I came across PazteUp (from developer Kdan Mobile) recently and being a fan of graphic design/desktop publishing platforms, was curious to see what it had to offer. Could it compete with Phoster, Canva or even Pages?
The short answer is yes, I think it can. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy Pazte Up is to use and the range of features that are on offer. It's also free though you do have to deal with a few pop up style ads though at least they are for other creative apps from the same developer that could genuinely be of interest.
When the app loads and you start a document, you are offered an initial page layout option screen which is a great touch. Being able to modify borders, page colour and even the units used for a project gives you a decent amount of control before you begin compositing anything on the actual page. It also comes with 10 built in templates which offers you a slick shortcut if you prefer.
You then begin to use the main graphic designer and I have to say, I really like this. A simple toolbar interface along the bottom allows you to add text boxes, images as well as shapes and even basic tables. You simply mark out a rectangular space and then select the type of content you want to add there. formatting options then avail themselves. It really is quite brilliant in its simplicity. Below you can watch a little screencast I recorded of the process:
As you can see from the clip, you can even use a built in browser to clip elements from a website either using a rectangular selection tool or a freeform one. The app offers a suitably broad selection of formatting tools; any element added to the publication can be flipped, rotated, recoloured and more. The only thing it really lacks is a pen tool.
Additional pages can also be added with ease and upon completion, a project can be saved as a PDF or image file and can be exported to the usual array of cloud storage locations.
Overall, I definitely recommend PazteUp. It's the sort of intuitive, creative app that students will need little instruction to master and it could become a versatile tool across the curriculum. The built in web clipper really does elevate it in particular as it means the app can be used to collate notes and ideas just as easily as it can be used to produce a polished final document.