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Kwilt for iOS review:

Great looking photo manager, lacks basic features

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The Good Kwilt is a great-looking app that lets you make edits and collages from your photo collection even if your photos live across multiple social networks.

The Bad The overall layout feels cluttered. You can't edit individual photos within a collage, nor save your project to finish later.

The Bottom Line Despite some promising features, Kwilt currently has too many irksome kinks to take down the Photos app as your default mobile image editor.

Free

CNET Editors' Rating

6.4 Overall
  • Setup 7.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Interface 6.0
  • Performance 7.0

Kwilt for iOS wants to be your one-stop shop for all things photos. It has basic photo editing tools, can import pictures from numerous social networks and web services, and lets you create slideshows. Probably the most interesting is a nifty tool called Kwilt Captures that automatically creates collages from your photos

Some of the features found in Kwilt simply duplicate the functionality found in Apple's Photos app. Other features, such as photo editing and Kwilt Captures, combine features found across other third-party photo apps. What makes the app unique is the easy process for connecting to multiple social networks and Kwilt Captures, but it will need some work before it becomes your go-to photo app.

Setting up

The initial setup for Kwilt is relatively painless. After creating a Kwilt account, you'll need to grant the app access to the Photos stored on your iOS device. You also have the option to gather photos from Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Google+ and Google Drive to bring them all into your Kwilt account.

By importing photos from various sources, Kwilt becomes your one-stop-shop for both browsing and editing photos. Should you want to setup Kwilt on a secondary device, such as an iPad, you only need to log in to your Kwilt account.

Navigating the interface

The overall interface design of Kwilt is intuitive and looks great as you work with your photos. In most photo related apps on mobile devices, most of us have grown accustomed to seeing our photos displayed vertically. With Kwilt, your photos are displayed horizontally in chronological order. So, instead of swiping down to reveal older pictures, you swipe to the left.

As you swipe, your photos are displayed in various sizes, appearing as a random collage. This is the same layout Kwilt uses in its Kwilt Capture feature.

The problem with this approach is photos are often cut off. For the most part, the app does a decent job at identifying faces and displaying them in the thumbnail preview, but it's not perfect. At times I had a hard time identifying what a photo was until I actually opened it with a tap. Not a deal breaker, but it's a problem that's amplified as you begin connecting more services and adding more photos to the app.

If chronological order isn't your cup of tea, you can refine the order by tapping on the top bar and selecting from a list of categories. Here you'll be able to sort by screen captures, media service, location and your iOS Photos albums.

Editing photos

When you select a photo, you can perform a few different actions with it from within Kwilt. You can share it with others, start a slideshow, send the photo via AirPlay, or edit it using Kwilt's editing tools.

Selecting Edit prompts you to pick between editing a standard resolution, or high-res copy of the photo. High-res edits are only available if you pay $2.99 through an in-app purchase.

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