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Mobile Apps

Pixite's Photo Kit takes advantage of iOS 8 app bundles

Software developer Pixite is known for its stylized photography apps, and a new app bundle gets you the whole collection for 20 percent off.

iOS Photography app developer Pixite is one of the first to take advantage of Apple's new bundled software capabilities in the iOS 8 App Store.

The Pixite Photo Kit goes for $7.99 in the US, £5.49 in the UK, and AU$9.99 in Australia featuring five unique photo apps: Union, Fragment, Matter, Tangent, and Lorystripes -- a 20 percent savings by buying them in the bundle.

The ability to make software bundles in iOS 8 is part of a larger drive by Apple to help developers continue to pump out content for the App Store. With the new Metal graphics engine, a new programming language called Swift, and even opening up third-party keyboards and Safari extensions, Apple is trying to give developers new ways to develop content for the platform.

I've already reviewed Union and Fragment for CNET, but here's a rundown of everything you'll get if you buy the Pixite Photo Kit bundle.


Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Regular price: $1.99 /£1.49/AU$2.49

Union helps you mask images to create those cool looking double-exposure shots like you see above. In my review of the app, I noted that it takes a little bit of elbow grease along with trial and error to get the process down, but the results are really cool once you get the hang of it.

Recent updates to the app have brought a new Free for All browser that gives you tons of community made images you can work with to create multilayered photo projects.

What's great: Once you're finished, the double-exposure shots look like they were done by a professional.

What's not: You'll have to put in significant time to learn the controls and get the results you want.


Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Regular price: $1.99 /£1.49/AU$2.49

Fragment is another specialized photo tool that lets you add prismlike effects to your images, with an elegant interface layout that leads you through the process. You start by picking from a large number of geometric shapes, then overlay one on a photograph, and then adjust settings like brightness, contrast, and additive color to create some cool and outlandish designs.

With the way the app is laid out with intuitive controls and a wide range of editing options, just about anyone can make complex-looking art projects as long as you follow the step-by-step process and use a little bit of imagination.

What's great: The step-by-step process makes it easy to follow through on a project from beginning to end.

What's not: If you make a mistake during one of the steps, your only option is to go all the way back to the beginning. It should really let you go back by single steps.


Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Regular price: $1.99/£1.49/AU$2.49

Matter lets you add 3D effects to your images with cool-looking overlays that produce otherworldly photo projects. You can start with a background photo of your own or pick from several community-made shots that are organized by category.

Once you have your photo, you can choose from a few libraries of 3D objects to add as an overlay. What's really cool about this app is you can rotate the objects over your photo with a swipe, and the object creates realistic-looking shadows on the background photo as you rotate in real time.

What's great: The interface for placing the 3D objects is intuitive and looks really cool as you add the object.

What's not: If you want effects or filters on the background photo, you'll have to start with another app before opening Matter.


Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Regular price: $1.99/£1.49/AU$2.49

Tangent is another creative photography app from Pixite that uses shapes and overlays to make cool-looking photo projects. Like Fragment, the app takes you through a step by step process where you choose a photo, add overlays, then tweak the overlays to your liking.

Along with using your own photos, Tangent comes with a lot of community photos to choose from. It also has a decent amount of patterns you can use as overlays, but be aware that there are several packs of patterns that require in-app purchase to unlock. The patterns that come with the app are pretty cool, but just be warned that you'll be tempted to spend more.

What's great: The geometric patterns can be resized, moved, and rotated to match up with images for really neat results.

What's not: The best patterns are behind a pay wall.


Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Regular price: $1.99/£1.49/AU$2.49

Lorystripes is sort of like Matter in the way that you're adding cool and strange designs to regular photos for a surreal effect. But with this app, you'll add stripes and ribbons to accent the subject of the image. The end result feels like designs you might see in magazine ads and television commercials.

You start with a photo, then pick from the app's large selection of ribbons and stripe styles. You can pinch to zoom to make them larger or smaller and use a single finger swipe to rotate the design of the ribbon. From there, you can use your finger to erase parts of the overlay to bring out the subject of the photo.

The end result can be really cool, but you'll need to experiment with the different ribbon types and effects to make it work well.

What's great: The tools make it surprisingly easy to mask out parts of the photo to create the effect.

What's not: This app gives you least dramatic results of the group, but fortunately -- like every other app in the bundle -- you can export your work to the rest of the apps to jazz up your project.