There are so many different ways to interact with our photos on iOS, we barely need our Macs anymore to create refrigerator-worthy projects. Just about anything can be done on our iPhones and iPads, with countless filter, layout, caption and effects apps each opening wonderful worlds of creativity at our fingertips. Tiles - Photo Framer, the latest entry into the collage fray, brings enough to the table to set it apart from the crowd. Neat, modular frames keep your project clean, but Tiles still gives you the freedom to make your work your own, with a fun, gesture-based interface that offers boundless possibilities.
Each project starts with a single colored box. As you pinch, new frames are created in varying sizes and colors until your canvas kind of looks like a Windows 8 start screen. The extraordinarily clean UI – an invisible set of tools springs to life with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen – lets your imagination take over, as photos are cropped and split with wild abandon. Text can be added anywhere, and a fairly robust set of fonts nicely spices up your artwork.
Tiles is more fun than other collage apps we've tried, but it suffers from the same constraints. Frame borders and edges can be altered using nifty sliders, but these are wholesale changes, so we had no control over individual boxes. Empty boxes add a bit of vibrancy to collages, but since colors are applied randomly, you may find yourself continuously deleting and pinching to get the look you want. And you can take photos within the app, but without any editing tools or filters, you probably won't be straying far from your photo library.
The bottom line. Tiles will help you make pretty collages, but they'll still look like they were made on a mobile device.
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