Photo sharing has became somewhat of a phenomenon on mobile devices ever since the smartphone was born, due to it’s combination of camera and Internet connection. While posting raw, unedited photos to sites like Twitter and Facebook is still popular, a breed of photography apps have attempted to capitalise on the popular action, including Instagram.
Following the success of apps like Instagram, several have attempted to emulate the success by providing a filter-based suite of editing tools, allowing users to style images in a number of preset ways. Fuzel is something slightly different; it’s all about arranging your images in a collage to share, an idea I haven’t really seen in a highly publicised app before.
Choosing a Layout
Fuzel is all about collage making, and there’s quite a few options for your creation within Fuzel. When you first load up the app, you’ll be presented with a skeuomorph of a photo album, which will invite you to tap to create your new piece of artwork.
Along the bottom of the app, there’s a number of options to customise and style your artwork. The first is cutting, something pretty fun and unique that we’ll get to in a moment.
Ultimately, you’re going to want to choose a layout for your artwork and can do this by simply tapping on the Layouts button. By swiping up, you’ll gain access to a larger catalogue of options in a number of available aspect ratios. There’s a nice wide selection of layouts here, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. However, if there’s not one that entirely captures your fantasy, you can use the custom cutting tool to divide up the frame or frames of the image.
Of course, you’ll want to actually put in your photos. To do so, you simply need to tap on one of the divisions to either capture a new photo or select one from your photo library or camera roll. If you opt to capture a new photo, you get access to pretty much the full camera app, albeit rebranded into Fuzel’s UI style, including zooming, flash toggle etc.
You can also import images right from Facebook, which means you don’t even have to have the photos for your artwork on your device.
Outlines, Base and Frames
Outlines are basically the dividers and borders of your image. When you tap the Outlines button, you’ll have a slider for manipulating the weight of the border, and the two options for either the overall border or the interior ones. It’s pretty simple, and you won’t have trouble customising this particular aspect.
The Base option is an incredibly simple modifier, changing the base colour of your image (ie the colour of the borders) in literally a couple of taps (and maybe a swipe up).
Frames are basically, well, frames, in somewhat of a similar setup as filters in Instagram. There’s a number to choose from, including some with space to add a caption in. This is a nice extra level to the app, and is just one way Fuzel opens up tons of options for your artwork, even over apps like Instagram.
You aren’t left to just what you take in Fuzel. Once you’ve imported a photo from your image library, or captured a new one, you can simply tap on the image to begin editing it.
Fuzel has Instagram-style filters that allow for speedy styling of your images in a number of ways. Ambiguously named filters such as “Angkor,” “Barcelona” and “Zermatt” stylise your images with a preset manipulation. Unfortunately, unlike in apps that feature these as their core feature, you’re unable to shoot with these filters live, and they take a few seconds to be applied each time.
You can also modify your images by double tapping, and then using the lowermost row of buttons to perform actions like swapping images in different frames, and flipping the images horizontal and/or vertically. If you want to capture a new photo, or simply select an alternative one from your photo library, this can be achieved with the last two buttons who’s icon offer them self-explanation.
Saving and Sharing
Once you’ve produced your piece of stellar artwork, you can hit the “Done” button to save it. The artwork is then saved into your library, allowing it to be accessed at a later date in the Fuzel app.
However, you can also hit the “Share” button to access a wealth of sharing options, including simply saving the image to your device’s native image library. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter, as well as services like Instagram, can also be sent the image so it’s not difficult to get it out there. These social options should be well received, since they’re a vital part to having any real use of this app without the critical mass of user adoption.
For what is essentially a simple set of tools, Fuzel does seem quite original in how it provides them with the upmost polish. It’s social options mean you’re not adding yet another network to your day-to-day life, and with features in abundance when compared to Instagram, it’s crazy to not give it a go. Admittedly, the $1.99 price tag might throw some people, but it’s an investment well worth making.