By Summer Delaney, Grovo Guest Blogger
It’s no secret that photo apps and platforms are the next big social media movement. With Facebook’s acquiring of Instagram last month for $1 billion, more and more photo services are continuing to be developed to meet the demanding needs of new consumers ranging from all ages, demographics and occupations. Here are six applications that can be useful to anyone regardless of profession or hobbies that can either be used with existing apps like Instagram or independently.
Photography sure has come a long way. From the first photo ever taken (which required an eight hour exposure) to the explosion of mobile photography, more and more users are relying on their cellphones to snap their pictures. The team behind Overgram (an app that lets its users add an assortment of text to their Instagram pics), have drummed up an infographic detailing its evolution. Some of the stats include: more than 3.5 trillion photos have been taken since the first photo, 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook everyday and photos make up 42% of all posts on Tumblr. Check out the full breakdown filled with stats, fancy charts and the like after the break.
Camera+, one of the most popular and feature-laden third party camera apps for the iPhone, has just become the first app to support the iPhone 5′s dynamic low light mode. As explained on stage during the official unveiling, the iPhone 5′s camera provides up to 2 f-stops greater low light performance, meaning it can go all the way up to 3200 ISO when needed (vs 800 previously). As explained by Scott Meinzer of TapTapTap:
Apple has added the ability for the sensor in the iPhone 5 to take pictures at 4 times the sensitivity. If you’re a camera buff this means the ISO can go from a limit of 800 before, up to 3200 now!
We’re excited to announce that Camera+ 3.5.1 supports extended low-light shooting on the iPhone 5! To show you exactly what this means we’ve taken a comparison photo with Camera+ on the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5 with new low-light mode. It adds some additional noise, as you can see in the 100% zoom, but it also enables you to take photos you wouldn’t have been able to take otherwise.
Adobe Photoshop Touch, the robust image editing app especially designed for the iPad (2nd and 3rd gen) has just been updated to version 1.3, with support for the Retina display being added. This means that all your photographs and images will look even more spectacular on the new iPad. More importantly, especially for photographers and those serious about their work, Photoshop Touch now supports images up to 12 megapixels. The previous size limitation was a huge downer for those who wished to work with high-resolution images. Also new with the update are 2 new effects (shred and colorize), support for Apple Photo Stream and a new three-finger tap gesture tap to toggle 100% view. Check out the complete list of what’s new after the break, along with 2 intro videos to the Photoshop Touch app.
Adobe, Adobe Photoshop Touch - $9.99
Macphun is giving away copies of their highly capable photo editing software on the Mac - FX Photo Studio Pro ($39.99) – this weekend and all it involves are a few simple steps, though owning the excellent FX Photo Studio (TMA Review) for the iPhone is a requirement (now on sale for $0.99). Here’s how you can snag yours on the Mac:
- Have FX Photo Studio on iPhone
- LIKE FX Photo Studio on Facebook
- Snap a picture of their Facebook profile
- Put any filter from FX Photo Studio on the pic
- And email picture at [email protected]
The giveaway is good until April 1st and there’s a limit to the number of Mac apps to be sent out, so don’t wait until the last minute if you’re hoping to make good on this freebie offer.
Update: Macphun has extended this giveaway until April 9th.
Camera Awesome, one of the most popular camera apps for the iPhone (it saw 4 million users after 1 week of launch), has added Instagram integration with its newest update, along with these new additions:
- Instagram integration: Share your “Awesomized” photos directly from Camera Awesome to Instagram with one simple tap.
- Better bundling: $9.99 for all effects, forever and ever. If you’ve already bought a few effects, it’ll do the right thing and bill you the difference.
- Getting started guide: In-app help shows you how to post, edit and share.
- Pinch to zoom: Easier, intuitive zoom. The way Apple intended.
- White Balance lock: Stick to one white balance in tricky light.
- Smoother timer: Drag to set the self-timer. No more fat fingers.
Great news for iPhoneographers who use both Camera Awesome and Instagram – now all can be done within one app. If you’ve yet to try out SmugMug’s hit camera app, it’s free to download and yes, pretty darn awesome.
SmugMug, Camera Awesome, – Free
For those of you who enjoy taking pictures on your iPhone AND like the idea of having all those images synced automatically with your Dropbox account, Cloud Photos just might be the app for you. Created by the start-up dev team Syrp, Cloud Photos uses Dropbox to store all your photographs, so as you go off snapping pics with the built-in camera, those images are uploaded to Dropbox in the background. Speaking of which, the camera features several advanced settings like white balance, focus, exposure and grid. And to help save space on your iPhone, the app only saves a thumbnail of the actual photo taken onto the device, thus freeing up precious space for apps and other media (the original files can be downloaded from the cloud at anytime). Cloud Photos is available now on the App Store and currently on sale at $0.99. You can check out the rest of its features after the gap.
Syrp Inc., Cloud Photos, – $0.99
SmugMug, a premium online photo sharing service, has released Camera Awesome, an impressive (and free) camera app that could put even some of the paid camera apps for the iPhone to shame. Designed with a gorgeous interface, Camera Awesome comes loaded with features, including advanced ones like a level for the horizon, or the ability to focus in one spot on your shot and set exposure in another with just a touch. A one-tap “Awesomize” button provides automatic photo enhancements, and sharing images and videos can be done with another tap, or no taps at all – simply turn on auto sharing and continue shooting while they’re sent in the background. And special effects and filters have been designed by renowned photographer Kevin Kubota, which can be purchased separately from within the app ($0.99 per preset). Camera Awesome requires iOS 4.3 or higher and you can download it now for free on the App Store. Given it’s price and feature set, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t check out the (awesome) camera app for yourself. Video trailer and PR after the break.
SmugMug, Camera Awesome, – Free
If you needed better encouragement to buy Snapseed than an enthusiastic TouchMyApps review, I can think of no better endorsement than Apple’s own knighting of Nik Software’s Snapseed as iPad app of the year 2011.
But if you need a second opinion – and after a long time with Snapseed, I feel that my opinion is valid – mine is simple. Buy it. That’s it. Snapseed is the perfect companion app for frequent Facebook and frantic Flickr photographers. The reason for this isn’t the very decent uploading interface, but its ergonomic input system.
Snapheal for the Mac was released on the Mac App Store earlier this morning. Brought to you by MacPhun, makers of the excellent iOS photo editing app FX Photo Studio (TMA Review), Snapheal lets you perform object removals and other complex touch ups without any prior knowledge of photoshop. It’s a matter of choosing areas you want to remove/touch up, hitting a button, and Snapheal’s algorithm does the rest. Here’s what it do:
- Remove unwanted objects from the image
- Make skin imperfections vanish
- Erase unwanted text (watermarks, etc)
- Dramatically enhance photos with clone & stamp tool
- Lighten dark areas
- Sharpen images
- Add blur
- Import pictures from Aperture and iPhoto
- Adjust saturation, gamma, light levels, shadows and much more
Judging from the demo video, Snapheal does work “magic” and it truly makes removing objects from photos a painless process. Best of all, you won’t have to spend a whole lot for this promising photo app. Normally at $19.99, Snapheal is now on sale for only $9.99. Check out the videos and full app description after the break.
MacPhun, Snapheal - $9.99