A popular and quick form of expression on the internet are memes, and many people have become famous — or infamous — because of them. All it takes is a nonsensical phrase or funny picture, and the concept suddenly goes viral due to the power of social media.
There are memes out there with all kinds of conceivable headlines — some family-friendly, some not. My favourite one without a doubt has to be Business Cat.
I decided to see what the many meme generators for iOS were like and how user-friendly they were. I stuck with free apps because the selection heavily outweighed the paid apps, and every free app had a paid option to remove the ads if you wanted to. Dave came up with some back in 2012 but now there are even more.
I tested over 20 (see how dedicated I am?) and finally got the best ones down to 7. Many aren’t worth your time and lack user-friendliness, have overbearing ads, suffer from limited features (unless you paid up), or all three of the above.
1. Meme Generator Free [No Longer Available]
Let’s start with the one I liked the most. Meme Generator Free sports well designed user interface. It has a huge number of popular meme images to choose from, and in the extremely unlikely event that you are unable to find one you want, you can upload your own image. So beware to your other half if they are sleeping with their mouth wide open and their tongue hanging out.
If you find any favorites, you can tap the star icon on the right hand side to save it for easy access. You can also filter the memes by category, such as “popular”, “random”, and “new”.
As you can see, you just need to choose your image, type in your text, and press the disk icon at the top of the screen. It will then save to your camera roll. You can also use the iOS share menu to share your meme via social media, send by email and iMessage, and the usual others.
Mematic is also good (as you can see, you get plenty of templates), but if you want to choose text colors and fonts, as well as creating meme templates from your own images, you need to upgrade to the Pro version for $2.99.
Once you have your meme, it is then a case of merely filling in the text. The text will get smaller the more you add. Then save it and it will be added to your camera roll. Simples. The only thing that ruins it are the limitations on text fonts and colors.
This one slightly confused me. When you first start it, you’ll see that the memes are animated GIF images. Humans crave variety, so the idea of an animated meme was something which initially got me really interested.
But after adding the text and then saving the result, it saved it as a static image instead. I have tried every way imaginable to see if I was doing something stupid and obvious, but nope. When it comes to saving your creation, that animated meme suddenly becomes a frozen image instead (if you save it in the app, it stays animated). Which meant trying lots of times to get a picture of Sylvester the Cat without a really stupid look on his face.
The good news though is that the memes are completely customizable. Upload your own images, adjust the size of the text up or down (although it remains upper-case at all times). You can also filter the available memes by newness, popularity, or by name.
4. Meme Factory
The one thing which detracts from Meme Factory’s app is its dated look. It looks like something I would have downloaded to my iPhone 4S back in 2012. But apart from that, I really like this one.
If you choose one of the meme images, you can either make your own version, or you can view versions made by other people (if you’re lacking inspiration today). You can filter by popularity, most recent, random, or by a particular username (you can create your own account as well). Finally, I chose an image and came up with the first thing that popped into my head. Not terribly original I know.
I would just make one tiny request to the developer – make your app look a lot less like iOS 6 and more like iOS 10? Thanks.
5. Meme Producer [No Longer Available]
This also has a bit of an iOS 6-ish look to it, and there are two things holding this one back. First, the selection of memes is extremely limited (you get the rest “unlocked” by upgrading to Pro). Secondly, if you want to edit the text on the meme, you have to start again (it doesn’t save the text in the editing fields for you).
Nevertheless, this one made the cut because it had a few to choose from that were lacking in others, and provided you are careful with typing your witty one-liners, Meme Producer is a perfectly simply way of producing a quick meme on the fly.
6. Make a Meme+
Make a Meme+ really amused me, because it provides “extras” to use in your creations. You can alternate between caps and no caps, which is a nice touch. You also have a button directing you to Know Your Meme, in case you are unfamiliar with the meme in question. Then just add your text and contribute to meme legend.
Where it gets funny is that you then have a variety of “rage faces”, which you can put on top of the original face in the meme. If the head doesn’t fit the original head, then there is a slider to make the new head bigger or smaller, so it fits. Or add a “scumbag hat” for that extra classiness effect.
Don’t like what you’ve added? Then tap “Hats and Faces” again and it will disappear from the image.
7. Meme Studio
Meme Studio rather disturbed me at first because I was greeted with an image of Anne Frank. But if you overlook Anne, and look at the others, there is a huge selection, with the option of uploading your own image as well.
This one is held back by the fact that, despite the large number of meme options, editing controls are locked down unless you pay up. All you can do is choose the image (or upload one), add the text, and save it. My Hogwarts meme is slightly ruined by the fact I couldn’t shrink the text. But again, if your needs are simple, Meme Studio is a solid enough option.
Congrats Sweetheart! You Are Now a Viral Meme!
It’s interesting how our smartphones are turning into viable mobile design studios. The rise of apps such as Canva, as well as viral image generators such as Buffer’s Pablo, are shortening the learning curve when making shareable images on our phones.