Diptic: Quick and Easy Image Mashups

The level to which people are willing to go to get their photos touched up never ceases to amaze me. Even before Instagram, it wasn’t like there was any dearth of image touch-up apps.

Mashing up multiple images without drastically changing the moment captured for posterity is something that most people love to do. Instead of just clicking through a folder full of pictures, it is so much fun to look at collages or mashups instead. After the break, let’s take Diptic for a spin and see if it can add some spice to our images.

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Portrait Only

I’m not a big fan of apps that work only in one mode. Naturally, I wasn’t thrilled when I noticed Diptic only works in portrait mode. There might be some reason for the developers to lock their apps to work only in a single orientation, but I don’t like to compromise on my convenience. It’s not a deal breaker or anything, but it makes for a bad first impression.

Getting Started

Diptic’s workflow is extremely simple. Choose a layout that catches your attention, start adding images and share it when done. That’s it! For those who are particular about the availability of choices, there are over 50 different layouts to choose from.

Layout Selector — Boxes inside boxes.

Layout Selector — Boxes inside boxes.

If you are like me and can’t decide when there are too many options, click on the dice icon at the top right corner of the screen. Diptic will randomly pick a layout for you. A pat on the back for some smart thinking on the developer’s part.

Adding Images

As you might have guessed, all you have to do is tap to add images. Just click on the block of your choice and add away. Use the camera to take a fresh image or find some from the camera roll. Images can be sourced from Flickr and Facebook as well.

Fill me now!

Fill me now!

Since the blocks are of fixed width, only part of the images can be displayed in the final mashup. However, it was insanely easy to tap and drag to bring the right section of the image into focus. The dice icon at top is here to help as well. Tap on it and it’ll automatically fill the blocks with random images from the camera roll. Nice!

Image Upload Options — Inclusion Facebook and Flickr is so handy.

Image Upload Options — Inclusion Facebook and Flickr is so handy.

Spicing Things Up

If you still aren’t convinced, you definitely will be after using the Tranform and Effects sections. For me, the ability to drag the image to highlight the right spot was good enough. But, Diptic offers another great way to bring the best parts of an image to the forefront.

Readjusting Boxes.

Readjusting Boxes.

From the Transform section of the app, you can realign the size of the boxes. Use the arrow marks to either increase or decrease the size. Still, it doesn’t allow you to change the overall size of the entire mash up, but you could get that feature by opting for a quick in-app purchase.

Adding Effects — Take the edge(s) off.

Adding Effects — Take the edge(s) off.

There are 14 filters available and you can use them by tapping on the images in the layout. That’s isn’t all. From here, every single aspect of the boxed layout can be made to look better, too. Taking advantage of the Rounded Inside and Rounded Outside options, the rigid look of the mash up could be given a face lift.

The slider for controlling the rounded edges is another brilliant and thoughtful addition. So is the border highlighter feature. There aren’t any frills in this section, as this one area developers tend to go nuts with so many unnecessary tools and options.

Sharing and Exporting Images

Okay, since the app scored big in almost all areas, I wasn’t surprised when I found that there were ample avenues to share the mash ups you have created. From traditional email to all popular social networks and image sharing sites, nothing was left out.

Sharing Options — So many options.

Sharing Options — So many options.

You can toggle between a normal and high resolution version of the image that you plan to share as well. If you tap on the other apps option from the menu, Diptic will prep the image and will allow you to open it directly in other compatible apps in your iPad. Another small, but handy option nailed to perfection. Kudos!

Final Thoughts

I found Diptic to be extremely simple to use. There aren’t many fancy pants options that make the app complex to use. In a couple of minutes, you could figure out the workflow and start putting your images together. And, it’s a good thing that there are so many layouts available right out of the box.

Diptic is a universal binary and once purchased, it can be used on your iPhone as well. Naturally, the portrait mode lock is inherited as well. The features and design are all exactly the same in both versions, but I found the experience of using the app in the iPhone better. It could be because all the menus and tools were well within the reach of my thumb or the overall cuteness of the app in a tiny canvas. I would say that screen real estate is better used in the iPhone version.

One thing that could make Diptic a clear winner is the option to use more unconventional and to some extent, quirky layouts. The rectangles and boxes are fun for a while, but might get boring after a few times. That said, Diptic is a great app for making your image collections even more enjoyable.


Summary

Diptic helps you easily combine multiple photos and apply artistic effects to create exceptional photo collages that can be shared with friends and family via email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr or Posterous.

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