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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Diptic adds photo filters for even better collages on iOS

A recent update to my favorite collage-making app adds tons of useful features to make it even better, but the addition of 14 photo filters is what really makes this app a must-have for those who like to play with images.

By now, just about anyone with an iPhone or iPad probably has a ton of images sitting in his or her image library. Most people already know about photo-sharing apps like Instagram and EyeEm, along with photo filter apps like PhotoToaster and FX Photo Studio for that stylized look, but there are still more fun ways to play with your images to produce nice-looking projects.

Fourteen new photo filters let you customize each frame to give it just the look you want. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Diptic (99 cents) is an intuitive app that lets you make cool-looking collages using photos you take with your iPhone camera or what you have stored in your photo library. A new version of the app now adds photo filters and other options, letting you create simple but elegant collages in only a few easy steps.

You start by selecting from 52 standard layouts, such as one photo across the top with three smaller ones across the bottom, or one big image on the left with four small shots down the right side, as examples. But you can also use frame sliders to adjust the size of any frame, giving you virtually unlimited customization options.

Once you have your layout, you can add images to each frame and move or zoom each one to make it fit just right. From there you can rotate an image 90 degrees within a frame or create a mirror image of the shot using the Transform features. You can adjust color, brightness, and contrast to bring out certain shots or make them more similar to the others in your project. In this latest update, Peak Systems has added 14 new photo filters so you can apply different treatments to every image in your collage. All these features are self-explanatory if you play with the interface.

With customization options like the ability to round inner and outer borders, you can make some really cool-looking collages. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

When you're satisfied with your photo layout and look, Diptic also lets you customize the frames of photos to give them a more rounded look. To adjust inner and outer borders, you simply use a slider to get the look you want.

This latest update supports high-quality images, taking advantage of the iPhone 4 and 4S Retina Display along with the new iPad. You also have the option to export your images in high resolution for great-looking collages you could physically frame and display at home with the right printer.

When you're finished with your collage, Diptic offers several ways to share your work with friends. Earlier iterations of the app only offered sharing by e-mail, but now you can share on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr. The app also supports exporting directly to other apps that support JPEG images, like Instagram, Camera+, Dropbox, and many others.

If you want to try something different with your photos, Diptic is a tried-and-true option that has added several useful features and enhancements in the latest release.