Posts Tagged photo
My wife and I decided to eschew family Christmas traditions and make our own this year by visiting Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando. The experience itself was wonderful, in spite of surprisingly large crowds when we visited on Christmas Eve (no fault to Disney there, but even THEY seemed overwhelmed by the numbers that visited the park). But what amazed me the most about our trip is how essential our iPhones have become to every aspect of our travel. From navigation to photography to even Disney park preparation, our iPhone 4(s) had us covered every step of the way.
Our single-purpose GPS is way out of date (I’m the cheapskate and can just never bring myself to pay for map upgrades) so we decided to try out MotionX GPS Drive on this trip and the results could not have been better. MotionX GPS Drive has recently received a much-requested upgrade adding full-voice support for street names, so this new feature was added just in time for our trip. Mind you, neither the app nor the full-voice is perfect. “Exit 83-A” was commonly referred to as “Exit 83uh” and other street names were mangled from time to time, but as a whole the new voice functions worked well. And then there was the time when we needed to travel to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at African restaurant Boma. When I selected “Boma’s at Animal Kingdom Lodge” from the app, it began navigating us, but our destination ended up at the main gate of some Orlando resident’s palatial estate. A little fine-tuning was needed, but the app finally got us where we needed to go. MotionX GPS Drive is also a steal from a financial perspective – $0.99 for the app with guided navigation for $2.99 for 30 days. MotionX wisely does not auto-renew, so you only need to pay the navigation fee when you really need it, which is a very nice touch.
Released: 2009-09-25 :: Category: Navigation
Once in the park, we had two go-to apps – Undercover Tourist and Hipstamatic. If you’re unfamiliar with Undercover Tourist, it’s an app designed to give you information about anticipated crowds at the various Disney parks and queue wait times at rides within the parks. Unfortunately, Undercover Tourist pushed an update right before our trip and it broke the app on my iPhone 4. I was hopeful when I saw a new update released, but mine still crashes. My wife, ever reluctant to update apps, still had an older version on her phone, so we were able to use it. The crowd forecast for December 24th (color coded: red for heavy, yellow for moderate and green for light) showed green so we thought we had it made. Like I said earlier, the crowds seemed to surprise even Disney, so I can’t really blame Undercover Tourist for a mistake in its data. The good news is that the queue estimates were generally accurate and helped us, particularly early on, decide where to go and what to do. And since the app is free (there is a paid ad-free version) there isn’t much I can complain about.
Released: 2010-08-08 :: Category: Travel
Finally, what would a trip to the Magic Kingdom be without lots and lots of pictures? Sure, the iPhone 4 has a much-improved camera, but I’m a sucker for the retro surprises generated by Apple’s iPhone App of the Year Hipstamatic. I suppose it’s because my first trip to the Magic Kingdom happened only a year or so after the park opened, but I love the washed-out, 1970s style prints that Hipstamatic generates on the fly. Changing virtual lenses and films was a great way to while away the time spent in long, long lines (the Haunted Mansion line was longer than I have ever experienced), and the photos the app took are some of my favorites from this trip. There’s a reason Apple selected Hipstamatic, and it’s primarily because of its easy of use, versatility and overall fun-factor.
Released: 2009-12-09 :: Category: Photography
So, we’re back home now, but there’s no mistaking that the iPhone 4 changed our Disney experience for the better. For one thing, it was the first time we didn’t have to lug around a heavy, cumbersome camera throughout the park; but beyond that, it made the day more pleasant, more organized and a lot more fun to remember.
For those of you who doubt the capabilities of the iPhone 4 for photo taking and editing, the cover of the September issue of Macworld is made entirely on an iPhone 4.
Macworld’s contributing photographer, Peter Selanger, who has “shot almost every photograph in the pages of the magazine over the past few years”, had apparently been “tinkering with the idea of shooting a Macworld cover with an iPhone for some time”. When he saw that the iPhone 4 was going to have a high-quality 5 megapixel camera, the time became now.
Using only the regular camera (no soldered on lens of any kind) and two apps, Perer was able to make a high quality shot, pretty enough for a cover, of none other than the iPhone 4 itself.
“For the most part, my strategy for photographing the cover didn’t change from how I normally would shoot,” Peter says in a blog post about the process. “I still had my normal set with lots of lights, flags and stands. I did have to change my light source from strobes to tungsten lights because the iPhone can’t sync with studio strobes.”
“The iPhone’s Retina display was truly awesome,” he says. “I was really able to see the detail in the photo as I was shooting. It made me wish Apple produced all its monitors this way. The final photo was dust-free and looked great. I was extremely impressed with the detail that the iPhone was able to capture.”
Every once in awhile you see something that is just so epic, it isn’t able to be contained in a single image. You could be at a concert and want to capture the stage and the crowd with one shot or you could be walking around New York and see the most massive alien spaceship that you’ve ever seen (wait, that was Independence Day). These moments need something better than a normal picture.
If you’re in this situation, You Gotta See This! is the app for you. Instead of just taking a simple panoramic shot, the app uses the iPhone 4′s gyroscope to determine the proximity of the shots to the original, creating a single large picture that can be extremely wide and tall at the same time. Because of the sensitivity of the gyro, it also lets you take pictures that are diagonal, letting you blend pictures together from any angle that you want.
Check out the tutorial video on the uses of the app, as well as some examples of what the app can do, here. Pick it up in the App Store today for “less than a tall Cappuccino at your local cafe” (reason #4 for buying the app, according to the iTunes page).
Some apps need to be seen to be believed and CaPix is certainly one of them. This image retouching tool for iPhone has just gone live on the App Store and makes light work of any elements you don’t want included in your pictures. Simply drag your finger over the area you want removed and CaPix will extract it as if it were never there. Whether it’s a random stranger in the background of your family photo, unwanted lens flare or, as in the picture above, a can getting in the way of your lovely shot of… well, grass, CaPix can cut it out. It’s as if the app understands your pictures.
This kind of cloning tool and the algorithms behind it are not far from the powerful features found in Adobe’s Photoshop software, except Photoshop will set you back several hundred dollars. For $1.99, CaPix offers incredible results that could save an image or perfect one of your favorites.
If you don’t believe us, check out the video below.
Adva-Soft has announced a new photo editing app for the iPhone that allows users to remove blemishes and other unwanted elements from photos. Aimed at users who wish to remove unwanted spots, wrinkles and other imperfections from their images, the app is expected to launch at the end of May.
TouchRetouch uses intelligent algorithms that avoid compromising any other elements of the photo outside of the problem area. Using a simple swipe, users can select the area of a photo they wish to fix and hit the Go button to perform the edit which preserves the surrounding area. The app will be compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and also offers features such as in-app video tutorials, unlimited undo and smart image background recovery. If TouchRetouch lives up to its billing and provides the features promised it should be an interesting prospect for its small $0.99 price point. Adva-Soft president, Davydov Maksim said of the launch “Word got out that we have developed this piece of software and there seems to be a bit of buzz going around about it. We’re figuring on quite a bit of activity the date of release.” TouchRetouch is planned for launch on May 25th subject to App Store approval.
Having an iPhone on you is always handy when you want to snapshot something you need to remember, whether it’s a for sale sign, promotional poster or an advertisement. One of the drawbacks of this process is that once you’ve taken the photo you’ll need to fish it out of your Camera Roll where it’s taking up valuable space among your actual photos and there’s also a good chance that you’ll forget about it altogether.
QuickShot! aims to put an end to these issues by combining your iPhone’s Camera and Mail apps into one slick process. Once the app is setup you can simply launch it, take your photo and push a button to send yourself an email. The process is simple enough that it can take as little as three taps to complete.By default the image isn’t saved to your Camera Roll either so you won’t have to worry about clutter anymore. When sending the email, you can customize it as you wish and also scale the picture before you send. This strikes us as one of those apps you think you wont need until, of course, you actually do and is certainly worth a look. QuickShot! is available on the App Store for $0.99.
There are some things that we know the iPhone can do, from play games to make calls, however, until this app came along we doubt anyone thought about adding their face to a poster in a movie. But that’s what ModdedMovie offers, and it does a brilliant job of it.
The process of making your movie is easy, simply pick a background, choose the type of poster or billboard you want and then add a photo of someone’s face from the iPhone’s camera. You then simply position the face using pinching and dragging gestures and adjust the color and exposure of the image to make it look as natural as possible. We found that picking images focused on a face rather than a group shot worked well and, where possible, shooting a photo specifically for the app provided the best results.There are a bunch of initial styles to choose from including Car Advertising, Advertising hoardings and billboard advertising and, within each, there is a selection of advertising types. These include Happy Birthday, a wanted poster, movie poster, fashion poster and an I Love You message.
Once you have picked your theme and added an image, the fun really starts. The image is rendered within a movie that shows a street scene with a poster containing your picture in the background. The video clip looks a little like handheld footage so you could easily use the output as part of a “have you seen this?!” prank to play on friends. You can view finished movies from within the app or send them to your iPhone’s Camera Roll for sharing online or syncing to your computer. The output is pretty impressive however does need an iPad or iPhone 3GS in order for it to work. In our initial inspection we did encounter a couple of crashes when rendering or choosing certain themes but we hope these will be ironed out with an update. This is version 1.0 after all.
You might be asking, what on earth would I use this app for, and we thought the same, however once you get to grips with it, ModdedMovie does offer a whole host of possibilities including personalized birthday greetings to friends and loved ones. You could even add the video to your own website if you have one or to a home movie as a dynamic introduction. Regardless, this is an enjoyable app to use and, while slightly pricey at $2.99, does offer a number of possibilities and will be great for kids.
Released: 2010-04-12 :: Category: Entertainment
By now you’ve probably spent a decent amount of money on iPhone apps, so wouldn’t it be nice if you could make some of that money back?
Well the Field Agent app might be able to help you do just that, claiming to be the first app that actually pays you, the user. By signing up to become an “Agent” you fit into a very simple ecosystem: A “Client” creates a job, the “Agent” (you) completes the job, the client and agent are happy.
What does this mean in the real word? Well, a client is a company or service that has signed up at FieldAgent.net and needs information on competitors, consumers or wants to check whether its products are being correctly sold. The agent is someone who has download the Field Agent app and receives notification that a client needs a job done, carries it out and is paid a small fee for their troubles.
While it sounds very James Bond meets Foursquare, the app and its assignments are for real as far as we can tell and actually do pay. While no explicit information is given as to the purpose or beneficiaries of these “assignments”, it’s a safe bet that most of them are market research for the Fortune 50 clients who back the app.
Fortunately, the agent jobs required by the clients don’t involve horses heads in beds or extortion either. Most of the assignments involve checking prices at stores or filling out surveys and pay between $3 and $12 if completed properly and within a set time limit. Jobs often require a verifiable GPS location and a photograph in order to keep the clients happy so an iPhone 3G or 3GS is recommend.
Once an agent has made their money it can be transferred to a PayPal account within 48 hours.
Agents also develop a Rep Score that shows how good a job you’re doing for your clients. Starting with 85 points, agents gain points up to a maximum of 100 for successful, accurate jobs with higher rep leading to more frequent jobs. Of course, if you fail at your task or submit inaccurate results you lose points and aren’t at the top of the pile when the next assignment comes in.
It seems that agent jobs are somewhat scarce at the moment with a number of iTunes reviewers giving some pretty harsh feedback that has prompted a response from the company. Apparently the number of agents has increased by 500% in a week and they are waiting for the client growth to catch up. This does sound like a cleverly worded way of saying “companies aren’t quite as interested in the service as consumers who stand to make money” but apparently more jobs are coming soon.
We’re keeping a close eye on this intriguing service that has the potential to be groundbreaking but could also end up wasting a lot of people’s time.
Camera Plus Pro is an all-in-one camera/photography app for your iPhone that virtuously caters to all your photography and video recording needs. Packed with features and options, it works as advertised and is well worth its asking price.
Read The Full Review »
Camera Genius takes the iPhone's native camera and it's meager native functions and integrates them into one application that caters to all your photo needs. It provides users with a perfect set of features/options and performs remarkably, well worth its $1.99 asking price.
Read The Full Review »
AutoStitch allows you to take a group of overlapping images and the program will stitch them together to form a large panorama image. One of the coolest features is that it does this automatically. You just tell it which photos to use and it will automatically figure out where to place them in the panorama.
This latest update increases the rendering speed and can create amazing 20 megapixel panoramas on the 3GS. Unfortunately due to the limited memory on older iPhones, they are limited to 5 megapixel panoramas.
I gave the new version a quick test and it worked fantastically. While other apps like Pano also make great panoramas, AutoStitch now takes the lead with the largest possible output. Fantastic little app — and it’s only $1.99. Only on the iPhone would it be this cheap.
For some great example of images created with AutoStitch, check out their Flickr group,
Read The Full Review »
Wink is a new photo printing application released by Shutterfly that lets you assemble photostrips, much like you would get a amusement parks, arcades, etc. right on your iPhone. You even have the ability to mail printed versions of your assembled photostrips to anyone on your contact list.
You can assemble the photo strips with 3, 4, or 5 photos either from photos stored on your phone or by taking them in the app. There are also some basic photo editing capabilities to crop, rotate, and change the colors with some pseudo-filters. And like every app these days, there is the required Facebook and Twitter integration.
Shutterfly have also announced that the first 50,000 people to download the app 3 free photo strips. Hurry!
People always ask me why I, the editor-in-chief of an app review website, only have an 8GB iPhone. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I have to fill my phone up to the brim with pointless data. Maybe, just maybe, I can fill it up with e-mails or something, because everything else that I use can be made quite nice with an app. Big Movies? Just use iDisk… you can stream movies straight from “the cloud”. Music? I’ve got Simplify Music… all of my music is streaming directly from my computer to my phone. It’s nice when your 30GB music collection takes up less than 3MB. The only issue that I had before was photos. Sure, I could put some photos on my iDisk, but that is already bogged down with movies. That was my albatross… until…
Simplify Photo! Well fans, life is good again, and my $100 saved from getting the 8GB iPhone is looking smarter and smarter by the moment. Not only does Simplify Photo stream my entire photo collection, but it also holds onto the GPS tags and name organization that iPhoto so nicely provides, making your whole portable photo browsing experience that much better.
Life is definitely good with Simplify Media. Pick the app up now at its special introductory price of $0.99. Enjoy!
Docked on a nightstand or desk, your iPhone makes for the perfect digital photo frame. DreamStream greatly enhances viewable photo sources by accessing pictures from MobileMe, Facebook albums and Flickr tags among others. Even your friends' photos aren't safe!
Read The Full Review »
When creating dice you gradually learn what looks best. When something is produced that looks exceptional in motion, it's a great feeling. I can see this being fun for everyone from young children to fandom enthusiasts to grandmothers who'd rather look at their darlings than standard pips on monopoly dice.
Read The Full Review »
The attempt at previews in realtime is truly impressive and the filters within Chimera are diverse. The interface could use some work and giving the user a choice on resolution would give casual shooters an option to sacrifice quality for speed. Some of the current limitations stem from the hardware it must employ. Still, this is definitely an application to watch as it reaches maturity.
Read The Full Review »
The Tiffen Company has brought their digital photography filters to the iPhone as Photo FX. Even if you use Photoshop to edit pictures on your computer, Photo FX might be just the thing for a quick tweak on-the-go.
Read The Full Review »
This neat photo editing application lets you selectively highlight areas of your photos with color. It produces such nice results with so little effort that you may actually find yourself putting photos onto your iPhone just to use it!
Read The Full Review »
I had to do a triple-take on this one. Microsoft Labs has released what they call a tech preview to the iTunes App Store called Seadragon Mobile. Yes, really, Microsoft has released an application for the iPhone.
Seadragon Mobile is an image viewer for large images or a large number of images. The ability to browse hundreds of images in it’s collections and zoom into those images to an impressive level of detail is fantastic. Standard pinch-zoom is used to zoom in and out and a slideshow function is available when viewing a collection. Forgetting the Microsoft source, this is a really good image viewer for this kind of content. And except for a few server issues we’ve had, the app responds really quickly considering the amount of data it is referencing.
Some of the collections available to view include some from Library of Congress, world maps, large scale artwork, and items from Microsoft’s Photosynth. Also included is the ability to add your own content from uploaded material at Photosynth, RSS image feeds such as Flickr feeds, and Deep Zoom Content.
Seadragon Mobile is impressive for what it does and it’s an interesting demo to play around with. But I have to wonder about it’s future.