APP OF THE DAY: Phoster review (iPad / iPhone / iPod touch)

Photography is almost as popular as gaming as a subject for app developers, and with good reason. The iPad has been a revelation for photographers, amateur and otherwise, showing off their wares and allowing them to manipulate the images in millions of ways. The iPhone too, especially in its latest iteration with camera abilities many are happy to trade in their compact flasher for.

So, any app that helps improve or present photographs in a pleasing and classy way is always welcome 'round these parts...

Phoster

Format
iPad (version tested), iPhone, iPod touch
Price
£1.49
Where
iTunes

Being recommended by Apple as a pull out on its App Store does not guarantee that the software in question is worth downloading, let alone paying a hefty sum for (which, bizarrely, in this particular corner of the world, £1.49 is considered). However, in Phoster's case, it's attention is much warrented.

It's amazingly simple in both concept and interface, yet can come up amazing results with little effort, for Phoster is a Poster generator, and a rich, intelligent one at that.

Many poster-making apps around at present simply allow you to slap a tired effect and simple text on to an image, ready for you to pass off as a work of "design". Phoster is different.

To begin with, it seems to have been designed itself by a team who know their Neville Brodys from their Karren Bradys. You are presented with a series of templates that could have come straight from the desk of the former art director of The Face magazine (rather than that of the vice-chairperson of West Ham).

All you have to do is then slap on a picture stored in your photo library or taken through the camera. The text can be changed, enlarged, shrunk, alternatively coloured or moved. There are also more fonts to choose from than a particularly pietistic stretch of the Bible belt.

Once your image and text are placed, you can also alter the look of the picture itself - change its saturation, brightness or contrast. Then it's on to the next step: filters.

Filters basically give each poster the finishing touch. It can be a physical-looking flourish, such as paper effect (folded, crumpled or creased), or you can add other colour washes, stripes or pop art shenanigans. Be creative and you'll find something that fits.

And at the end of the whole process, you can then save the final result to your device's library, print it and/or share it to Twitter, Facebook and the like. There's also a Flickr community that proudly exhibits finished Phosters for all to gawp at.

The beauty of Phoster - apart from its simplicity - is that it's not strictly limited to poster creation. You can make wedding invites, the front of birthday cards, basically anything you like. In fact, we're willing to bet that the developer Bucketlabs will soon announce a deal with a personalised printing company. And so it should.

In fact, unless you own the new iPad, and therefore have the ability to output results at a much higher resolution (2896 x 4096), you're probably less likely to use it to create large posters anyway. It does, however, work with all iPads, iPhones and iPod touches, as long as they rock iOS 4.3 or later, so just about anybody can have a fiddle.

One thing we'd like to see implemented for an update would be the ability to create landscape posters. We had to rotate our picture (in app) and settle for sideways scrolled text for our example. And as nice as that may look, we'd prefer it to work natively.

Have you made any Phosters? Let us know how you got on in the comments below...