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Fragment review: A great alternative for cool photo projects

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The Good Fragment gives you great touch-friendly tools and cool-looking geometric shapes that you can use to unleash your creativity on your photos.

The Bad There are no options to undo your last change or to go back a step.

The Bottom Line Fragment has great touch controls for doing something truly unique with your photos, but if it's a basic photo-effects app you're looking for, there are better options.


8.1 Overall
  • Setup 9
  • Features 7
  • Interface 8
  • Performance 9

Fragment is a specialized photo tool that lets you add prismlike effects to your images, with an elegant interface layout that leads you through the process.

This isn't your run-of-the-mill retro photo filter app; Fragment superimposes complex geometric designs on your images and changes them with prism- and mirrorlike effects for truly unique results. In other words, it's perfect for artsier photo projects. If you're looking for a regular photo-editing app, you'll need to look elsewhere. But for something different from the normal fare, Fragment is in a league of its own.

Fragment your photos
As with most photo-editing apps, you can either snap a new picture using your iOS device's camera or pick one from your photo library. Once you bring an image in, your first option is to pick from a number of standard image sizes, including 1:1 (for Instagram, for example), along with 5:4, 3:2, and 16:9. Fragment sets up your project in a step-by-step process, so once you pick your size, you can hit the right arrow to move on to the next step.

One drawback here is that you can't go back just one step. The left arrow takes you back to the beginning (after a dialog box asks if you really want to start over). This is something I hope they will fix in a future update because it would be much better to be able to correct small mistakes.

The next step is picking the shape of your "fragment." The app comes with a large selection of simple and complex shapes that produce mirrorlike effects. Within the fragmented shape, you can swipe to drag to move the image around. A button at the top lets you toggle between the fragment shape and the image within the fragment. In other words, by using the toggle, you can move the fragment shape around the full image, or move the image within the fragment. While it sounds confusing, once you reach this step, you'll understand what I mean.

There are buttons across the bottom to move, rotate, or zoom in on the fragmented image, and -- after hitting the button at the top -- move, rotate, or zoom the fragmented area itself.

If you just want quick results, you'll also find a randomize button in the lower right that automatically picks from shapes, zooms, and filters so you can make a Fragment image right away.

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