If you want to breathe new life into static photos with minimal effort, there’s no better method than FotoMagico 5 for macOS, which we hailed as “more impressive than pulling rabbits out of a magic hat” in our May, 2016 review. For nearly 15 years, this slideshow creation software has been the go-to solution for casual shutterbugs and professional photographers alike.
Fortunately, FotoMagico is now available for iPad, providing a way to assemble great slideshows from anywhere. Best of all, Mac project files are interchangeable with the iPad version, so you can start a project on one device and finish on another.
The iPad app is a faithful transition, offering the same intuitive Storyboard layout for building slideshows via drag and drop with multiple layers, adjusting start and finish animation, adding titles, music, voiceovers, and more with ease. Text snippets come along for the ride, so you can quickly add frequently-used elements while retaining full control over editing individual components.
Like on macOS, FotoMagico for iPad requires no time-intensive rendering to preview slideshows in full quality, even when starting in the middle. Taking advantage of Apple’s Metal graphics API, the app provided fluid, real-time playback even on our venerable first-generation iPad Pro.
The only issues came up when importing images, video, or audio from large libraries. It took upwards of 15 seconds to initially access the media browser, with photos under the Recently Added category appearing out of chronological order and no way to sort them for easier access. The situation improves marginally with audio, but the search field is glacially slow to respond, and cloud-based tracks are inaccessible until first downloaded from the Music app. (DRM-protected Apple Music tracks can’t be used at all, a limitation also imposed on Mac.)
Pay to play
Although the app lacks a timeline view to shorten or extend slides, as in FotoMagico Pro on macOS, the iPad version does include Audio Marker Assistant, which automatically syncs the duration of slides to the beat of imported songs or manually added audio markers. This works great with included royalty-free music—more than 60 tracks across seven moods—but you’ll need to enter the BPM (beats per minute) for imported tunes that lack the proper metadata.
The iPad version also introduces 15 effects, which can be applied to photos and videos to change their appearance. Ranging from color correction to comic book and film grain, masks, borders, and vignettes, effects are a neat way to spruce up any slideshow, although we’d…