Review: Momento+


The idea of overlaying text and graphics onto what your camera sees and then sharing the result isn't new, of course. Only recently, I reviewed InstaWeather Pro, for example. Momento+ is a commercial ($1) application that aims to provide templates for all occasions and certainly has its attractions, even if it's ultimately not as flexible as most users would like.

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I shouldn't be too hard on Momento+ though. Its aim is, after all, to be a fun way of sharing wizard-annotated photos at social resolutions - we're not talking desktop publishing here. And it largely succeeds.

Screenshot, Momento+Screenshot, Momento+

Seven types of 'moment' are supported, each essentially a themed collection of pre-designed templates - I've shown off most of the themes in the screenshots on this page, you'll get the idea. The names of the moment collections are self-explanatory, hopefully - not all the templates are as customisable, interestingly (hence the saccharine 'my sweet little baby', above), of which more below.

Within each moment collection, swiping left and right cycles between the templates on offer, while keeping your main graphic stationary. It's a UI concept that works brilliantly, even if it's not totally original, of course.

You can opt to pick up Momento+ and instantly snap what's in front of you or, as here and for the purposes of the review, you can use snaps you've taken previously - Instagram style, they're all cropped and scaled to a square, but you do get the chance to pan the crop window as you see fit.

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An edit tool sits on the toolbar for most, but not all, of the templates, though at most two of the text fields on the screen can be changed, and usually only one (and with limited character count). Thus you can add a few words of expression, but much of the rest is auto-filled in with location, template name/title, time and date, and so on. There's a Visibility pane of settings, as shown above right, though the logic of turning a 'Hide' function ON to turn the display of that text OFF is a little confusing. Time to rewrite that portion of the settings UI, I think.

Screenshot, Momento+Screenshot, Momento+

Also built-in, not surprisingly, are some basic filters, allowing the usual retro and Lomo effects - these are well done and easy to apply, trying each out in turn before settling on a favourite. Notice again in the examples above that the 'Amazing Photography Inside' text is all part of the fixed template and that only the bottom field (in green) is customisable with the 'Edit' tool.

Screenshot, Momento+Screenshot, Momento+

This fixed portion of each template can be a little jarring, not least in the Event moment, above left, where the salutations can be a little jarring and no way to edit them. Ditto above right, where 'LIFE WITHOUT COMPUTERS' is fixed. 

Mind you, there's a text gallery, the idea being that you select a font (a dozen or so are supplied) and then tap in the graphic to start entering text - this works but you can't change the font size at all, so is ultimately just as limiting. Still, mustn't be too grumpy - the developers are still working on Momento+ (the last update was in the last few weeks) so I'm sure things will carry on evolving.

Screenshot, Momento+Screenshot, Momento+

'Stickers' are provided too, customised according to the moment selected (so, above left, you see stickers appropriate to a 'magazine' cover) - these can be selected and tapped into place, plus - a nice touch - multi-touch enlarged or shrunk, and rotated too. I was a little sceptical about the sticker concept, but they're fun to apply and, used tastefully, work well.

Screenshot, Momento+Screenshot, Momento+

As you saw above, information like time, date and location (and, for the baby moment, even automatic calculation of the baby's age, based on your input of the date of birth) are automatically retrieved and optionally inserted. Also included is basic weather, though in my tests it was way off (38C in the UK?), so I'm not sure where it's getting this from. 

When you're done trying out templates and stickers, you can save the result to your Photos hub or share directly to OneDrive, Facebook or Twitter, or via the generic 'Share' mechanism in Windows Phone. It all works as advertised, though again with the relatively low 479 x 479 pixel resolution - again, it's fine for social media on phones, but don't expect too much!

Momento+ wasn't the most stable application I've tested. For example, it would crash repeatedly when I tried to edit information on a weather moment, plus taps were sometimes missed  - but again, the developers are still active - and hopefully reading this!

With a little patience, this is a fun little holiday tool - just don't get your hopes up too high.

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