MOLDIV has evolved from an excellent collaging app into an ambitious all-in-one photo editor
Size: 79.4 MB
Developer: JellyBus Inc.
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Since its recent v3.0 update, MOLDIV is more or less three full apps in one: a photo editor, a layout package and a pro camera. Is it trying to cram too much into a single package? Let’s break down the core elements.
Professional photo editor
First up is the editor view. A completely new focus for the app, looking to compete with the hundreds of photo editors already out there. Luckily, it’s surprisingly good.
The interface is cheerfully straightforward, with all the usual functions we’ve come to expect from photo editors: clarity, exposure, sharpen and the like are all present, plus a fun double exposure setting. Additionally MOLDIV boasts a range of textured overlays like film grains, lens flares and weather effects, which blend seamlessly into your images. It’s instant, and looks great.
There’s also a huge range of ‘stickers’ to drop onto your pictures, ranging from cartoonish speech bubbles to novelty hats and glasses. The text tools are pretty great, too – not many editors give you access to details like character spacing or drop shadow styling, but the app manages to offer a lot of control without feeling overbearing or confusing.
Unfortunately the editing workflow is destructive, meaning each layer of effects or overlays is ‘locked down’ once approved. In fairness there’s a well-designed timeline view to help you undo any mistakes, but good luck moving that sticker you placed five minutes ago without losing all the work you’ve done since.
Collage & magazine layout
The collage mode is vintage MOLDIV, and it’s not changed much since the last version. That’s a good thing.
Pick from a range of predefined layouts and then choose a set of photos to slot into your chosen arrangement. You can then switch positions, alter borders and aspect ratios, and add extras like customizable text and stickers. These objects are easily maneuverable and unlike the main editor mode, the workflow is non-destructive so you can tweak to your heart’s content. It’s a quick, intelligent system and still our favorite way to create photo montages on a mobile device.
The app has a secondary collage mode that offers up a series of magazine-style templates, which generally look pretty ritzy and can be edited with the standard collaging tools. Frustratingly some of the better mag layouts aren’t fully editable, limiting which bits of text you can customize. It’s restrictive and feels like an oversight.
Pro camera and beauty camera
Finally, the pro camera mode has some decent features but is slightly lost amongst all the other stuff the app does.
The main draw here is live filters and real-time blur effects, which admittedly are pretty cool. It’s nice to snap a shot knowing exactly how it will look when edited. MOLDIV also offers some much-appreciated extra features such as grid, leveler, anti-shake and white-balance adjustments. This is a more capable shooter than the default Camera app, for sure, but nothing to get too excited about.
Disappointingly the beauty camera mode – a secondary live camera with a different slew of effects – leaves a lot to be desired. This mode has only very basic features for touching up selfies: you can soften skin, enlarge eyes and bring in those chubby cheeks. It’s fun, but there’s not much in the way of control and the results look slightly creepy; Relook is much better at the same job.
MOLDIV wants to be your primary camera as well as your editing suite and collage assistant. The whole shebang. Though the deluge of new features is slightly overwhelming, the edit and collage functions in particular are excellent and could hold their own as individual apps. The mediocrity of the beauty camera doesn’t detract from the other excellent features – you can ignore it entirely and MOLDIV still packs more of a punch than most photography apps could dream of.
A lot of the additional content is hidden behind in-app purchases, but considering all the core functionality comes free it seems fair to offer some optional filters and stickers for a few bucks apiece. We bought the full bundle of every IAP for $5 and were completely spoilt for choice thereon.
MOLDIV claims to offer “everything you could wish for in photography” – a bold claim, but it’s not too far off the mark. A few misfires and a slight lack of cohesion between functions isn’t enough to detract from how much the app gets right. MOLDIV is still the best collaging app on iOS, and now it’s also one of the best photo editors and a pretty decent camera too. That’s a lot of bang for your zero bucks.
— TapSmart (@TapSmart) December 3, 2015
- Surprisingly powerful editing tools
- Smart, intuitive collaging interface
- Tons of great filters, stickers and templates
- Destructive editing cycle
- Lack of template customization
- Beauty camera is mediocre