Instant is a newly launched Mac application that brings an Instagram-esque, Polaroid-faking app to your desktop. It allows you to turn any digital photograph into a Polaroid picture look-alike, and offers 28 different filters for giving your images vintage looks (8 of which are designed to look like Polaroid films). You can even add classic Polaroid frames to images and jot notes onto them. The app costs $7 and is available from the Mac App Store.
Instagram is holding onto its place as the darling of the mobile photo sharing world. After adding a whopping two million new users in a month thanks to Thanksgiving and the release of the iPhone 4S, the app now has a shiny new trophy for its shelf: it has been selected as Apple’s “iPhone App of the Year“. The future is looking extremely bright for the 13-month-old, 7-man company: Goldman Sachs recently designated it as a potential IPO candidate and founder Kevin Systrom expects the membership base to double once the Android version arrives.
What if every photograph included a short video showing the few seconds that led up to the shutter being pressed? That’s the idea behind a new free iPhone app called GLMPS (pronounced “glimpse”). It’s a camera app that stores a few seconds of video with each shot, letting users share the background behind each picture (try clicking the photo above). Unlike normal iPhone photos, displaying a GLMPS photo/video requires a special embed code, make it somewhat inconvenient to share. Wouldn’t it be interesting if short videos could be stored in the metadata of photographs taken by all digital cameras? Seems kinda farfetched, but it might be possible as technology progresses.
For the first time ever, an Adobe program is available through the Mac App Store. Yesterday, Adobe began selling Photoshop Elements 9 there for $80, a generous 20% off the regular $100 price for the boxed version. It’s a pretty big deal, because Adobe — along with Microsoft — is a company that would love to keep its software out of Apple’s App Store. It generates significant profits by selling its popular programs in the traditional boxed format, while businesses that sell through the Mac App Store must fork over 30% to Apple (which may soon become the most valuable company in the world). This news shows that Adobe is at least testing the waters, and may eventually expand its offers in the Mac Store to reach Apple’s rapidly expanding customer base.
Microsoft’s jaw-dropping Photosynth technology has arrived on the iPhone as an app that allows you to easily create immersive 360-degree panoramas. All you need to do is load up the app and sweep your camera around in every direction, and the app automatically snaps photographs filling in the panoramic image (you can also tap it if it gets sluggish with its snapping). Read more…
Ever wish you could take shallow depth of field photos on your iPhone that look like they were taken with a DSLR and large aperture lens? With an app called SynthCam you can. You simply aim the camera at a foreground object, press Record, and then slowly move the phone around a little while keeping it aimed at the subject. The app will then create a “synthetic aperture photograph” that blurs the background while keeping the subject you locked onto in focus. Read more…
iPhone photography continues to grow in popularity, but transferring photographs to your computer can be a hassle. If you’re sick of having to plug in your device via USB every time you want to sync your photos, you might want to take a look at Cinq, a free app that allows you to wireless transfer full-resolution photographs to your computer as you take them. You simply download the app to both your computer and your phone, and photos taken through the app will automatically be sent to a folder on your computer. The free version is ad-supported, while there’s an ad-free $2 version.
There’s a number of notable iPhone apps out there that add a vintage look to your photographs (e.g. Hipstamatic and Instagram), but what if you want to shoot vintage-looking video? 8mm Vintage Camera is an app that does just that, allowing you to choose between a number of films and lenses. You can also turn on “jitter”, adding an extra measure of realism to the look. Read more…
Cameras usually hide what it’s shooting from you when the sensor is capturing light, so you can’t watch slow shutter speed photographs as they’re being shot. Magic Shutter is an app for the iPhone that shoots these long exposure using the camera’s video feed, which allows you to see the photograph as its being “developed” on the screen.
Due to limitations Apple places on video resolution, this app currently only spits out low res images (though an update with 1MP photos is coming soon). If you want to play with it you can find it for $3 in the iTunes store.
In addition to slowly replacing the need for compact cameras, the cameras found on mobile phones will also have a huge impact on how we live our lives in the area of augmented reality. Word Lens is a crazy new free app for the iPhone that translates between Spanish and English in real-time in the video feed, allowing you to read the world in your language through your cell phone. As this technology becomes available for more and more languages, it will change the way people survive in foreign countries.