Category Archives: Must Have App

There are some apps that should be on your iPhone or iPad.

Camera+ for iPad

I’ve always been a big fan of Camera+ on the iPhone and for those that have an iPad you shouldn’t miss out on the version for the iPad that was released last month. They’ve added a number of features that the iPhone doesn’t have (and I wish it did!), as well as a syncing feature so that things (mostly) sync up between your iPhone and iPad when Camera+ is running on both. The features are:

★ NEW iCloud sync…
The new iCloud sync in Camera+ automatically syncs your Lightbox photos between all of your devices. Shoot all day on your iPhone, and then edit all night on your iPad.

★ Brush on effects… iPad ONLY
Now you can brush on (or off) each effect with your finger so you apply it only where you want. You can set the brush size, softness and intensity for ultimate control.

★ Layer effects… iPad ONLY
Layer two or more effects to create your own unique results. Adjust the intensity of each layer and drag and drop to change the order. Why not mix “So Emo” with “Tailfins”? You have great taste, now prove it!

★ Straighten your photos… iPad ONLY
Camera+ has gridlines to help line up your shots, but you still get the occasional crooked one. Now you can crop and straighten with Camera+ for iPad and eliminate wonky photos once and for all.

★ Advanced image adjustments… iPad ONLY
Perfect your images with advanced image adjustments, including white balance, exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness and red eye removal.

★ Import from Flickr and Facebook… iPad ONLY
You have photos in lots of places; now you can import them into Camera+ for iPad to apply effects or fix them up.

This video review does a great job showing these new features. I was really impressed with the “brush on effects,” since I’d never actually noticed that feature since I started using the app!

The iCloud syncing is great. My one concern is whether or not it does the transfers when you are NOT on a wifi connection. I use a tiny data plan (just 200 meg/month of cellular data) and can’t have photo transfers using up my monthly allowance. I couldn’t find an option in the Camera+ menu, but I also haven’t investigated the issue.

The other issue with syncing is that the iPhone version of Camera+ doesn’t support the new features of the iPad version. If you use the fancy new features on the iPad, and then try to edit the synced photo on your iPhone – you’ll see a message about the “Incompatible Effects” that says you’ll lose the fancy edits if you try to continue. Hopefully a future version of the iPhone app catches up to the iPad.

It’s also important to remember is that if you delete a photo from one device, it will go away on the other. That is why they call it syncing.

Camera+ is one of the first apps you should buy when you get your iPhone, and Camera+ for iPad is the one you should buy when you get an iPad.

Camera+ for iPad is just $0.99 right now, so be sure to download it.

Camera+ Goes To 3.0

Camera+ is one of those apps that I wouldn’t want to live without. It’s a must have app. Enough said.

Clarity is just one of many great features in Camera+

Clarity is just one of many great features in Camera+

Today they released version 3.0. Lots of improvements, and still on sale for just $0.99. Be sure to grab it if you don’t have it. As many have said, the clarity setting is worth more than that all by itself.

Camera+ for iPhone on iTunes [download].

What’s New in Version 3

★ App icon

The very first thing you’ll notice in Camera+ 3 is its shiny, new icon. It’s essentially the same Camera+ icon that you’ve grown to know and love… but better and much more polished.

★ Dramatically improved sharing

There are two main improvements here… The first is that you can now share to multiple services, or even multiple accounts on the same service, all at the same time. The second big thing that you’ll notice with sharing is the increase in speed. It’s now faster than ever to share your photos online.

★ Multiple photo library import

We’re introducing a great new feature where you can import multiple photos from your photo library all at once.

And we added several fine touches to the import panel. Large thumbnails, zooming to view your photo large, and photo info will help ensure that you’re choosing exactly the photos you want.

★ Workflows

Sometimes you want to shoot a bunch of pics in a row without having to think about things like editing and sharing. And sometimes you want to do just the opposite and edit and share each pic you take, right after you take it. Workflows easily provide you with the flexibility to do it either way.

★ Focus & exposure locks

Now you can lock the focus and exposure of the camera, independently of each other. Photographers looking for the utmost flexibility in shooting will love this new feature because it enables all kinds of creative ways of taking awesome shots.

“Bokeh?! I hardly know her!”

★ APIs

We’ve created a few comprehensive APIs for Camera+. These APIs enable people to integrate Camera+ into other apps and to create web services that make use of the many, many photos that have been shared by Camera+ users.

Several prominent developers have already integrated Camera+ into their apps via these new APIs. Check-out the WordPress, Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Foodspotting, and Twittelator Neue apps in the App Store to see these APIs in action.

And to get all the details on how the APIs work, visit http://api.camerapl.us

★ Improved Lightbox UI

We’re a bit obsessive when it comes to user interface and user experience. With Camera+ 3, we’ve reworked several details of the Lightbox to make it even more usable. It’ll take a couple of seconds to get used to the changes but we’re completely confident that you’ll love these improvements almost immediately.

★ Create web link

Many of you used to use the SMS sharing feature (now renamed to Message) for passing web links along to others. Now we’ve got a much better, easier, and dedicated way of doing it.

★ Tuned Clarity

Often imitated but never duplicated, Clarity is one of the things that makes Camera+ what it is. And now it’s even better, especially if you’re using an iPhone 4S.

★ VolumeSnap setting in menu

VolumeSnap is our birthright. That is all.

★ Status bar in Lightbox

In previous versions of Camera+, we didn’t display the status bar (you know… that thingy with the clock, battery level, etc at the top of your screen) when you were in the Lightbox. Well, that’s all changed with this version! Never again miss picking your kids up at soccer practice because you were editing photos and had no clue what time it was.

★ Improved performance

We’ve gone through painstaking steps to improve performance in several parts of the app. It all feels a lot more fluid now. But don’t just take our word on it… try it yourself and see how much nicer it is now.

★ Notifications

Find-out about Camera+ updates, news, and contests. We’ve implemented notifications so they’re not intrusive and they’re opt-in only.

★ Lotsa bug fixes

We’ve identified and fixed several bugs in Camera+. Thanks to all of you who’ve reported any issues you’ve experienced.

★ Various other subtle, but significant enhancements

“Beware of the person who can’t be bothered by details.”
— William Feather

TouchRetouch Magically Clears Clutter

If you are anything like me I’m sure you’ve taken a photo where you wish just a few things weren’t in the shot, or you wanted to fix a blemish or smudge of some sort. TouchRetouch is one of those apps that you need on your iPhone/iPad. This app was included among my must have apps for 2011 and I realized I’d never bothered to review it. Here is a quick one.

TouchRetouch GUI

TouchRetouch GUI

TouchRetouch is one of those apps that is so simple you barely have to think about how to use it. The tools available are a lasso, a paintbrush, an eraser, the dragging/zooming hand, the action button, and a clone tool. The vast majority of time all I do is use the paintbrush to cover what I want to remove and click the “action” button. Magically, the pixels I didn’t want vanish. Poof! Love it. Every now and then I’ll use the clone tool to help clean up a certain area of the shot that needs a bit more work. The current version (3) is much faster than prior versions.

The brush, eraser, and clone tool all let you adjust the size of the specific tool. You also have the ability to zoom in on the image so you can do all the detailed work – up close and personal.

This video tutorial pretty much sums up all the features and shows how easy the app is to use. A basic video tutorial is also available.

The app always asks what pixel size you want when you open an image (the larger the image, the more time it will take to do the processing). Most of the time the options will range from full size image to three smaller scaled versions. Every now and then something quirky happens at this point. The largest size available is much larger (60% or so) than my actual shot. I always choose the highest resolution. If I reopen the same image it will then show the actual picture dimensions as the largest option. I’ve used the larger than initial shot option and it works with no apparent problems, and does save the image at that exceptionally high resolution.

TouchRetouch has separate apps for the iPhone and iPad on iTunes. Currently both apps are $0.99.

A free version that leaves watermarks on the photos is also available for download.

And for those that want to read the full description while you are here:

TouchRetouch is a revolutionary application that lets you remove unwanted content or objects from your photos, using just your finger and iPhone or iPod Touch. Mark the items you want taken out of the snapshot and hit ‘Go’. That’s all there is to it. Retouching photographs has never been so quick, easy and convenient. Click “…More” to learn why you should download this App today!

You recently got married on a beautiful Caribbean beach. Everything was so perfect. Luckily, you have a lot of memorable snapshots of the crystalline water and white sand backdrop of the ceremony, you and your new spouse silhouetted in the sunset, your guests under a palm tree, that nude sunbather that somehow got included in a shot taken during the exchanging of vows. Yikes!

Before showing your mom those photos, take a minute to remove that accidental guest from an otherwise great picture. Open your TouchRetouch app. Using your finger, select the Brush or Lasso tool to mark what you don’t want in the shot, then hit the ‘Go’ button. Okay, you’re done and it’s now safe to share your picture-perfect memories with everybody.

TouchRetouch isn’t just for exotic or wedding photo touch-ups, of course. Use this easy yet ingenious application on any photo, newly snapped on your iDevice or taken from your gallery. Remove those wires that are in the way of an otherwise wonderful view, take banners off of buildings, get rid of people, eliminate spots and other imperfections. All without distorting the final image.

You can even have a little fun with TouchRetouch. Take away the bicycle from under your brother and it looks like he’s cycling in mid-air. You can make it look like people are flying, jumping or posed oddly, by removing whatever was supporting them.

Do everything mentioned here and more, in mere seconds without any special equipment.

Check out some of the things that you can do with TouchRetouch:
* Remove spots from sky or other backgrounds
* Remove wires from your picture
* Remove banners from the buildings
* Remove human-made objects from nature views (bridges, buildings, tents, ships etc.)
* Remove your shadow from self-made picture
* Remove people from the photo
* Remove ghosts and flare
* Remove surface breaks
* Smoothen and retouch the face
* Create funny pictures: for example, remove parachute and leave the guy flying in the sky

This app is just so versatile! It comes loaded with great features and functions that you’re going to love using and appreciate having, especially in an easy-to-use, portable medium that goes everywhere you do.

Features
* In-app video tutorials
* Unlimited Undo\Redo actions
* Smart image background recovery techniques
* No distortions in final image
* Easy to use interface
* 1:1 view
* Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Flickr sharing
* Finger move hint

Download TouchRetouch now and start creating amazing or funny photos. It’s easy, fun and always ready to edit your images in a tap or two – no matter when, no matter where.

Photo Apps: The Top 10 for 2011

Christmas is almost here and many of you might be getting a nice new shiny iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. I have a feeling the Apple servers will go down for at least part of the day when lots and lots of people are trying to download apps, apps, and more apps. I’m sure the EA Games will dominate the top of the charts with their 99 cent sale (guess they have 8 of the top 10 iPad apps right now), but what about those interested in photography? What should you run out and grab?

Quiet Breakfast: Used Percolator and ScratchCam FX

Quiet Breakfast: Used Percolator and ScratchCam FX

Here are my suggestions for iPhone, iPod, and iPad users. Remember that apps that are just for the iPhone will generally run on the iPad with no problem – but will only take up a small portion of the screen (or ‘fuzzy’ in when you hit the x2 button). Apps that are only for the iPad won’t run on the iPhone. Universal apps look good on both, and if you have an iPhone and an iPad you only have to buy the app once to run it on both.

One thing I will mention is that the camera is not as good as that on the iPhone (or iPod Touch), so I find the number of photos I take with my iPad are miniscule compared to my iPhone. I end up doing more editing on my iPad since the extra size of the screen really helps. For this reason my top 10 list will be a bit different for the iPhone and iPad.

I’ll basically run through a quick description of a lot of apps that I regularly use, and eventually narrow it down to the top 10 list (much harder than I thought).

The first thing you have to buy for $0.99 is Camera+ (for iPhone). This has been the top seller in photography, and in the top 10 overall for a long time. The “clarity” scene is worth the price all by itself. I bought the analog filters (an in-app purchase) and really enjoy those, particularly the silver gelatin filter.

Camera+ a shoot/filter app. It lets you shoot photos with more features than the built in iPhone camera (or just import photos from your camera roll) and then lets you apply numerous effects.

Instagram (for iPhone) is insanely popular, and I’ll admit I still haven’t signed up (maybe tomorrow!). It is also a shoot/filter app, but has a significant tie in with the social world. You can follow friends/users, like photos, comment on shots, and get great ideas from other popular shots. I have an Instagram screen saver on my Mac and it shows some really interesting shots to say the least.

Now, if it’s time for a more complete photo editor. There are a number of these. I won’t go in to great detail here. I’d suggest Snapseed (Universal), Photoforge2 (Universal), Photogene2 (separate versions for iPhone/iPad), or Filterstorm (Universal). Luminance is a relatively new app and, like the others, is really well done. I have a tough time saying that I could live with just one.

Snapseed is unique in how you choose the tools you are going to use and how you make changes to the settings, and they have a way to select regions of a photo that is great. It was truly designed for use on touch devices and incorporates horizontal and vertical swipes for most adjustments. Apple selected Snapseed as the iPad app of the year, so it is clearly a good app. The iPhone version is identical, but smaller icons and such. Luminance is also along the lines of Snapseed, but has a full timeline so you can jump back to a prior state (Snapseed won’t let you go back after applying an effect).

Photoforge2 and Filterstorm are the most complex and they include layers and a wealth of Photoshop-like filters. Photogene2 is also a full-featured editor that has been around for a long time. The iPad version, in my opinion, is currently the better of the two versions (the iPhone/iPad app are a bit different in terms of GUI and features), but I use both.

There are a few utility apps that I can’t live without. These are TouchRetouch (separate versions for iPhone/iPad) and Image Blender (Universal). The first lets you remove unwanted things from your photos, and the latter is the ‘quick’ way to blend things. AutoStitch Panorama (iPhone) lets you stitch multiple photos together.

I’m sure professional photographers wouldn’t mention these apps which create unique effects, but I’m just a casual guy and I enjoy them for creating ‘artsy’ work on my iPhone. ToonPaint (iPhone) creates a unique cartoon effect. Percolator (Universal) is truly unique. I’m not even sure how to describe it. Let’s just say it uses bubbles that allow you to create some fascinating shots. Tiny Planet Photos (iPhone) will wrap your world into a tiny planet or put you deep inside a tunnel world. WordFoto lets you turn your photos into words.

Although not quite as unique as those above, there are a number of apps that have interesting effects – just choosing the randomize feature with some of these apps can keep me occupied for hours. These include Plastic Bullet Camera (Universal), Grungetastic (separate iPhone/iPad), ScratchCam FX (iPhone), Lo-Mob (iPhone), and PictureShow (iPhone). Noir Photo (Universal) lets you convert daytime shots into interesting night shots.

Specialized photo apps are another category in my mind. Slow Shutter Cam lets you do light trails and long exposures (manual and automatic). ProHDR allows you to get high dynamic range photos (I’ve started playing with Top Camera for this, but have been using ProHDR as my favorite for a long time). Diptic and PolyMagic let you do framing of multiple photos (I really don’t do this very often, but do have these two apps). Color Splash (separate iPhone/iPad) lets you keep the color where you want it. Tilt Shift Generator (separate iPhone/iPad) lets you get that blurred look as if you have a tilt shift lens on your DSLR camera. Halftone (Universal) lets you give a newspaper/comic look to your photos.

Panoramas are another specialized photo app. I tend to not use them, but having a 360 panorama app available in your toolbelt is a good thing. I’ve tried a number of these, but PhotoSynth was picked as an Apple iPhone app of the year, so I’ll go with that one for the moment (although I personally use Panorama 360).

And finally…here are my lists (in no particular order).

My Top 10 for the iPhone

My Top 10 for the iPad

There are more than 5000 photo apps out there so my list is by no means a complete list of what you may want on your iOS device. For every app I suggested there are always alternatives, or if there aren’t yet I’m sure someone is working on one. I have hundreds of photo apps. Do I really need that many? No, but it is fun to use them. 🙂

There are many other lists out there. From a true professional photographer you can check out Scott Kelby’s list. Apple also put together their top iPhone/iPad app list (you’ll have to scroll down for the photo category).

No matter what apps you end up getting, I’m sure you’ll enjoy taking some photos! And happy holidays to all of you great readers 🙂

Here are links to the rest of the apps that I mentioned above (in no particular order).

iPhone

iPad

Universal

Coffee’s On! Percolator 2.0 is Ready.

Percolator is one of those unique apps that I’ve always enjoyed, and version 2.0 is now available. It’s taken awhile for this major update, but it seems worth the wait.

Morning Train, created with Percolator

Just some of the new features include:

  • Percolator is now a Universal app that works on iPhone and iPad.
  • Bolder! Enhance contrast, detail, and color with new Grind settings.
  • Hotter! Finer controls, more settings, and exciting new effects.
  • Fresher! Faster percolation means more peeper-popping action.
  • Watch it Work! Percolator’s five animated effects will dazzle the senses.

Percolator 2 is a free upgrade for current users. It will soon be $2.99 USD, but to celebrate this launch Percolator will remain $1.99 USD for a limited time.

A great buy. Once I’ve had more time to play around with it I’ll let you know what else I find. But for now…I must run off to work 😉