Developer: Stuck In Customs
Version Reviewed: 2.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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If there can be achievements for games, then why not apps too? 100 Cameras in 1 offers exactly that, a way to obtain Game Center achievements while simultaneously being an extremely easy effects tool. It’s a very clever hook, designed not only to encourage sharing via social networking (thus promoting the app), but also for the user to actually dig in and use the app more than once. It makes it fun.
As the name suggests, 100 Cameras in 1 comes with 100 effects which can be applied to new or existing library photos. Once a picture is selected, the app quickly lists the possible filters with a thumbnail of the output. Tapping this will render a full preview and a slider so the properties of the effect can be adjusted. No two effects react the same to this slider control; some lower contrast, some apply colour dodging, some add a different hue to the image; so it’s worth playing around with the slider rather than just applying the effect. In addition, effects can be stacked on top of each other which can produce some interesting results.
Even bland, insipid photos with poor lighting, like my demonstration photo of an Apple mouse can be transformed. Applying many effects can result in a very grungy soup of texture and colour, depending on the settings of the effect, but a select few can enhance the overall look. The possibilities are almost limitless, which makes the app an easy one to come back to, even without the social features.
But the Game Center integration is the icing on the cake, giving users the opportunity to earn achievements for sharing photos, applying different effects, or simply spending time in the app. Users can post to Facebook, Flickr or Twitter and also email or print their creations. This works really well; it’s great that pictures can be annotated in Twitter, rather than the app posting an automated tweet.
100 Cameras in 1 isn’t without flaws; iOS4 fast-switching isn’t supported which can be quite frustrating, and the app also forces a crop on the image rather than leaving the output dimensions up to the user. But these are but minor blemishes on what is otherwise an elegant app. The poetic filter names are a treat, giving it personality and warmth. Overall, an inspiring app at a bargain price.