Heliog Review
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Heliog Review

Our Review by Carter Dotson on April 26th, 2013
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PICTURE THIS?
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Heliog is a photography-focused Dropbox app that could use a few improvements to make it a must-have for photography enthusiasts.

Developer: Marcel Schmitz
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

iOS Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Heliog has a tough road to travel: the official Dropbox app is easy to use and has plenty of great features to go along with it. Why use something else?

Well, where Heliog wants to carve out its specific niche is through being a photography-focused app. It's meant to view, upload, and share photos on Dropbox, all through this app.

The ability to work with just images on Dropbox is great. It's easy to see a great overview of all the images that are in a folder. By default, there's a more stylistic layout of thumbnails, but it's possible to modify the settings to view more photos or fewer in a row, or to just have entirely square thumbnails. Uploading photos in the current folder is as easy as tapping the upload button at the bottom center of the screen, and switching folders is easy by swiping from the left edge to call up the sidebar.

A favorite folder list can be made by swiping over any folder in this sidebar, and tapping the star icon on it, which is then accessible by tapping the star icon on the top bar. There's even great sharing options on each photo, along with the easy ability to swipe through photos.

Now, the only thing that annoyed me as far as file uploading goes is that PNG files get converted to JPGs upon uploading. I usually work with uploading PNG files because I'm usually uploading screenshots of games, so my use case is a bit special, but this is just inefficient. The quality is virtually identical from what I can tell, minus some JPEG artificting, but the file size does increase. Why there's the need to convert the file at all is a mystery to me, especially for a photography-focused app.

It seems like this sort of app should not be modifying files at all, especially since photography geeks are especially picky about image quality. The app didn't support PNG at all until a recent update, but it has a bit of a ways to go to have perfect support.

While Heliog is an app with some useful features, it still needs some improvement to get to the point where I could completely recommend it for iOS photography enthusiasts.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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