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It's a bit of a lost art, the collage. We have Facebook walls and Pinterest boards, but in the digital age, there aren't too many platforms that replicate the timeless practice of snipping words and photos and sticking them to a poster. With Collage, Adobe attempts to digitize the process for the iPad, but doesn't quite conjure the nostalgia I was hoping for.
It didn't take me long to master Collage's toolset, but that's not necessarily a compliment. While it's nice to fully learn the app in a few minutes, its ease of use has less to do with the intuitiveness of its interface than its overly limited features. It's easy to dive into Collage and certainly fun to use, but it doesn't really do anything that the desktop-caliber Photoshop Touch cannot, making its $9.99 price tag baffling.
Adobe Collage obviously revolves around photos, and Adobe has included several importing options, though copyright restrictions severely limit what's found from search tools like Google and Flickr. Photos can be rotated and resized with ease, and a nifty cut-out tool mimics the jagged impreciseness of cutting up a magazine. Video support is a nice touch, but the lack of Retina support for a premium app released after the new iPad's retail debut is a bummer.
Collage can import PSDX files (with support for layers, but not transparency) via Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription service, but its proprietary COLZ files can't be opened in Photoshop Touch for advanced editing. I was surprised Adobe didn't include any filters or unique brushes (maybe tape or pushpins) to compensate for its rudimentary toolset, and I would have liked to see more font options, -- especially one that makes it look like words should on a collage. Without these touches, finished collages look pretty one-dimensional.
The bottom line. Adobe's latest app for the iPad captures the essence of collaging, but it still isn't quite as satisfying as working with scissors and glue.
iPad running iOS 4.3 or later
Extremely easy to use. Fun photo-editing tools. PSD layer support.
Pricey with limited features. No filters or effects. Not Retina-ready.