Mixel for iPhone (Free) by Lascaux Co. is a fun little app that will help you create some beautiful collages to share with the world.
Even though Mixel only launched an iPad app last year, the folks behind it discontinued it and will cease functionality of the iPad app in September. However, last week brought a surprise, as I noticed that Mixel was back in the App Store. Except this time, it's just for your iPhone, not the iPad.
However, since I didn’t try out Mixel for iPad before the app was pulled, I decided to check out the iPhone version. It seems to be a bit different than the original iPad version, but so far, I still like it for what it is.
To get started with Mixel, you will have to have an account. You can sign in with Twitter or Facebook, but there does not seem to be another alternative for logging in. If you do not use either network, then the app is unusable. This is a bit disappointing, and I would like to see the developers add a way for users to create a separate account with the Mixel service in the future, if at all possible. It is not a problem for me, but I understand that this may be a huge barrier for some people.
Once you are logged in, you can edit your profile and find some of your friends to follow, or take a look at some suggested Mixel users. The main screen of the app will be divided into five sections on the bottom menubar: Home (for you and your friends Mixels), Feeds, New Mixel, Inbox/In-Progress, and Profile.
When you create a new Mixel, the app will go into landscape mode and have you add in a few photos. You can either snap new images or import from your device’s Photo Library, Facebook, or even Instagram.
The app seems to accommodate as many images as you need, though be warned that the app will use smaller spaces if there are a lot of pictures. If you are not satisfied with the placement of images in the collage, you can tap-and-drag photos to swap them with others. A press of the Shuffle button will also randomize the layout of images. The cool thing about Mixel for iPhone is the fact that there are six different collage styles, each with their own unique layout, texture, and applied filter. When you’re satisfied with your collage, tap on the post button and add a brief description (40 characters) for your Mixel. Then share it with the community.
In the Home section, you will be able to see all the Mixels that you create, as well as those from your friends. You can see how many likes a Mixel has received, as well as comment and like others. There are also some other options for a Mixel, including sharing by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, and other apps, or you can save the collage to your Camera Roll, or flag something as inappropriate.
The Feeds view will be split into three sections: Friends, Popular, and Newbies. The Friends section allows you to see what your friends are doing on Mixel (commenting and likes), in case you want to keep up with them. Popular will display what is currently hot on Mixel, and the Newbies section will showcase some fresh new Mixels from new users.
In case the app crashes on you or you just don’t have time to finish a collage, it will appear in the In-Progress section. Just tap on the one that you want to resume. The Inbox is also here, where you can see when people like or comment on your images.
So far, I’m really enjoying Mixel, and am glad that they brought it back after first sounding like they were going away for good. The iPhone version of Mixel is beautiful, and I really enjoy the way that the colors of the menubar and tabs gradually shift colors (but they are color coded, so they stay within the color family that is assigned to them) — it’s quite refreshing, to be honest. The app also makes it incredibly fast and easy to create a beautiful collage in only a few moments.
If there were any improvements that needed to be made, it's the fact that there needs to be a separate account signup for those that do not use Twitter or Facebook. Otherwise, this is a fantastic app that you should download and add to your iPhone photography collection.