There are countless applications available for iDevices and it really is impossible to keep up with whats new or interesting. When I find a new app it is almost always through either a developer I am already familiar with or through one of a few tech/app blogs I track on my RSS feeds. On occasion one comes along that manages to make its way into my daily workflow but most, I will admit, end up collecting digital dust in some forgotten corner of my iPhone. I look for apps with forward thinking, simplistic approaches to its functionality and design and have gotten to be just as picky with the apps I use as the physical products I buy.
One of the most heavily used category of apps on my phone is found in my camera app folder. Photo apps are a dime a dozen these days but from time to time one comes along that I have fun with for a few weeks before it either finds a permanent home in its space or gets removed because its novelty has worn off. The few that have stuck with me for the long run are Tiltshift Generator, Autostitch, and a handy darkroom timer app made by the Massive Dev Chart site. The reason for writing here today is to mention a couple of newer additions to my photo app toy folder both which were recommended by a commenter here on my previous post about using the iPhone as a camera.
First up is one that I have really been enjoying a lot actually and may end up being one of those long standing apps. It is dead simple and does something many other phone apps have done before but it does it with a subtlety that I really like. The app is called CrossProcess and its effect is pretty self explanatory. It gives the odd color effects that developing slide film in negative film chemicals would give. As far as customization goes it is really dead simple and gives you a choice of five different color effects as well as options to save the original image or add a border to the image. By default the app randomly chooses one of the five color effects leaving you with unexpected results but I find it is nice to jump into the options screen and choose one single effect that works best for the image at hand. So far, green is my favorite. The end result is always much more subtle than most apps that do the same thing which is part of the reason I enjoy using is as much as I do. Here are a few examples of photos processed with this app.
The other app I have had fun with lately is one that only time will tell if I will continue to enjoy. It is the type of app that adds light leaks and rough film edges. That can be fun at times but these kinds of apps have one serious flaw and that is the variety of small differences in these effects. If the light leak or dust or odd effect is always in the same places, in the same way it gets old fast when all of your photos start looking exactly the same. It’s why hisptamatic got so boring to me.
The app I am using to add these sorts of effects at the moment is called Plastic Bullet. It’s one flaw so far is its interface, its just not quite as smooth as I feel it could be but it does get the job done. You take a photo or select one already taken and simply cycle through random combinations of color alterations and light leaks until you find one you like. I find it doesn’t always work for every image I have but when it does work it looks really nice and adds a high quality film like look to your iPhone images. A nice benefit of this over other like minded apps is this has more of a variety of possibilities when it comes to the end result. I would love to see that expanded even further in the future. Here are some examples below.
So I may make more of a habit of this in the future, talking about new, interesting iPhone or iPad apps here. I have officially added a tech category here partially in preparation for the incoming update to the site when a few other new categories will make an appearance as well. So let me know your thoughts on posts like these should you have an opinion on the matter and we will see how things process from here.