There are two relatively new Universal apps that both let you place text on your image along any path you can draw. This can be useful if you just want to make a cute photo with text wrapped around your nose, or a poster for an upcoming event. These apps are Path on and Curved – Text that Curves.
Both of these allow you to place text along a path, adjust the font and font size, and adjust the picture in various ways. I’ll highlight a few differences.
Has preset curves ranging from S-shapes to straight lines. When drawing your own shape you can’t see the photo you are trying to place the line, just a small canvas region. Once you have a path you can freely rotate and resize it. You can add additional text paths on the same photo. You can also change your paths after you have created it. When drawing a path I sometimes got an error that I was drawing too quickly.
There are very limited preset curves so most of your curves get drawn. In this app you draw directly on top of your image which you can see. After drawing the path you can’t change the shape, although you can rotate it in 90 degree steps or use the technique of one finger stays in place and the other moves around it to do free rotation. You can only have one path on a photo so if you want multiple paths you will have to save your photo and reimport it multiple times. Note: I couldn’t find a way to do anything else with the path once created, so I could be mistaken on parts of this.
It has a variety of fonts with different shadow options (a lot of shadow types). When entering the text it will autofill the length of the path. I didn’t see any way to not have it do that. One thing I noticed is that the spacing of letters along the path would often become misplaced. Sometimes a letter at the end of a word would be several spaces away from the prior letter. Text will flow in the direction your drew the line.
This app has a greater variety of fonts. It also has a feature that lets you mix fonts – multiple fonts will show up in that line of text. Nifty. There are a variety of other features that aren’t in Curved: letter spacing, autofill on/off, flipping to other side of line, and alignment with the line. The shadow effect seems very limited.
Uses the Aviary photo editing tools. I’ll be honest, I’m not wild about this brand of editing tools which are in a lot of apps lately. I’ve never like the interface, and many of the apps that use this set tend to have poor output resolution and seem geared more toward the ‘fun’ apps for a younger crowd. It lets you put stickers and memes on the photo (an in-app purchase in this app). There are also a number of effects you can apply. Some are included but many are in-app purchases. Basically, I would do my editing in another app. The output was full resolution (matched my iPhone 5) when I saved to the album, but I did not try using the photo editor (you should check this out if you care about the resolution).
It has a number of effect presets, a cropping tool, and also lets you apply opacity or blur to your background image (the text remains crisp). The blurring tool is pretty nice. The output was full resolution. There are no stickies or memes that can be inserted in the photo.
Both apps are pretty good, but at this point Path on is the clear winner in my mind. It has more of a professional feel to it and the GUI made the app seem intuitive. It’s very well done for a new app and I didn’t notice any bugs. Being able to draw right on the image is a gigantic plus.
Curved seems to be more geared toward fun with the stickies and such, although most things are in-app purchases (a lot of different ones). The GUI was nice, but I often found myself adding additional text by accident.
I tried both apps on the iPad and both would only work in the portrait mode. It would be nice if you could run in landscape mode as well.
Curved was just introduced last week and it seemed good, although the text spacing quirks and lack of the autofill on/off options were pretty noticeable. Hopefully these things may get fixed in an update.