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

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

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.

Oh What Tangled FX We Weave

Tangled FX is a new Universal app that makes you fall in love with it if you like creating nifty artwork. It takes photos and applies the “Tangled” effect. There are a wealth of presets that give a variety of appearances, and as soon as you turned on the advanced features you can have even more fun tweaking the parameters.

The best way to talk about this app is to show pictures. This image shows four different effects used on the same image, so you can easily see how varied the output can be. You can clearly see the effects, but here is a full size version of my favorite on Flickr.

Several different images created in Tangled FX

Tiny versions of several different images created in Tangled FX

Here are a few other images I created. A self portrait of myself (how I often feel while staring at a screen and programming all day long), a snapshot of a latte that had a unique design, a “nightmare” of train tracks, and some deep sea fishing. Click on any of them to see larger versions on Flickr.


Tangled Pac

Nightmare on Rails


From the description of Tangled FX:

Be the first to use the brand new Tangled effect and surprise your friends. Create art from images with just a touch of a button.

Watch the magic unfold in an animated photo process. You would never expect that your photos had such beauty hidden in them. All those tangled strokes, strings and swirls just pop out. And all of this in full HD 8-megapixel photo resolution.

Tangled FX is also a great showcase of how much heavy processing you can achieve on your small and handy device. All of this thanks to the shear awesomeness of your device’s GPU computational power. Great buy :)

The images it creates are unique, the app is simple to use, and there are a wealth of user options. Let’s just say this app can easily occupy any spare time you may have!

You can find out more on the Tangled FX website, and lots of interesting images in the Flickr Tangled FX Group. The Universal app is currently $1.99 and is available for download on iTunes.

TangledFX logo

HDR, the HDR App with the Shortest Name

A new HDR (high dynamic range) Universal app was released earlier today with the fancy name: HDR. It is one of the fastest HDR apps I’ve tried. It uses the two shot technique and grabs a light and dark image, and then combines them to get the final image. The app lets you save the two original images along with the final image.

Here were two sample HDR images. For the one on the left my hand was a bit shaky and the app didn’t do a great job aligning the images. On the right I managed to hold my hand a bit steadier and you can see the difference. The two images further down were the dark and light images that were used to make the steady image on the right.

I managed to point my iPhone at a light bulb and get a shot where I can read the print on the bulb and get a clear view of the rest of the interior. That is a good HDR shot :)

HDR is a very fast Universal app that seemed pretty nice in my limited testing. In a daytime shot the final image looked similar to other HDR apps.

You can download this app on iTunes. It is currently free, so grab it quickly. Usually it is $2.

Big Lens Continues To Improve

I briefly mentioned this Universal app a few months ago, but wanted to mention it again as it continues to improve (and was updated for the iPhone 5 last month). The basic summary of this one is that you get to blur regions of your photo to simulate a big wide aperture of a DSLR.

Big Lens gives you the ultimate in focus and filter tools for your iPhone. Simply focus where you want, with Reallusion’s Big Lens which turns everyone’s iPhone into a professional SLR camera. Snap a picture and then edit it like magic by setting the aperture, changing periphery blur levels, and adjusting background light to create a Bokeh effect with just a few gestures.

Here is a really quick example of what I did for a photo. I first used TouchRetouch (that link is iPhone, also free and iPad versions) to get rid of the extra table on the right side of the photo.

Original Shot Table removed from shot

When I took the original photo I’d focused on the coffee cup by tapping my finger on the screen of my iPhone where I saw the cup (this tries to focus and expose for where you tapped). That partially gave me the effect I was looking for, but I wanted a bit more blur in the background, and a ‘coffee house’ look. I opened Big Lens, imported the photo, and selected the advanced mode.

I drew a very rough outline around the coffee cup with the brush and then chose the ‘auto’ option. It did a really nice job. I moved to the next step by clicking the right arrow on the upper right of the screen. I then chose a wide aperture (to increase the blur) and chose the Sepia BG (BG = background) option. I chose the ‘heart’ lens to make the shot happier. :) To really see this lens effect take a nighttime shot with street lights in it.

At this time it was really close to being finished. I used the Focus and Blur brush to tweak a bit around the cup. I also selected the HDR option at the top to brighten up the background.

Final image that used Big Lens

Final image that used Big Lens.

It’s not a brilliant artistic image, but it gives a good example of what you can do with Big Lens. Currently this Universal app is just $1 over on the iTunes App Store. Easily worth it. Some of the lens effects are really nice. I’m hoping in the future that we get an option to adjust the light source location for the filters that have light effects.

The app also has a few quirks. It is tough to really get a smooth edge around objects such as the coffee cup in this shot (more noticeable in full size image). And every now and then if I blur or focus a region I’ll end up with larger ‘blocks’ of a focus/blur region. Hopefully a smoothing feature for the edge regions gets introduced at some point. The ability to selectively blur portions of the image still make this app one of those that is nice to have in your iOS tool belt.

There is a nice demo video on YouTube. And here is another image in which I made use of Big Lens with one of the ‘Light effects.”

43/365, Sunny Horse

Steal Colors with Color Thief

Color Thief has been around for awhile and in the most recent update it has become a Universal app (runs nicely on both your iPhone and iPad). This app does one thing, but does it very well! It lets you apply the tone from one photo to any other photo. The interface even makes it fun to just swipe through your photos to see random combinations. Here is a very simple example using myself in a coffee shop and a building during sunset. The original images are in the upper right corner and the lower left corner.

Examples of tone changes when using Color Thief

Examples of tone changes when using Color Thief

When the coolish sunset was applied to my face I got a bit cooler (the lower right photo). You can see the little arrow pointing from the cool sunset downward towards my face. On the left side the warm colors from the coffee shop were applied to the sunset. The sunset then became much warmer (upper left photo).

Here is a really nice video that shows the features of the app.

Color Thief is currently on sale for just $1, which is easily worth it if you are ever trying to get a similar look to a group of photos. If you have one shot with ‘good’ tones you can get that look on all the other shots. Just like a nice preset in Lightroom (for those that use Lightroom).