ColorTime: A One Touch Color Adjustment Tool

ColorTime is a Universal app that is designed to let you easily adjust color and brightness on photos. It uses a rather unique way where you can select the entire photo to make adjustments or part of the photo using a ‘smart’ painting tool. From the description:

VertexGrade technology allows you to long-tap and drag to select part of your photo. You can then change just the area selected. Make as many selections and as many changes as you like, it won’t slow ColorTime down. As you edit, all changes are non-destructive, you don’t loose information.

Since it would take a lot of words to describe it I figured this video would give you a much better feel for how the app works (I sometimes wonder if I’ve become hooked on video rather than old fashioned words).

I’ve been using this app and it took a few minutes to get used to, but now it feels rather intuitive. Here is a quick example of a before after image that I did.

Original Image in ColorTime

Original Image in ColorTime

This was modified in ColorTime

This was one possible version modified in ColorTime

This was modified in ColorTime

This was another possible version created in ColorTime

The app has a very professional feel that does what it says. It also has a nice “rotate” feature that will just randomly cycle various brightness/saturation settings. You can stop it at any time if you see an image you like, and then tweak it a bit more from there. The output files were full resolution for my iPhone 5 photos.

ColorTime is currently listed as $4.99 and can be downloaded on iTunes.

Two Apps for Text Along a Path

There are two relatively new Universal apps that both let you place text on your image along any path you can draw. This can be useful if you just want to make a cute photo with text wrapped around your nose, or a poster for an upcoming event. These apps are Path on and Curved – Text that Curves.

Both of these allow you to place text along a path, adjust the font and font size, and adjust the picture in various ways. I’ll highlight a few differences.

Creating/Using Paths

Curved

Has preset curves ranging from S-shapes to straight lines. When drawing your own shape you can’t see the photo you are trying to place the line, just a small canvas region. Once you have a path you can freely rotate and resize it. You can add additional text paths on the same photo. You can also change your paths after you have created it. When drawing a path I sometimes got an error that I was drawing too quickly.

Path on

There are very limited preset curves so most of your curves get drawn. In this app you draw directly on top of your image which you can see. After drawing the path you can’t change the shape, although you can rotate it in 90 degree steps or use the technique of one finger stays in place and the other moves around it to do free rotation. You can only have one path on a photo so if you want multiple paths you will have to save your photo and reimport it multiple times. Note: I couldn’t find a way to do anything else with the path once created, so I could be mistaken on parts of this.

Font Usage

Curved

It has a variety of fonts with different shadow options (a lot of shadow types). When entering the text it will autofill the length of the path. I didn’t see any way to not have it do that. One thing I noticed is that the spacing of letters along the path would often become misplaced. Sometimes a letter at the end of a word would be several spaces away from the prior letter. Text will flow in the direction your drew the line.

Path on

This app has a greater variety of fonts. It also has a feature that lets you mix fonts – multiple fonts will show up in that line of text. Nifty. There are a variety of other features that aren’t in Curved: letter spacing, autofill on/off, flipping to other side of line, and alignment with the line. The shadow effect seems very limited.

Photo Editing

Curved

Uses the Aviary photo editing tools. I’ll be honest, I’m not wild about this brand of editing tools which are in a lot of apps lately. I’ve never like the interface, and many of the apps that use this set tend to have poor output resolution and seem geared more toward the ‘fun’ apps for a younger crowd. It lets you put stickers and memes on the photo (an in-app purchase in this app). There are also a number of effects you can apply. Some are included but many are in-app purchases. Basically, I would do my editing in another app. The output was full resolution (matched my iPhone 5) when I saved to the album, but I did not try using the photo editor (you should check this out if you care about the resolution).

Path on

It has a number of effect presets, a cropping tool, and also lets you apply opacity or blur to your background image (the text remains crisp). The blurring tool is pretty nice. The output was full resolution. There are no stickies or memes that can be inserted in the photo.

Overall thoughts

Both apps are pretty good, but at this point Path on is the clear winner in my mind. It has more of a professional feel to it and the GUI made the app seem intuitive. It’s very well done for a new app and I didn’t notice any bugs. Being able to draw right on the image is a gigantic plus.

Curved seems to be more geared toward fun with the stickies and such, although most things are in-app purchases (a lot of different ones). The GUI was nice, but I often found myself adding additional text by accident.

I tried both apps on the iPad and both would only work in the portrait mode. It would be nice if you could run in landscape mode as well.

Curved was just introduced last week and it seemed good, although the text spacing quirks and lack of the autofill on/off options were pretty noticeable. Hopefully these things may get fixed in an update.

Curved is free right now, so you can at least give it a try if you are interested. Path on is currently $1.99.

Image created with Path on (and ConsoleCam)

I added some text using the Path on app. The original photo was created in ConsoleCam (a $1 Universal app).

Mid-March Musings

I’m somewhat in shock that mid-March has already arrived. Feels like the year is rapidly vanishing. My day job is keeping me busy as always, and I’m also spending time getting ready for the Flying Pig Marathon (in Cincinnati). My runs are getting longer, and after a run it always feels good to rest a bit. :)

Image from the Charlottesville 10 Miler

I’ve almost finished the C-Ville 10 Miler (I’m on the right). Was edited in TouchRetouch, Big Lens, and Snapseed. Original was taken with DSLR by local photographer.

So, back to iOS photo apps. Here are a few I’ve tried out recently.

iPhotography Assignment Generator [download]

iPhotography Assignment Generator

Screenshots from iPhotography Assignment Generator

This iPhone app is all about ideas and assignments. Many people enjoy doing various daily photo (365) challenges. I’ve now made it up to 1,408 straight days with a photo. Sometimes getting an assignment is nice. This app can do that. There is a lengthy review posted on iOS Affairs (nice site name!)

The app is currently $0.99. The developer (who is a professional photographer) also has apps for DSLR assignments. There is a free version for both the iPhone and iPad, so try them out if you want to see what the app can do. Check out all the apps here.

ConsoleCam [download]

This Universal app lets you get a bit of a blast. (Note: I have an Atari 800 computer system box about 5 feet away from me right now. #geek)

ConsoleCam lets you see your photos as they would look on over 50 vintage consoles and computers with hundreds of variations. See what your puppy would look like on a ColecoVision, or your friend’s face on a Macintosh 128k, then easily share or save the results.

Here are a few of my creations. One feature I’d really love is the option to include the name of the console on the frame.

ConsoleCam Image
ConsoleCam Image
ConsoleCam Image
ConsoleCam Image

I sure looked good back in those days! As you can see, the final image can appear extremely different based on the graphics capabilities of the old computer/consoles. There is a nice review over on App Advice. The app is just $0.99 on iTunes.

Etchings [download]

When I first tried this app I thought it was nifty, but then I forgot about it for awhile. I recently started playing with it a bit more and have really enjoyed it. The Universal app is $0.99, and I also got the Florence FX Pack in-app purchase for another $0.99 (‘Alice’ in the pack is one of my favorites).

Created with Etchings App
Created with Etchings App
Created with Etchings App

That middle shot is pretty scary. I used InstaFishEye to take the original shot, then TangledFX, and finally in Etchings. The other two were more straightforward, and not as scary!

You can watch a video of the app over on the Etchings website. One thing that isn’t obvious in the app is the square cropping. When you first load the image you have to select a square region. Sometimes I don’t want a square image. To get the full image just select “Advanced Export” when you are about to share/save the image. That is where you can turn the crop off and the output image will then be the size of the original image (up to 3300×3300 pixels).

That’s about it for today. Three very different apps for a variety of users. Was that enough musing for mid-March? Hmm…let me think about it.

Weekend Freebies Led by ‘Path on’

Wow, spring really arrived here in Virginia today. Sunny and 60. Even though the weather is gorgeous I figured I’d sit here typing and let you know about some nice discounts you can grab.

Image created with Path on (and ConsoleCam)

I added some text using the Path on app. The original photo was created in ConsoleCam (a $1 Universal app).

  • Polamatic for the iPhone lets you get that Polaroid look. Currently free.
  • Path on is a Universal app that lets you add text to a path you draw. Free!
  • iSupr8 lets you create video with the 8mm look. Free. I believe this was used to do part of an Oscar winning movie (or at least nominated).
  • AutoPainter for iPhone is free. It lets you create Van Gogh-ish art (and 3 other styles).
  • ProCam XL for the iPad is free. It’s a camera replacement app.
  • Blux Camera Pro for the iPhone is free. Also a camera replacement app.
  • Camera One for the iPhone is a new camera replacement app (and editor). I don’t know anything about this one, but it is currently free.

That’s all I have for the moment. Have a great weekend, and remember tonight you have to shift your clocks (for those here in the US – I’m not sure how many other countries do this, but I know I’m not a fan.).

Soundgramr Grabs Sound and Image of the Moment

I often browse through new apps and noticed one that looked interesting called Soundgramr. It’s a Universal app that grabs six seconds of sound as you are snapping a photo.

Imagine if that picture taken on a rainy day actually had the sounds of raindrops falling. Or if that picture taken at a party actually had the sounds of people having fun.

I enjoyed using this to take shots when I was in public places such as a coffee shop or a restaurant with nice ambiance (you’ll see what I mean in the video below). Once you snap the photo you can apply a basic filter to it if you want to.

Soundgramr Screenshot

Soundgramr Screenshot. If you had the app running I you could hear the rain!

Then you can scroll through your images and listen to the sound that loops as you look at your image. It gives you a really quick “how I felt at the moment” impression. I always find it a fascinating how the mind can be triggered by a variety of media. The app also saves the original photo at full resolution (on my iPhone 5) when you snap the photo which is a nice feature.

Since it does include sound, this video is a much easier way to see and hear what it does!

It is currently priced at $1 on the iTunes App Store. For those that are interested, go ahead and download it. Pretty fun. It’s great for personal memories. One thing I’d like to see in an update is a way to ‘share’ the moment by sending it as a short movie clip or posting to a sight. I dropped a line to the developer and that might get added in a future update. Overall it’s a great app for keeping little trinkets of happy/sad moments with you. Rain, latte getting foamed, snowplow scraping the road, etc. Maybe the next version will also include odor. :)

You can learn more on the Soundgramr Home Page.

PS. I might have a few promo codes to give away in the next few days. Stay tuned.


Soundgramr 1.0 Press Release
——————————————-

Independent development studio, JViCo is proud to announce the release
of Soundgramr 1.0, their new photo app developed for iPhone, iPad and
iPod touch. Soundgramr brings photo and sound together. It’s a photo
app that, when taking a picture, also captures the audio with it,
giving another dimension to photographing.

Imagine if that picture taken on a rainy day actually had the sounds
of raindrops falling. Or if that picture taken at a party actually had
the sounds of people having fun. Soundgramr captures the moment like
that.

Tap on “Capture” and while the picture is taken, the audio is recorded
simultaneously. It’s all done in one single step, because the app
makes no distinction between taking a photo and recording audio –
they’re one “soundgram”. It’s possibly the only app on the App Store
that focuses on this. The recorded clip has 6 seconds, which can be
heard in an endless loop from the app’s timeline. It’s also possible
to see on a map where the picture was taken.

Made for both the photo lovers and the music/sound lovers, Soundgramr
is still a photo app though and, for the retro lovers, it comes with
11 photo filters and vignette control. All images are saved at full
resolution.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch and iPad
* Requires iOS 6.0 or later
* Universal Application
* 16.1 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Soundgramr 1.0 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other
currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store
in the Photo & Video category.