Google is coming up with all kinds of clever ways to enhance its $35 Chromecast, which plugs into any HDMI-equipped television and allows compatible apps to “cast” video, music, and now photos to the big screen. Billed as a “Chrome Experiment,” Photowall for Chromecast is Google’s latest iOS app, which allows mobile devices to throw pictures onto an HDTV and make them come alive as a unique interactive composite.
Since its introduction in 2010, Apple has defended the iPad as a tool for creativity as well as consumption, and no app genre better demonstrates the power of the former than those used to spruce up digital images. Four years later, the App Store is chock full of apps—many of which also work well on iPhone and iPod touch—for turning photos into works of art, and many of them rival tools that have barely become staples on the desktop. Journey with us now as we take you through a gallery of eight tools to help you master the art of iOS image editing.
If you’ve ever fancied creating fine art—worthy of hanging on the wall alongside greats like Picasso or Van Gogh—on your iOS device, Brushstroke lets you quickly realize that dream in only a few taps. The universal app makes it delightfully easy to create a frame-worthy piece of art using the built-in camera or existing device photos. Once imported, the app walks you through five key stages: Paint, color, canvas texture, image settings, and sign, which lets the mobile artiste put a digital signature onto each work of art.
Handy Photo's unique user interface makes it fast and fun to edit images from a mobile device, whether that's an iPhone or an iPad. Name a feature and it’s probably on Handy Photo’s checklist, along with convenient tricks such as Move Me, which allows an object from one photo to be transported to another in just a few taps. For those who aren’t so easily impressed, Handy Photo also includes Magic Crop, which allows photos to be “uncropped” by dragging any edge beyond the available image, then automatically healing the remaining space left behind. While results vary depending upon the type of image, the feature performed quite admirably in our testing.
The art of color grading film or video typically involves expensive hardware out of reach to the average producer, assuming he or she could figure out how to juggle all of those buttons and trackballs to begin with. Thankfully, manipulating all the colors of the rainbow can now be done from the palm of your hands. ColorTime 2.0 isn’t a true replacement for costly color grading hardware, but it does let iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch owners manipulate color using a gesture-based interface that deftly tackles even 1080p HD video content in real time.
We all have stories, and our iPads make it easier than ever to tell them. Seemingly countless collaging and journaling apps are available to help us capture our favorite moments, giving them a permanent and often beautiful home outside of our camera rolls. But Storehouse is the first one we've used that's truly great. With a deceptively simple interface that gives you just enough creative control over your projects without overwhelming you with options, it offers practically endless possibilities, whether you're a casual shutterbug or a professional photographer.
It’s been nearly five years since Polaroid ceased production of its instant film products to focus on the digital photography market – a pivot that included licensing its iconic brand to other companies, which yielded an inexpensive iPhone app known as Polamatic. Now in its fourth incarnation, Polamatic isn’t just some licensed knockoff: Snap a photo with the app and a virtual print slides down the screen and “processes” before your eyes in true Polaroid fashion, complete with sound effect. But this time, shutterbugs won’t have to wait around shaking prints as they develop.
Every time a new photo effects app pops up, it’s often frustrating to see the same sepia toning filters, blur effects, and other reliable features that are all getting rather long in the tooth. This fact makes the appearance of Fragment all the more exciting, as it produces effects that nothing else in the App Store even attempts to mimic, yet remains exceedingly easy to use and explore. The app lets you choose from one of 46 built-in base effects, which are essentially distortion masks based on a variety of shape combinations, from simple frames to abstract designs – including crystal shards, geometric patterns, and circular constructs – which distort the image in any number of ways.
The App Store is home to plenty of digital journal tools, but all of them require effort from the author to be useful. Heyday solves this problem in a very elegant way – and one that actually makes us want to participate. The free app converts existing photo libraries from an iOS device into an automatic journal of your life, complete with geolocation data and time stamps. The speed and accuracy at which Heyday accomplishes this task is nothing short of amazing, but the occasional coarse location can be confirmed or updated as needed. On days when photos aren’t taken, the app continues to work in the background with minimal battery impact, capturing key places visited.
Can it really be that we're at the end of 2013 and Yahoo-owned Flickr is only now getting around to allowing users to embed their photos into websites? That appears to be the case, but better late than never.