What the Tech? App of the Day: Phonto
Have you ever scrolled through someone’s Instagram or Facebook posts and notice how much better their images are than yours? I know I have.
We all have very talented friends who take amazing photos and then dress them up with graphics and texts. How do they do that?
Apps of course. I went searching for a photo editing app to add text and cartoon bubbles and found Phonto.
This is a smartphone app for iPhones and Android devices that allows you to dress up any photo on your camera roll before posting to any social media channel. I’m not going to pretend and say it’s incredibly easy to use but I imagine if you spend a little time with it, you’ll get better and better at it and be able to create some amazing photos with captions in a matter of minutes.
So how does this app work?
You’ll first upload a photo to Phonto like you would any photo-sharing or editing app. Before you start adding text you can add filters and crop the photo.
Tap anywhere on the screen to begin adding text and then change the font, color, size, spacing, highlights, shadows and add a background.
All of the editing options are controlled by sliders and there are even simpler options to choose a preset and style. I uploaded a photo of me and my daughter’s cat sitting on my shoulder as she usually does every day in the home office.
I chose a font that seemed appropriate for a cat photo and added the words: “Monday Meowfie” and then chose to add the special character of a heart. After playing around a bit with colors and shading I settled on one that matched both her color and the color of the walls in my office. I then chose to space the words more closely together and then decided to add a bit of a curve to the text.
Tapping the screen again I chose a different font in order to make it appear as if she were saying something in a cartoon text bubble. I added a background and curved the edges.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an option to make it a true text bubble without paying for a pack, but it works.
Once I had the photo and captions good enough for the photo, I downloaded the photo as a PNG file to my phone and uploaded it to Facebook for a story.
There are a couple of other options I should mention. One is the ability to download the photo as a JPEG to your camera roll or to share it with friends. The other is the ability to add your own fonts to all of the choices that come pre-loaded in the app.
Phonto is a free app if you don’t mind the ads. You can also add extras to create those text bubbles, another filter pack, and other upgrades. The nice thing is there is no subscription required. You can pay for the add-ons that range from $.99 to $3.99.
While I found Phonto to add some pretty cool text to photos I share on social media, I imagine small business owners who use photos in online advertisements will find it even more useful to create professional-looking photos like an ad agency might create.