The Appcast #36: October 4, 2009 – Photography Apps

169579This week’s show: Hello, Photo. We take a quick look at Photography apps and the features we really liked.

You can find the full show notes below the cut. Episodes can be downloaded by clicking the Episodes tab above.

Intro Music: Borderline D.U. Mix  from Mixter Two – I Don’t Know What I’m Doing by Brad Sucks.

Show Outline:

  1. Introductions
  2. The App Store surpasses Two Billion App Downloads
  3. Jailbreak arrives for OS 3.1
  4. PSP Minis debut to higher prices than iPhone counterparts
  5. iSinglePayer runs into App Store rejection issues
  6. Cadence releases desktop software to sync with prematurely released app
  7. New Apps for the Week
  8. Core Topic: A brief look at the features and apps we liked in the Photography genre

New Apps Discussed on October 4th, 2009:

  1. 876729 Twitter – $0.99 – Get everything that TwitBird Pro has except the ability to use multiple accounts, set links to Read Later, and translate tweets. So if you don’t need those, this is a viable alternative for a few bucks less. We’ve praised TwitBird Pro multiple times before and this version offers another price option for the iPhone user that wants features, but doesn’t need the whole kitchen sink.
  2. 301237 Cocoto Kart Racer Online – $0.99 - It’s a Mario Kart clone, but for the price, it’s hard to resist. You get a choice of using digitial buttons or tilt controls, like you would expect from something like Crash Kart Racing, as well as the usual campaign single-player and online multiplayer. There’s not much to write home about except that it does function fine and is playable. Though, I’m just a bit disappointed there’s nothing beyond what I would have expected.
  3. 786748 CNN Mobile$1.99 – Though we’re not used to News apps costing anything, this is CNN’s official news application and it features a load of great content and features. Check out video reports (over 3G during our testing), news clippings, and even post and read iReports over your phone. The added push functionality for breaking news makes sure you know it all first and then you can post that news to your Twitter or Facebook feed. Very big, but also supported by ads, which is a very odd move for a paid app.
  4. 180061 Canabalt - $2.99 - Based on a free flash game, which you can try online before you pick this up, Canabalt is a retro-style game in which your character is running through a cityscape and must time jumps and react quickly to the environment to continue running without being stopped. It’s a simple one-button game where you only really control the jumps, but the presentation is very slick and professional. I certainly enjoyed it and it will definitely be one of my casual, pick-up-and-play titles on my phone for a while.
  5. 324766 CraigsPro+ – $0.99 – Quick and nearly comprehensive Craigslist functionality all in one app. Read, post, and forward posts all over Craigslist and even save your favorite searches for scouring the site like a pro.
  6. 516531 Super KO Boxing 2 - $4.99 - The sequel to the awesome boxing game that was originally on smaller, older cell-phones. I played the original, in all it’s slow, but do-able glory (though I really blame my weak phone) and this is a huge improvement. Big colorful graphics, gameplay akin to Super Punch-Out, this is arcade boxing in tip-top shape. All the usual gameplay is there, punch, dodge, find patterns in your opponents, and continue to work yourself up the campaign ladder. There’s some challenge mode where you can try your hand at some specific goals, as well as an option to fight any older opponents as well. No multi-player, though I wouldn’t have expected that from this title.

Apps of the Week:

666222 PCalc RPN Calculator – (Bob) – $9.99 – A very fancy calculator for those that really want to go feature-rich. Unit conversions, scientific notation, and even calculations in hexadecimal, binary, and octal are all included here. If you’re hardcore, this might be your calculator.

384702 ZipCar (Kevin) – Free - Not exactly for everyone, but if you live in a city with a lot of Zipcar options, this is actually quite neat. Sign-in and reserve directly from the app by choosing a Zipcar location near you. Then head to the car and use your iPhone to unlock the car (or just even make the phone honk the horn). I like the unlocking feature quite a bit and this, like TaxiMagic, seems like a great way to easily help yourself travel around when you don’t have your own wheels.

Silly Apps of the Week:

968861 Pimp My Ultrasound (Bob) - Free – A quirky app in which you add additional items, frames, and colors to your ultrasound picture to ensure you know what kind of smooth-talkin’, high-flyin’ toddler you’re getting. Entirely silly, but charming in a crazy way.

281895 Backbreaker Football (Kevin) – $0.99 - A really fun arcade-style football game in which you try to run past defenders to return the ball across the entire field for a score. You’ve got an arsenal of dodging techniques, like spinning, juking, and accelerating, but it’s all in the timing and the sense of where the defenders are coming from. It’s not just a really fun arcade football game, but the replays of yourself getting hit in slow-motion or using the showboating option to be a jerk to your opponents is really where the smiles are in this game. I know it’s not completely silly, but it’s a got it’s moments of hilarity.

Core Topic: Hello, Photo

For this week’s core topic, we delved into the Photography apps genre and picked out some notably good apps as well as some features we liked in various Photography apps.

169579 Camera Genius – $0.99 - Still our favorite camera app. Features galore, including many we haven’t seen in other camera apps, an affordable price, and a smooth interface made this an app both of us had to include with this topic.

042781 Snapture: Kevin liked the built-in 3 photo feature where you can take three photos in a row to better capture action. There’s also a side-view of previous photos taken, though they are small and it is hard to see if you missed detail. No autofocus included though. Bob suggested to just take video instead of the triple-shutter feature, though that is just limited to 3GS models.

657409 Camera Zoom 2: Another camera app, but the real strength is the ability to use the volume control buttons as the shutter button, which is something we hadn’t seen before and were unaware of being possible.

216827 ProCamera: Also another full-featured camera app, but the tiltmeter, a function that tells you the picture’s alignment to the horizon, was a neat idea, but just seemed like an accelerometer-based feature.

856070 Crop For Free – Free – Simple and easy cropping that works without any cost associated with it. Cropping is free-form, so there’s no corner dragging (you’re truly free to select what you want to crop).

944927 AutoStitch – $1.99 – Stitch together all your photos into one huge picture. It uses it’s own algorithms to determine where to place the photos next to each other. It wasn’t perfect, you can still see the stitching if you zoom in a lot, but it works well enough. Goes up to 20 pictures that can be stitched.

709029 Pano: Stitch your photos together in one panorama. Unlike AutoStitch, Pano lets you see a semi-transparent version of your previous picture so that you can also try to eyeball where to take your next picture to better line up the images or squeeze in as much panorama space as possible. You’re limited to just 16 pictures that can be stitched though.

012996 Camera FX BlackBox – $0.99 – Choose your picture and then let the app rotate through random filters and effects until you see one you like. It’s definitely a bit more random and roundabout, but you may find something surprising that you wouldn’t have thought of to begin with. Definitely interesting.

273856 Photogene – $2.99 - A lot of great post-tools. Gamma, RGB, and Levels adjustment are all here and let you really have more control over the look of your photos.

765236 Koredoko - Free - Take a photo and this app will assign the GPS coordinates to it.

926603 ShakeItPhoto - $0.99 – A fun play on the Polaroid where you shake the iPhone to help the picture develop faster (despite Polaroid claiming the shaking never had any effect). Nostalgic fun.

871603 ColorSplash – $1.99 – More a filter system where you use your fingers to color in the areas of a photo that you want to saturate with color. It’s simply a tool to make your picture black and white and allow you to paint in where you want to see color. You can do this on your own in most post-software.

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