Tag Archives: holiday

2014 Ends, 2015 Begins

As you hear so often – the year really flew by. I think the last time I really saw time fly was when I dropped my Garmin during a marathon. I was switching it from my left wrist to my right one (since 15 miles on one wrist is about all I can stand). It flew about 3 feet to the ground. Not very much, but I had to stop to grab it. Not a great feeling during a marathon! Was that off topic enough for this blog? 🙂

Happy Holiday 2014

A holiday card I created with a number of apps: Snapseed (to enhance the original), LensLight (to add the light), BrushStroke (to give it the painted look), Snow Daze (for the snow), Fold Defy (for the folded look), and Phonto (to add the text). If you live/visit in downtown Charlottesville you’ll know exactly where you are based on the pavilion in the background.

Anyway, it was an amazing year for iOS photo apps. One of the big changes is that Apple allowed app developers access to the camera APIs in iOS 8, and that has led to manual controls in various apps. You can manually set the ISO, capture time, focus, etc. Very nice. I’ve used a few of the apps including Camera+, Few, Manual, Manual Photo Camera (currently free), and Manually. I haven’t had a lot of time to explore them all, but I think Camera+ is my favorite right now, but they all seem nice.

It was also a great year for creating ‘artistic’ photos. BrushStroke and Waterlogue1 are my two favorite apps for creating things that look like they’ve been painted. Both of these are Universal apps, so they are good for both your iPhone and iPad.

On the iPad only side of things, Pixelmator was named the Best iPad App of 2014. It’s a very powerful editing app that also has a Mac version for when you want to continue your editing on one platform or the other. I’ve been using it a bit and am starting to enjoy it more every time I do (the GUI took me a few uses before I got familiar with it – it’s so powerful and I didn’t realize how much it could do initially). There are many other great apps out there that people love, and if you want you can see what Mobitog members think about the best apps of the year in this lively thread.

Although it was a great year, there was one thing on my “naughty” list – the iCloud Photo Library. This is supposed to give you access to all your photos at full resolution on all your devices. Right now it still shows up as beta in the iPhone settings. I’m guessing it won’t come out of beta until the new Photos application for the Mac is released in early 2015. This new program is going to replace both iPhoto (free) and Aperture (hundreds of dollars in the past, still $80 online). Most have a feeling it will be a bit above iPhoto, but will pale in comparison to Aperture.

I tried this once, but between how the iCloud Photo Stream and the iCloud Photo Library, it was hard to see what was really going on. There are still a lot of discussions about it on the web and many are as confused as I am about what should really be happening. There was also confusion due to the removal of the “Camera Roll” when iOS 8 was initially released (it was added back in an iOS update). Too much confusion and no one ever wants to lose any photos they took! Hopefully Apple clears up all these issues in 2015.

Looking ahead, I’ve heard the rumors that the camera may be drastically upgraded in the next iPhone late in 2015. I would have no problem with that! My question is about the size of the lens. With the iPhone 6 (which is really thin) the lens extends outside the iPhone, so if you don’t have a case the lens can scrape around on your desk and in your pocket. I’m not a big fan of the design and am looking forward to the new one in October 2015.

For my New Year’s resolution I’m going to try to average at least one post a week (I only averaged one every two weeks for 2014), and I will try to always respond to email I get (trust me…I see it all, but just don’t find time to reply). Two resolutions seem like plenty.

I hope you all have a great start to 2015 as time continues to fly by.

Finishing a race a few weeks ago. You can see my Garmin sitting there on my wrist. This was a 5k and I finished in 20:03. Pretty good race!

Finishing a race a few weeks ago. You can see my Garmin sitting there on my wrist. This was a 5k and I finished in 20:03. Pretty good race!


1Waterlogue actually came out last December, but that is right around the start of 2014 😉

First Seven Apps You Should Try on Your New iPad: Just $4

Since today is Christmas I’m guessing there are a lot of people with brand new iPads out there. There are hundreds of apps for photo and video. Many are great. Others…not so much. I really don’t do much with video, and I’m just a casual photographer. If that describes you (or even close) these are the apps I suggest you download to get a feel for what the iPad can do. Keep in mind that I’m limiting myself to just $4, which is a big challenge!

Here are four editors. PhotoToaster has a full version for just $2. I haven’t downloaded the latest Snapseed since Google bought it. I’ve heard that this new version has removed some features, but since it’s free you might want to try it.

This next app does one thing, it touches up imperfections in photos and can even remove people (and other big things) from the photo.

Last but not least, here are two that let you create ‘artwork’ from your photo. Popsicolor is currently one of my favorites for the uniqueness of the water color effect, so I had to put it up here. I’ll be the first to admit that my favorite varies as the year goes on, but I’m betting this one has lasting power. If you want to cut your budget to just $2, you could skip that one for now.

As an added bonus there are several apps in that list that are Universal: PhotoToaster Jr., Snapseed, Popsicolor, and Glaze.

I didn’t include any fun/silly sort of apps that younger kids would enjoy, and I skipped out on the really high end photo editors – which I use, but they wouldn’t fit in my budget. 🙂 I also skipped out on social/photo site apps.

There are dozens of apps I always want to have with me, but I just wanted to give you a good way to get started. Enjoy!

Holiday Sales

If you are just getting your new iOS device for the holidays, or you have been having fun for a long time, here are a few apps that are on sale (or free) right now. I’ve tried most all of these.

  • MPro for iPhone. Free. Usually $1. MPro App is specially for Monochrome Photograph.Has been designed to capture high-quality black and white photography.
  • ProCam for iPhone. Free. Usually $1. A replacement camera app.
  • Fotomecha for iPhone. Free. Usually $2. Fotomecha is a continuous-shooting camera application that simulates multiple lenses.
  • Blux Camera for iPad. Free. Usually $2. A unique replacement camera app that allows you to fully utilize your iPad’s unique features, unlocking its powerful photographic capability.
  • TiltShift Effect for iPhone. Free. Usually $1. This is a new app for tiltshift, I haven’t yet tried it.
  • MiniatureCam for iPad. $1. Usually $3. Real-time tiltshift for video.

You can find more sales on the AppShopper photography page (‘popular’ apps and all photo apps). LifeInLofi also has a sales page.

Hope you are all enjoying the start of the holidays. Here is an image I created using a number of apps on my iPhone. I started (believe it or not) with a picture of my TV set when I was watching A Cat in Paris. I then used Moku Hanga to get the overall look. Using Percolator I created the stars in another image. I then took Image Blender to combine those two images. And to wrap it up I opened that image in Phoster and used the holiday card theme to get the text and the white trees.

Happy Holidays from iOSPhotoApps.com

I wonder if Percolator could add a few shapes other than just stars? Hmmm… 🙂

Gobble Gobble – Holiday Goodies

Here in the states we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday in the next few days. With holidays come great deals, and many are already happening.

Fall in Belmont

Fall in Belmont. Took a snapshot of my neighborhood and used Glaze to process the image. It was a gorgeous sunny fall afternoon.

Polatax for the iPhone let’s you get that Polaroid look. It’s currently free.

All the apps from MEA Labs are currently free! That includes many popular apps:

I’ll try to keep you updated as more sales pop up over the long weekend. For those that are celebrating, hope you have a great holiday!

Some Apps for the Holidays

The December holidays are almost here. Since many of you will be hanging out with lots of friends and family there are a few apps that are on sale (or free) that you might to grab.

Many enjoy creating a collage from many photos they’ve taken. Currently PhotoTangler Collage Maker for iPhone is free and PhotoTangler Collage Maker HD for the iPad is just $0.99. Both apps are really nice.

Dr. Seuss Camera App

I’ve always enjoyed watching The Grinch and Rudolph on TV, and there are iPhone apps that will let you create “zany and whimsical” cards that you can email to friends or save on your iPhone. I haven’t used either of these apps, but they look like fun. The Dr. Seuss Camera – The Grinch Edition and Rudolph Camera are both on sale for $0.99 right now.

Although this app is not specifically geared towards the holidays, OldBooth is unbelievably fun when you get together with a group of people. My one complaint with this app is the output resolution is just 640×920 pixels. But still worth it just for the laughs you’ll get. It’s on sale for just $0.99.

I’m sure there will be many other sales for the holidays, and many people getting brand new iOS devices!