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Images are far more likely to get attention on social media than simple text, but creating a captivating design every time you want to tweet a simple message can be time-consuming. That’s why you need one of these apps.
Following in the footsteps of web-based solutions like Pablo, Canva, and ShareAsImage (now known as Stencil), these apps allow you to take an image and quickly throw some text over it in a way that looks professional. These browser tools far surpass the current crop of Android apps in terms of features and ease of use, but you’re not completely out of luck!
You won’t always be sitting at a computer when you want to share something, so it can’t hurt to download one of these and use it for the occasional on-the-go message to your followers. Plus, they’re all free!
Let’s start out with the strongest contender and my personal favorite: Textgram. It’s extremely easy to get started with one of the included templates, and the backgrounds are actually some nice photos. From there, you can easily adjust a wide variety of options. Choose from dozens of fonts, move and resize the text, add stickers, and more. You can even adjust the opacity and color for everything that you add.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for, Textgram does have a “store” where you can download extra backgrounds, fonts, and stickers. The good news is that everything in the store is free; the bad news is that there’s barely any content there.
There are banner ads, but they only appear on the home screen and the export screen — your photo editing workspace is safe from ads here. Pay $1.99 via in-app purchase, and you can even get rid of those few ads.
When you’re finished, it’s easy to save the picture and share it on social media. Even better, you can save it all as a design to reuse later if you regularly post similar things. Delving into the interface, it’s by far the nicest-looking app out of any of these. Navigation is simple, and you can produce a nice text-laden photo in a couple minutes with no problems.
Textgram has actually been on Android for a while, but it’s evolved quite a bit in that time. Today it’s easily the leader of the shareable-social-media-image-creation category.
Download: Textgram (Free) on the Play Store [Broken Link Removed]
Earning itself a solid second place position, PixelLab does a lot right — it just doesn’t have the polish of Textgram. However, it does have other things going for it, including built-in quotes and the ability to mask images or text (basically hiding a portion of the text or image).
You can manipulate your images in all sorts of ways: diagonal lines, stickers, strokes, 3D effects, reflections, etc. The only place I managed to see an ad in this app was when selecting a quote; otherwise, it seems ad-free. I didn’t see any way to pay to remove that one small ad.
It does offer some limited backgrounds, but they tend to be more simple than those in Textgram. Exporting and sending off to social media is simple, and it gets the job done. If for some reason Textgram didn’t float your boat, PixelLab should be your next try.
Download: PixelLab (Free) on the Play Store
While Phonto used to be one of the best iOS options for shareable images, it seems to have been left in the dust by other apps (at least on Android).
It has a banner ad that hovers above your work the entire time, and it doesn’t offer much more than simply putting text on a photo. No stickers, no effects, no frames. Just text. If barebones is what you’re looking for, you’ve found it.
There is a nice selection of fonts and some simple graphics you can use as templates, but the graphics will cost you $1.35 to unlock. Using your own photo is free, of course.
Download: Phonto (Free) on the Play Store
While this app isn’t that intuitive, it does offer some unique aspects that make it worth mentioning. For instance, you can add a little sun graphic or “keep calm and carry on” logo, but finding those buried in the labyrinth of menus is rather confusing. Some nice frames, fonts, tons of stickers, and other effects are available that help Best Font stand out.
It’s also clearly designed for Instagram, as it’ll offer up square backgrounds for any non-square photos (even though Instagram ditched the square-only rule a while back). Sadly, you’ll need to bring your own photos too because it doesn’t provide any templates.
And try not to spend too much time on the homescreen of this app — it’s basically just a giant ad, and it will even pop up fullscreen ads over top of that. There’s no option to pay to remove the ads, but at least there aren’t any ads while you’re editing.
Download: Best Font (Free) on the Play Store [No Longer Available]
Apps to Avoid
While looking for the best app to make shareable images, I ran into quite a few duds. Here are two in particular to avoid despite their Play Store rankings: Instaquote [No Longer Available] and Textswag.
Instaquote (screenshots above) can actually make some decent looking graphics. It’s main problem is that it watermarks all images unless you upgrade to Pro for $1.99. It has a nice selection of backgrounds, but for those you need to pay $3.99. Plus, it’s just ugly; it looks like it was designed for iOS 6.
Textswag, on the other hand, is just one giant ad. You can’t use it for more than a few seconds without being ambushed by a fullscreen ad. Avoid it at all costs.
This is just a list of free options, but if none of them do it for you, there are paid options you can check out if you’re willing to spend a little. Remember that Google Play has a 2-hour return window if you’re unsatisfied with the app (this used to be only 15 minutes but was recently changed).
Download: Word Swag ($3.99) on the Play Store
Download: Rhonna Designs ($1.99) on the Play Store
Download: A Beautiful Mess ($0.99) on the Play Store [No Longer Available]
Which Is Your Favorite?
I’m going with Textgram as my favorite. It has the nicest interface of any of the apps, a good selection of customization options, and its ads are unobtrusive.
But that’s just my opinion. Have you tried out any of these apps? Which is your favorite? Or do you know of one we missed? Let us know in the comments!