February 28, 2009

Collage Lite Review

Guest Post by Liana Lehua

Collage Lite – Cost: $0.99

Developer: John Moffett

Lite features: Up to 4 photos in a collage at a time. The full version of Collage includes a crop feature.

This review is of the full, paid version of Collage for iPhone on both an iPhone 3G and original iPhone 2G.

Did your mouth drop when you saw Tom Cruise interface with data in Minority Report or watched CSI’s Duquesne* and Delco* visually manipulate and analyze crime scene evidence using the iPhone-familiar pinch and expand technique – moving and re-sizing images around with the swipe of the wrist or a flick of the finger? Whether these clips from Hollywood are familiar to you or not, the were jaw-dropping awesome the first time they aired. If you think this way of interfacing with data is cool, and you’re a photographer, then wait until you learn more about Collage.

While I don’t generally use my iPhone to capture or edit images I may want to use for professional use, I definitely find the benefit of doing so with images I want to have fun with: iPhone wallpapers, Facebook posts, screen captures to share with others, to immortalize my Rock Band supremecy, for example.

To begin, I choose a color for my collage’s background and decide whether I want to work in portrait or landscape mode by holding my iPhone vertically or tilting it horizontally. Then, select an image to work with. I choose to work with one image at a time, apply any filters, and perform actions before adding another photo to my canvas. If I accidentally select the wrong image, I can delete it using the trash can icon. This can be done on any image/layer at any time. Just be careful to have the correct one highlighted. There is no “undo” command to easily bring back whatever you’ve deleted. Moving images in front of or behind others is as simple as clicking on the image. Think of this as being the same as moving an image on top of or below another image/layer.

Delete “layers” using the trash can icon. This function works on the image but does not work for deleting filters, part of the “Actions” menu. In order to change an applied Action, simply call the menu and select a different item. Clicking on the delete icon will delete the highlighted image/layer. Multiple action items can be applied.

Next, I select a filter or an action to apply.

List of Actions:
• Black and White
• Sepia
• Nudge straight
• Remove Frame
• Auto Layout
• Adjust Transparency

I have the option to perform what Collage refers to as a crop to my image by clicking the scissors icon and drawing a dotted line around the part of the image I want to keep.

From here, I can add another image and another, until my collage is complete.

Once saved, the collage created is saved to the iPhone camera roll and can be opened and re-edited in Collage. I use iPhoto to manage my iPhone images, so when finished I get a 960 x 640, non-layered image. Once the collage is exported from your camera roll, you cannot re-import it for further editing.

Collage is a bit of a memory hog, but I expected to see a drop when using an image editing application. I went from 22.02 mb of available memory to 10.60 mb. As I used to tell my implementation teams, save early and save often.

Collage Wallpaper Creator Lite has just been released for iPhone users and offers all of the same features as the full paid version with the limitation of only allowing 4 images to be used in one collage at a time. Additionally, cropping is not available to Lite users.

What collages will you create? Post yours at

* – CSI’s Duquense and Delco are from the CBS show CSI:Miami

Liana Lehua is a technology writer, speaker and producer who may just be as addicted to CSI:Miami as she is to her iPhone. Find her at the Lakers game or via email or the web at [email protected]