It seems every time we feature a fun or useful phone app, it’s for the iPhone. If you’re an Android user (there’s more and more of you out there), here’s one for you: Photo Tools is a free app that offers a pretty large number of useful photography tools bundled into a single application. In it you’ll find everything from a digital gray card to a sunset/sunrise calculator.
If you’ve ever tried saving a layered file in Photoshop CS5 that’s more than a 1GB in size, you’ve probably experienced pretty sluggish performance. This is because the program always does image compression on the file that shrinks the file size at the expense of your workflow. If you’re rich in hard drive space but short on time, Adobe has released a plugin called that lets you disable image compression, speeding up the saving of large layered files by 20x!
Play Kalei is a creative new puzzle game by Chillingo that allows you to use your photo collection as part of the fun. It takes a particular section of a photograph and turns it into a kaleidoscope-style pattern, and you’re objective is to figure out where that point in the photo is. The normal version is available for $1, and there’s also an HD version designed for the iPad for $2.
Perfect Layers is a new plug-in by OnOne Software that brings layers functionality (e.g. image layers, blend modes, layer masks, etc…) to Lightroom and Aperture. The program is currently in Public Beta right now available as a 30-day free trial, meaning you can download and try and a free preview version for Lightroom.
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…
Tag clouds are a neat way of visualizing what content is about, and Tagerator is a simple program that generates them for your Flickr photo tags. Created by Jeremy Brooks (the guy behind SuperSetr), the simple Java app will run on any computer that has Java 1.6 installed. Besides its ability to generate the tag clouds for you, it stores the tag information gleaned from your account to disk, allowing you to use the tag/count information however you’d like.
AmoK Exif Sorter is a program written for photographers obsessed with organization, allowing a collection of photographs to be renamed and organized based on the EXIF data embedded in each photo. In addition to the obvious choices for details to include in the file name (e.g. time and date), you can also use any other piece of EXIF info you wish, including things like camera model, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. For organization, the program allows you to copy or move files into whatever folder structure you’d like (i.e. /year/month/day/image.jpg). The program is free, Java-based, and can be downloaded here.
Apple launched its new Mac App Store yesterday, along with an App Store version of their popular photo editing program Aperture. The program costs $199 in a retail box and $159 through Amazon, but through the new App Store the price has been cut to a mere $80! It’s no wonder that it’s currently the top grossing app in the entire store. If you’ve wanted to start using Aperture but have always been deterred by the price, now’s a good time to jump in.
You can start using the Mac App Store by updating your Mac OS X to version 10.6.6.
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.
As photo-making devices become more and more location aware, many people unwittingly give up a lot of privacy by publishing location-tagged images online. If privacy is something you care about and you’d rather not broadcast location data along with your photography, a free Windows program called Geotag Security can help you scrub the geotag information from your pics. All you do is select a folder to scan, and the program will check the images within for location data and remove it.