Halftone 2 adds video and sound to an already great app

We've looked at the Halftone comic book creator app in the past, and our reviewers have always liked its many capabilities. A new version, a major update to Halftone 2 (US$1.99) is out today, with many increased capabilities including video export at 720p, sound effects for each panel, new effects and transitions, and soundtrack support. What started as a clever app has now morphed into a complete production environment.

The app works as before. Find some photos and import them into a variety of provided layouts. Add speech bubbles and comic-like banners, then render the project with a halftone look that makes it look like a professional comic book.

Of course the content can be anything -- a vacation, pet photos, a party -- and the final results will likely please you and whoever receives your comic.

Halftone 2 is extremely easy to use, and I had no trouble getting photos in, assigning captions, and moving the photos to frame them for best effect. The camera effects as the app animates and moves from frame to frame are extremely well done, and there are plenty of effects available to match any mood. If you add your own music, the video will "stretch" to match your audio clip.

Video and sound are the big additions to this latest version, and the app has the "smarts" to make the addition of movement and audio easy, not at all like standard video editing.

Your project can be shared via email, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, Weibo, MMS or saved to your camera roll.

I continue to be amazed at the content creation abilities that iOS presents, especially after the oft-mentioned but inaccurate tale of how the iPad in particular is for consumption of content. To create art like this on a computer would be impressive enough; to do this on an inexpensive tablet is astonishing.

Halftone 2 requires iOS 7 or greater. It's a universal app and it's optimized for the iPhone 5.