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Daily Mac app: TurboCollage

Lately I've become a big fan of making photo collages. They can be a bit complicated to create in Photoshop or Elements, so we're beginning to see simpler targeted apps appear for both iOS and Mac OSX. We've reviewed one nice app for iOS called Diptic and now I want to turn your attention to TurboCollage for the Mac, now available in the Mac app store.

It's simple to create some pretty stunning photo collages. Drag your photos into the app, and choose from any of 5 layouts. Options include what looks like a pile of photos to more intricate mosaics and jigsaw puzzles. You can decide what photos go where, or let the app randomly shuffle your collection. If your photos are high resolution, you can output preset images as wide as 5260 pixels, or you can set your own size and shape.

The background of the collage can be another photo, or any color you choose from the color picker. You can adjust the width of borders, and render the final image in landscape or portrait orientation. You can overlay text if you want it, with control over the font, color, rotation and drop shadow.

I was impressed with the quality of the output, and you can send your photos directly from the app to Facebook or email.

There are a couple of cons. You don't have any control over the shape of the frames once you choose a layout. That can make it tough to fit in a panorama, although you can scale the image and recenter it. I'd also like to see some more layouts.

Having said all that, this is an excellent app for the photo buff, and it does in minutes what might take hours to do in a high-end image editor. There is a lite version available which is free, but it has some limitations in the number of layouts. It will give you a feel for how the app works. There are also free versions of the app for both the iPad and the iPhone which are comparable in features to the full Mac app and a bargain at no cost.

TurboCollage is US$3.99 for a limited time, a 75% off sale. If you want a quick and easy way to produce some nice artistic collages this is an excellent choice. I've included some sample scenes I created with some of my landscape photos to give you an idea how the app works.

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