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Shot & Find Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 9th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: IMAGE BASED SEARCHING
Search for mostly anything, simply by taking a photo of it with this cool app.
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148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up - How I Used Apps to Help Me Launch and Run My Small Business

Posted by Angela LaFollette on December 30th, 2013

Writing has always been a passion of mine because it allows me to express myself. Although while writing is something that I'm passionate about, I also enjoy expressing myself through various other forms like drawing, scrapbooking, and graphic designing. Recently, one area of interest in particular has caught my eye: embroidery. Not just the process of actually embroidering items, but creating digital embroidery designs for others to stitch out with their machines.

Since I own virtually everything Apple, iOS apps have become a major part of my life. There are many apps that I use for my own personal amusement, but most of the apps that reside on the home screen on my iPhone and iPad are there to help me run my small business online. Not only have these apps helped me to get started in doing what I love, they continue to help my business to grow larger.

My main go-to app is Etsy. I set up an Etsy shop a little over a year ago, and it has helped me to achieve more than I could imagine. Most use the Etsy app to browse for unique and handmade items to buy, but there’s another side to Etsy that few know about. With Etsy, I am able to view the essentials about my shop such as orders, revenue, and views, and I can also communicate with buyers through conversations directly on my iPhone. I receive notifications instantly, which ensures that my customers are always getting quick responses. Etsy even allows me to add new items to my shop, change its appearance, and do virtually everything the website offers. My favorite feature is that the app makes a “cha-ching” sound with each sale that I make, which always brightens my day.

Camera+ Updated for iOS 7 Style and New Lab Feature

Posted by Jeff Scott on December 18th, 2013
iPhone & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: CAMERA EXCELSIOR! :: Read Review »

Camera+, one of the favored camera replacement apps with over ten million copies sold has gotten a HUGE update in version 5.0. First and foremost is the new iOS 7 look and interface refinements throughout the app. Also included now are a host of photo editing features under the banner of Lab which allow quick yet robust changes to your photos. The new lab features include:

Clarity Pro
At the head of The Lab you’ll find Clarity Pro, which gives you adjustable Clarity and also adds a Vibrancy Boost adjustment which really brings out the life in your photos.

Not only can you manually straighten your photos in The Lab… we’ve also included a slick auto-straighten feature.

Easily tone your photos whatever color you please. Go just a tad to set a subtle mood, all-out to make a bold statement, or anything in-between. And if you’re having a hard time choosing a color, simply roll the dice to get a random one… will it come up lucky seven or snake eyes??

This takes the Tint adjustment and brings it to a whole other level. Try it. We’ll leave it at that.

Soft Focus
Give your photos a beautiful, ethereal quality with Soft Focus. This one’s addictive so promise not to overuse it, ok?

Film Grain
For the look of analog film. Fully adjustable so you can get the exact look you want.

This can often be the answer to a photo that came out a bit blurry.

Soften harsh pics. Or go to the extreme to make the perfect iOS 7 wallpapers. More on this later... ;)

Take it down for a cool, faded look. Or crank it up to make your pics pop.

Easily enables you to make your pics look “warmer” or “cooler”. It can be used for a simple compensation, or turned way up for a bold look.

Photo overexposed? Underexposed? This is the fix.

Brightness & Contrast
Two classic photo adjustments. You’d think that not much needs to be said about these two… but we went out of our way to make them look really good.

Highlights & Shadows
Boost or cut the bright and/or dark parts of your photos. Compensate for imperfect lighting conditions, or go for an intense, artistic effect.

Top-off the perfect set of adjustments with a stylish Vignette. Not only can you put on a traditional dark one, you can also go light for an airy feel.

olloclip Releases New 3-in-1 Macro Lens for iPhone 5, 5s, and iPod 5th Generation

Posted by Andrew Stevens on December 5th, 2013

olloclip has released a new macro 3-in-1 photo lens for taking photos of up to 7x, 14x, 21x macro magnification. The new lens works with the iPhone 5, 5s, and iPod Touch 5th Gen and can be purchased from olloclip's website or any Apple store for $69.95.

“This new macro lens solution has particular value to the medical, dental, technology, fashion and other industries where impromptu detail shots have enormous benefit and becomes a handy tool,” said Patrick O’Neill, founder and president of olloclip. “You will be amazed by the level of definition you can now capture with your iPhone.”

Features of the olloclip Macro 3-IN-1 photo lens include:
• 7x MACRO - The lowest magnification option; revealed when you remove the 14X; provides a wider field of view with minimal bokeh.
• 14x MACRO - The default choice for medium magnification; easy to switch on and off using the lens adapter.
• 21x MACRO - Super high magnification focuses in on details and textures not easily seen with the naked eye; provides a tighter field of view and a higher degree of bokeh.
• Instafocus Hood - specially designed to diffuse the light and facilitate focusing.

Cycloramic Pro 360 Panorama Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on November 15th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: INGENIOUS AND PRACTICAL
Simple to use and producing some attractive results is a winning combination for this panoramic photography app, even if it isn't perfect.
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Olloclip Quick-Flip Case Review

By Jeff Scott on November 11th, 2013
The Quick-Flip case from Olloclip is a case that allows use of the Olloclip lens without removing the whole case.
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Olloclip 4-in-1 for iPhone 5 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jeff Scott on November 1st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar ::
A 4-in-1 lens system that extends what users can do with the iPhone camera. Recommended.
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Hands-On with the Sony QX-100 vs. iPhone 5s

Posted by Jeff Scott on October 17th, 2013

We've been anxiously awaiting the release of the new Sony QX line of lens-style cameras: those super high quality lens systems that attach to the back of an iPhone and communicate with the phone via a Sony app. We had a few minutes to go hands-on with the QX-100 high-end lens yesterday, and here's what we saw. More on the QX cameras.

While not in the perfect setting, we did a few side-by-side tests with the QX-100 ($499) lens against the stock camera in the iPhone 5S. Here are the sample shots and a few notes for each. These images are not modified other than whatever the individual cameras do by default and for size/cropping for use here.

(click for larger size)

This first shot is a bit of a torture shot for any camera. Bright colors, bright sun, dark shadows, natural and artificial light all in one. In this one both cameras do a good job, but the nod goes to the Sony QX-100 for better representation of the colors in both the light and dark areas. Also a better job of keeping the highlights from blowing out and the darks from disappearing.

(click for larger size)

In this shot, both cameras do a great job. While the Sony has a richer color saturation - perhaps too saturated - both are quite good. One plus for the Sony: notice that the background is blurred nicely vs the flatter image from the iPhone.

In all, the real let down was the software. And the good thing about that is that it can be updated. Hopefully it will be. Image size is also an issue. The iPhone 5s takes images natively at 8MP while the Sony QX-100 was only sending 1.5MP images to the camera. It is capable, with an micro-SD card installed, to take up to 20MP images, but I was unable to test that.

The price is another thing to think of. The QX-100 is $500. While saving a couple hundred over the same featured RX-100 camera, it might be worth the extra just to be able to use the camera by itself. Without further testing I can't really be sure if the camera is worth the $500 over the camera built into the iPhone. We hope to have a full review for you later this year as the lenses become more readily available.

Dropcam Pro - Network Connected Camera Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jeff Scott on October 10th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar ::
Dropcam Pro is an upgrade to the previous model, which we already loved. This new model adds beefier hardware and better software.
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Pic Scanner Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on October 7th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EASY PEASY
Pic Scanner allows users to scan up to three photos at a time, and it’s loaded with many great features like special effects, photo albums, and automatic cropping.
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iOS 7: Reinvented Camera+ Hits Version 4.0

Posted by Jeff Scott on September 18th, 2013
iPhone & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: CAMERA EXCELSIOR! :: Read Review »

Camera+ has been the go-to camera replacement app since its release. This new version brings it up to date with iOS 7 and also includes features like manual exposure compensation, square cropping, and AirDrop support.

ProCam Gets a Price Drop and a Big Update, Includes Full Manual Camera and More

Posted by Rob Rich on August 29th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Shutterbugs rejoice! Procam has just received a temporary price drop to $0.99, and a fairly significant update!

Amidst all the typical bug fixes and performance enhancements, the app now also sports a real-time fully manual camera for iPhone 5/iPod Touch 5th Gen users. We're talking exposure, saturation, white balance, and all that good stuff. The Time Lapse Mode has also been tweaked so it runs smoother and allows you to embed soundtracks. Burst Mode has also been adjusted so that it captures images faster and produces sharper pictures. And even more updates are planned for the future, naturally.

Sony To Bring Two Lens Camera Attachments To iOS Devices

Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 13th, 2013

There are two lens camera attachments making their way to iOS as Sony plans to release the DSC-QX10 and the DSC QX100. Both attachments come with a built-in sensor, Bionz processor, NFC, and an SD card slot and both will magnetically attach to your iOS device, reports Techno Buffalo. There is no announcement on the release or pricing of both camera lenses, but we do know that the QX100 features a 10x zoom and 1/2.3 inch 18-megapixel CMOS sensor, which sounds lovely.

I must say that I'm very intrigued by these lenses!

Image from SonyAlphaRumors.com

Groopic Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on July 17th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: EASY PEASY
Groopic makes it possible for friends to take group pictures with the photographer included in just a few easy steps.
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5 Years and Counting - The App Store Then and Now

Posted by Rob Rich on July 12th, 2013

Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That's a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it's not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple's new smartphone.

On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.

2008 - The Beginning of the Beginning

The App Store's first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.

Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn't make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn't as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.

At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that "mobile" didn't have to equal "mediocre." Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.

2009 - Moving Right Along

The following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple's digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.

Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean "an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms." And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.

So many of the App Store's most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers' minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples' free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.