. This is the service offered by free Android and iOS app Bitstrips, and by now you'll almost certainly have witnessed its popularity through the cartoon adventures plastered all over your Facebook news feed. See Best Android apps.
Bitstrips is a huge download (49MB on Android, and 75.7MB on iOS), but it includes a good number of high-quality cartoons, and you can go into some detail when designing your avatar. See Best iPhone apps.
Upon first launching Bitstrips you must log in via Facebook, although alternative logins are said to be coming soon. You then create your avatar, first choosing your gender, then your outfit, hairstyle, build, height, eye colour and shape, even your wrinkles and dimples. Your avatar is never going to be the spitting image of you, but it's close enough for a cartoon. You can reset this avatar at any time from the Settings menu. See Android Advisor.
If you like being the centre of attention you can feature alone in your cartoons, but Bitstrips really is more fun when you involve your friends. If they already have Bitstrips avatars then you can include them in comic strips without their permission; if they don't, you can create an avatar for them. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how wicked you are) it isn't possible to build them with unibrows and goofy teeth.
The app's home page then delivers a scrolling list of the latest comics, and you can add new characters at the top of the page. Tap the Create icon at the bottom of the screen to create your own greeting card, status- or friend comic, within which you can choose from categories such as Birthdays and Anniversarys or Pranks and Insults. Once you've selected a particular cartoon you can edit the character's facial expressions and add your own speech bubbles, then click to share it online.
Also worth a look is the Archives tab, which displays any comics your friends have created, plus your own cartoons on a separate tab. It's here that you'll realise just how popular is Bitstrips - and that's something of a problem.
Bitstrips' servers are struggling to cope with the app's immense popularity, and the 'Comic servers are overloaded, please try again soon message' makes all too frequent an appearance. The app can also be extremely slow at times, but we urge you to persevere.
- Android 2.2 or later, 49MB storage
- iOS 4.3 or later, 75.7MB storage