Photonia is a brand new app that will amaze and impress.
A new photography app that came out today called Photonia is one of the best collage apps I’ve ever seen for the iPhone! I wish it were available for the iPad, too.
I’ve only been playing with Photonia for about an hour or so (as you can see at left), and I already know how to do everything I need to create awesome, funny, amazing, wonderful collages. The controls and instructions are so intuitive that there is no need to read instructions or anything else really. You can begin making collages immediately with Photonia because everything you touch brings little pop-ups that tell you what to do.
Photonia comes with 53 built-in templates, 150 stickers, 43 photo frames, 44 backgrounds, and 15 photo effects.
This is what the description in the App Store says, but it may be a little misleading. The app comes with a good amount of each of these things, but to get all the templates, stickers, frames, and backgrounds, you will need to purchase 2 in-app packs that are 99 cents each.
I am totally overlooking the misleading part of the description though, because I wanted to buy them anyway. In reality, Photonia costs 99 cents to begin with and each of the packs are 99 cents, which means you get everything that is described initially for only $2.99. That is still a really great price for what you get both in quantity and quality.
Let’s move on from the price to the amazing parts of this app.
To get started, you either choose a preset template, or you can start with a blank slate and make your own design, which you can then save as a template to use again and again.
If you design something and want to save it as a template to use again later, just click the blue button in the lower right and choose Template to save it as a template or Image to just save it as a photo or share it.
The basic templates are on the 1st page. If you purchase any packs, you just slide the screen to the left to get to the pages that have the templates from those packs.
If you choose a template and decide it’s not for you, click the blue button in the top left corner. That button will be there throughout the whole app to let you go back to the previous screen.
Even if you start with a preset template, you can still move everything on the template to make it your own. A light touch on any aspect of the template brings up the menu you see at left.
This is how you bring in a new photo to replace the placeholder pictures in the preset templates. Just lightly touch the photo, bring up this menu, and either choose to take a new photo, or choose a photo from your camera roll.
When you bring in a photo, the app lets you transform the photo, meaning that you can move it around, pinch it to make it smaller or bigger, turn it around with 2 fingers, whatever you want to do to make the photo work.
Once the photo is in place, you can add a filter to it by touching the photo again to bring up the menu and choose filter.
This menu also lets you add a frame, go back to the transform state, send something to the front or back, or delete any piece of the collage.
If you want to change the background of the entire collage, just touch somewhere in the background area, meaning somewhere that doesn’t have a photo or sticker or something else on it.
That brings up the little menu you see in this photo. You can add your own photo as the background for the collage and create a collage on that photo, or you can choose “Photonia Image” to get to the Photonia backgrounds. Just choose which one you want and presto, it appears in the background.
If you purchase the 2 packs, their backgrounds are accessed by pressing the 2 tabs right above the main backgrounds.
For me, this is the only unintuitive part of Photonia. I didn’t know until I accidentally touched the background how to bring in a background when starting from scratch.
Maybe I’m just a little slow, but it was a little confusing to me. Perhaps a Diptic-style instruction screen that just shows you the 3 basic places to bring up menus would be helpful the first time you use the app.
The 3rd main menu screen is accessed by pressing the pretty pink plus button. From there, you can add a frame, add text to the collage with the beautiful text editor, add stickers, or clear the entire collage and start again.
Let me tell you that you have to be clicked on a photo and THEN click add frame for Photonia to add a frame that fits that photo precisely. If you are not clicked on the photo and you click add frame, a frame will just pop up on the screen, which is useful if you want to frame some words or a sticker.
Also, there are 2 different taps to do 2 different things. If you bring in a photo or anything else and don’t transform it right away, you can easily access the transform stage again by tapping and holding for a few seconds. A light tap just chooses the item and brings up the menu that I already showed you.
Adding text is super easy. If you choose it from the menu just shown, it takes you to the screen at right.
Just type in what you want to say and style it the way you want it. The 3 gray buttons align the text left, middle, or right, and the white button accesses the font, size, and color that you see below the buttons.
It looks like Photonia has added quite a few fun fonts to the usual Apple fonts, which gives you just a ton of options when it comes to styling your collage. Use the typical roller to pick a font, size, and color for your text.
When you are done, click done in the top right corner, and it will place your text on the collage where you can then move it around and arrange it just like a photo.
Adding a sticker is just like adding a frame. It brings up a little menu at the bottom of the screen that shows you all the stickers in the basic pack and both of the 2 purchased packs.
Just click on a sticker and it will appear in the middle of the collage, ready and waiting for you to adjust it and place it where you want. Adjusting a sticker is the same as adjusting a photo. You can use the pinch gesture to change its size, use 2 fingers to twirl it around at angles, and lightly touch it after you’re done to bring up send to front or send to back.
Once you are totally done with the collage, click the blue button in the bottom right and either choose to save it as a template or as an image.
If you choose image, it will take you to the screen at right. From there, you can write whatever you want to say to share it on Facebook or Twitter, or simply save it to the camera roll or email it to someone. You can also share it on Instagram.
That button actually just brings up the open in another app screen, which lets you open your collage in any app that allows this type of sharing, like Instagram or PhotoForge2.
The developer has shared an email for you to get ahold of them if you have any problems. I haven’t tried the email, but I like when a developer makes themselves that easily available.
That’s it for me today. Until later, …