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Cover takes the hard work out of graphic design so that anyone can make a sweet piece of photo art to share online.
Price: $1.99/£1.49 (launch sale, down from $3.99/£2.99)
Size: 58.8 MB
There are a lot of photo editing apps out there, so what makes Cover stand out from the crowd? It doesn’t have the best filters or the most features, but it does have a specialist take on this genre of apps. It’s focus is on creating a very particular type of image: a pretty square picture adorned with text and stickers, perfect for sharing on social media.
More specifically, it’s a very easy way of designing graphics that look like album covers, magazines or posters. It’s aimed squarely at Instagram users and those who like to pimp out their online profile picture. Though limited, Cover is good at what it does.
The first step is to select an existing picture from your library or snap a new photo. One early problem we found with the app was it only seemed to show recent pictures in the library view – meaning hundreds of older photos couldn’t be imported at all. A big shame, but hopefully just a glitch that can be fixed in the next update.
In addition to the main buttons for adding decorative elements, you can also swipe left or right to switch filters and up or down to toggle through the preset templates. If you’re feeling lucky, there’s a shuffle button which can give you a completely random combo of filters, brightness and cover designs. It’s a quick and fun way to get some unexpectedly charming results.
The best thing about Cover is the huge selection of pre-made layouts and overlays. The magazine covers are a particular highlight, but even the simpler decorations like quotes, frames and stickers are well-made and offer decent choice.
Oh, and every template is fully editable: you can rearrange elements, edit text and add or delete objects at will. The touch controls are really well implemented and intuitive.
Cover has a huge, huge range of stickers; most are your classic slightly quirky ‘hand-drawn’ fare, with a few more straight-laced shapes, frames and banners to choose from. They can be displayed in any color you like and are really easy to manipulate once put into place.
There’s definitely something for every occasion here, so long as you can get on board with the house style.
Cover’s text editing features are surprisingly good too, with over 100 fonts to choose from and a sensible collection of options. You can tweak the transparency of your text as well as play with the horizontal and vertical spacing – features often overlooked but which can be really useful for perfecting a layout.
The handful of filters – inspired by various magazine covers – are nice enough. Fairly standard stuff but with enough variety to provide sufficient choice. However, there are no additional tweaks available beyond basic brightness settings, which is a little disappointing.
Cover is a delight to use, with a decent slew of editing tools, but with simplicity comes compromise. You won’t find any pro tools or hardcore editing functions in here – more ambitious users would be better off with Moldiv or Layout.
Despite a few concerns, for the ultra-sharable hand-drawn aesthetic it specializes in it’s a very solid photo editor; fun to use and with quick, impressive results. If you’re lacking a decent tool to help improve your social media game, look no further.
— TapSmart (@TapSmart) June 11, 2015
- Fun and easy to use
- Great selection of templates
- Perfect for Instagram
- Limited in scope
- Problems with photo import