Frame your photos with Photo Collage

Photo Collage is an iOS app from Privacy & Picture Browser Lab. It’s available in free and paid “Pro” versions now. The developer does not appear to have a Web presence, with the “Support” link in iTunes simply linking to a rather generic-looking Twitter account that has not been used since February.

Photo Collage allows its users to select from one of a variety of different photo frame templates, most of which allow for several photos to be presented together. While most other photo apps tend to limit the user to a square aspect ratio for easy posting on sites such as Instagram, Photo Collage allows its users to use 1:1, 4:3, 3:4 or 3:2 aspect ratios as they see fit.

Once a template has been chosen, the user may fill the various gaps with photos from their device’s photo library. There does not appear to be the means to take a photograph from within the app, which is a rather surprising oversight.

Once the spaces have been filled with photographs, the user may then use various tools to manipulate them. A variety of automatic Instagram-style filters are available, and slider bars allow for the adjusting of “balance” between the various individual photos — a photo that the user wishes to make particularly prominent may be made larger at the expense of the other pictures’ available space. It’s also possible to rotate and flip an individual photo.

Closing the interface that pops up when a photo is added reveals four more options: the ability to select a new frame or aspect ratio, the ability to “round off” the corners of the individual photos within the frame, the ability to adjust the color or background pattern of the frame, and the ability to adjust the size of the photos within the frame.

Once the user is happy with their creation, a “Share” button in the top right corner of the screen can be tapped to perform a variety of actions with the photo in “normal” or “high” quality. It may be saved to the device’s photo album, copied to the clipboard, emailed or printed. It may also be shared with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. Twitter compatibility uses iOS 5+’s built-in functionality, Facebook support uses the external app, Tumblr allows the user to log in within the app itself and the supposed “Instagram” compatibility actually pops up the iOS “Open With…” dialog, allowing the user to send the picture to any other apps compatible with this functionality as well as Instagram.

Photo Collage has a solid idea at its core, but it is not very polished. Its interface features a variety of buttons and elements that provide no clear indication of what they do, and there does not appear to be a help or tutorial facility in the app. The free version is riddled with advertising, too, with popup advertisements appearing when the user switches back to the app using iOS multitasking, and occasionally simply at random when tapping on interface elements. The Pro version, which the free version regularly nags users to upgrade to, removes this particular issue, but the other interface concerns remain.

There are better photo manipulation apps on the App Store, in short — ones that do everything Photo Collage does with a more intuitive, well-designed interface, and often for free. This particular app, then, is one to skip for now.

Photo Collage Free is currently ranked at No. 4 in Top Free Business Apps and No. 9 in Top Free iPad Business Apps. Its paid counterpart, meanwhile, is ranked at No. 21 in Top Paid Business Apps, No. 55 in Top Grossing Business Apps, No 39 in Top Paid iPad Business Apps and No 151 in Top Grossing iPad Business Apps. Follow both versions’ progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.

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