A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
CANVA - GRAPHIC DESIGN AND PHOTO EDITING is a graphic-design tool for the Web and for the iOS. Users create an account (with an email address or by linking a Google or Facebook account), and a tutorial walks teens through the features. Users can upload their own images and create their own layouts or choose from a selection of thousands of built-in images and design templates. Features abound: You can adjust brightness and contrast, resize images, overlay images with text and colors, and more. Once users have finished creating, their designs are automatically saved to the cloud and they're accessible from the user's homepage in the app or on the website. Users can then export their creations via email, as a Facebook post, or via Twitter, and they can download the image as a JPG, PNG, or PDF file. If they've chosen paid content, which is indicated by an icon in the corner of the image, teens will need to pay if they want to download creations without watermarks.
Is it any good?
Overall, the flexible features for creation and for export make this a slick tool for even the most novice designer: Just make sure to set expectations about buying and sharing. More advanced users might be torn: Of course, this tool doesn't have as many features or as much flexibility as Photoshop or Illustrator, and users won't get in-depth instruction about principles of what makes good design. Instead, it's a great way to make something that looks good fast. Those who want more can look to the developer's website, which has some great teaching resources that offer greater detail and greater design guidance. Because the templates and sharing capabilities are all about social media, it's a good opportunity to talk to teens about what's OK to share and talk about whether they're allowed to spend money on paid content and how much. One annoyance: Sometimes the slide-over window of design options retracts when you touch the screen, so you have to open it over and over again. Once this glitch is fixed, the experience will be seamless.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their rules and expectations for sharing images online. What would be OK to create and share? What wouldn't be OK?
Talk about how templates can help you make your own creations. What does it mean to be creative? How can tools like this help you be creative?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Chromebook
- Subjects: Arts: drawing
- Skills: Creativity: innovation, making new creations, producing new content
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Price: Free with in-app purchases
- Pricing structure: Paid, Free (Free to download and use, but there are in-app purchases including a $12.99 per month or 119.99 per year "Canva Pro" subscription.)
- Release date: April 21, 2015
- Category: Productivity
- Topics: Arts and Dance
- Size: 311.00 MB
- Publisher: Canva Pty Ltd.
- Version: 3.89.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 12.0 or later, Android 5.0 and up
- Last updated: February 12, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.