Last summer, Alicia Lu was seized by a deep longing. She was making weekend plans with her friends, and she wanted to text them a picture of herself being pelted with pizza slices falling from the sky. Though she knew there was quite a cottage industry of sticker apps that allow you to create the compositions of your fantasies, she realized there wasn’t a way to create the one she so desired with slices of pizza.
Hers was a difficult ache with a simple solution. Lu trekked over to her local pizza joint nearby, Gino’s, took some photographs of slices, and joined forces with a developer friend-of-a-friend, Daniel Williams, to make an iOS app. It's resulted in a delightfully inessential app, Pizzafy, that debuted in the App Store this past Monday.
Pizzafy is a free photo-editing iOS app like any other, allowing you to filter or desaturate any photos in your camera roll and adjust their lighting. Its UX is more simple than most I’ve encountered in recent memory. You boot up the app and are greeted with a welcome screen; once you opt-in to let the app access your camera roll, you can adorn any photograph of your choosing with a single, rotatable slice of pizza. It's a marvelously mundane sliver, pimpled and volcanic, with a hearty crust and tomato sauce the color of magma.
Screengrabs courtesy Pizzafy.
And that’s it. This app's simplicity is a double-edged sword; I’m afraid its capabilities don’t extend beyond spicing up your compositions with individual slices of pizza. If you’d like more, you'll have to pay about $1 for slices with toppings (pepperoni, sausage & mushroom, "Hawaiian"), or $2 for whole pies and slices with all possible toppings.
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Lu’s endgame with this app is to “create a community around pizza,” or, if she can figure out a way to do so, to empower local pizza-owners. A just mission, and I hope Lu succeeds. It’s not exactly hard to convene around a shared love of pizza. Either way, stick these photos on your mood board.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.