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17 December 2015
Adobe has released Adobe Post, a free iPhone-only app to help you "tell better stories" using polished themes you can share on social media. In just four steps, you can dress up any photo with text to make your point with panache.
During a briefing with Product Manager Thibault Imbert, we saw Post in action and have been playing with a pre-release version for a few days, too.
And we can tell you it's a fun -- and powerful -- way to play with your iPhone photos and connect with your friends.
When you launch Post, it displays its Inspiration Wall. These are all the themes you can choose from, organized into popular categories like Crafts, Business, Travel and Lifestyle.
Imbert called them templates, but templates are usually blank and leave all the work to you. These themes are really fully baked. You substitute your original material -- a photo and some text -- for the stand-ins.
And if you don't like your content looks in the theme you picked, you just pick another one and your content is poured into it. You can, in fact, just cycle through the themes to see how they look with your content.
The four steps are simple:
- Display the Inspiration Wall and pick a theme to remix.
- Change the default image to your own photo.
- Edit the text to deliver your own message.
You aren't restricted, though, to those dance steps. You can try different images, change fonts, add more text, try a different them, whatever you want. Post will keep up with you.
That's because Post documents are not just editable but fluid. You can customize every element of your piece. The various themes are great starting points but you aren't bound to a theme's presentation.
So you can resize the text badge and the text will automatically reconfigure itself to fit the new size. Imbert called that Magic Text. You change the container and "it just works."
You can also pick from a surprisingly large variety of fonts, which are also nicely categorized for you.
"Design is hard," Imbert acknowledged. So Post packages some attractive graphic treatments for you.
But it doesn't do much to make photo editing easier.
You can tap into a few photo filters to make tonal changes to your image and apply Instagram-like filters. And you can resize the photo a bit and move it around to crop it.
Imbert promised Adobe would be learning from your experience using the product and develop more tools in the future. Meanwhile he suggested a good workflow would include Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix to manipulate images.
You can save a finished piece to your Camera Roll but it won't be editable. It will instead be a 1200x1200 JPEG you can share.
You can post the piece directly to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
You can also save the piece as a Post document that you can edit later.
In a nutshell, you just pick a theme, change the photo to your own and edit the text to your own so you can share it.
We spent some time with a pre-release version of Post and had a ball.
We had enough photos of our own to create a number of documents. And we really liked having such a generous selection of fonts, although when it comes to display fonts, our favorites were missing in action.
That's not a complaint, but it does point out how dependent you are on Adobe to supply the graphics.
We couldn't even find a triangular badge for the text. And we couldn't make one either.
So it's more like playing dress-up than it is designing. You have to work with what Adobe gives you.
And if they had given you too much, you'd be dizzy. Even in coming versions, we don't expect to see much more available, although the Seasonal category will certainly be updated for different seasons and holidays.
Like Voice and Slate, Post is designed to tell stories. Really short stories, in the case of Post. But it's something we find useful for getting the news out about our own features, so we're going to give it a whirl.