Wednesday, September 28, 2011

App Review: Camera+

Camera+ is the 5th most popular paid (paid meaning its not free) app in the App Store at the time I am writing this review. I thought I might give you a little insight as to why this is.

When you open Camera+, you see what's called your lightbox, which is a collection of the photos you have edited and saved to the app. At first, yours will be empty, but once you've edited some photos, it'll be similar to this:


To edit a new photo, you can either take a new one right from the app, or edit an existing photo, already in your camera roll. Once you've selected your photo, it will go into your lightbox, from there you select your photo, hit edit and it takes you to a screen where you can start editing your photos:




Once you enter the editing stage, there are many options. The first tab, as shown above, is Scenes, here is where you adjust your photo to make it look better and clearer. There are too many scenes to go over in detail, so I'll just list them.

  • Clarity
  • Auto
  • Flash
  • Backlit
  • Darken
  • Cloudy
  • Shade
  • Flourescent
  • Sunset
  • Night
  • Portrait
  • Beach
  • Scenery
  • Concert
  • Food
  • Text
As you can see, there are a ton of different scenes you can apply to make your photo look better.

On the next tab, Adjust, is where you can rotate or flip your photo. There's not much to that one, its self-explanatory.

The third tab, Crops, give you a few options for cropping your photos. There's freefrom, original, golden, and square. It all depends on how much of your photo you want to be seen.

If you thought there were a lot of scenes, then move to the fourth tab, Effects. Here is where the fun really begins. There are 4 categories of effects: Color, Retro, Special, and Analog. All of the categories except for Analog come with the app. The Analog category can be purchased for $0.99.

Here is what the categories include:

Color -


  • Vibrant
  • So Emo
  • Redscale
  • Sunkiss'd
  • Cyanotype
  • Black & White
  • Purple Haze
  • Magic Hour
  • Sepia
Retro -
  • Lomographic
  • Hipster
  • Lo-Fi
  • '70s
  • Tailfins
  • Ansel
  • Toy Camera
  • Fashion
  • Antique
Special -

  • HDR
  • Grunge
  • Overlay
  • Miniaturize
  • Depth of Field
  • Faded
  • Polarize
  • Color Dodge
  • Cross Process
Analog -

  • Diana
  • Contessa
  • XPRO C-41
  • Silver Gelatin
  • Nostalgia
  • Pinhole
  • Helios
  • Expired
  • Chromogenic
I have tried out quite a few of these effects, and they are really fun to play around with. Here are some examples of photos I have edited using this app: 






Scene: Clarity Effect: Cyanotype

Effect: So Emo

The fourth and final tab is borders. I don't really use borders since I don't think my photos need them most of the time. But there are 2 categories of borders, Simple and Styled. Each category has 9 border choices. They are:

Simple -

  • Thick White
  • Thin White
  • Round White
  • Thick Black
  • Thin Black
  • Round Black
  • Light Mat
  • Dark Mat
  • Vignette
Styled -

  • Instant
  • Light Grit
  • Old-Timey
  • Vintage
  • Dark Grit
  • Film
  • Offset
  • Viewfinder
  • Sprockets
Like I said, I don't use these borders much, but when I do they add a nice touch to my photos.



After you having finished editing your photo, hit 'Done'. It will take you back to your lightbox. Tap your photo, and it will show you sharing options. The sharing options for version 2.3.1 are Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and email. This is where most people send their photos so I have found these options to be enough.

Overall, Camera+ is a very nice app for making your iPhone or iPod touch photos look great. The selection of effects and borders make this app unique. I have not had any problems with this app except for some occasional crashes, but that will be fixed with future updates.

Here is the link to download Camera+ for $0.99: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id329670577?mt=8&uo=4

Monday, September 26, 2011

Apple Store Trip

I went to the Apple Store to get a replacement cord for my iPod. I took some pictures.

Enjoy :)

iPad

I'm typing this on an iPad at the apple storeTheir keyboards are big. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

App Review - Weather HD

Weather. It's a conversation starter, and an important part of our everyday lives. You can always look out the window to find out what the weather is, but then again, there is an app for that, too. Check out Weather HD.

Weather HD is, you guessed it, an app that gives you information about the weather in your area. But what makes this app unique is its animations. For example, if its cloudy in your area, you'd see something like this:



But, Weather HD shows more than today's forecast. You can also view the high/low temperatures for the next 7 days, and the hourly forecast for the next 24 hours. You can also view the time for your area, or any other location you add. Currently, you can only view the weather for 2 cities in the free/lite version, but in the full version, you can view weather for an unlimited amount of cities.

This app is very well designed and useful. I don't use it that often myself, but when I do I get very useful information from it. I actually like it better than the iPhone/iPod touch's native weather app by Apple.

Overall, Weather HD is a great option for you if you want to try something new instead of using Apple's weather application. The interface is smooth and clean, although ads may get in the way of your experience sometimes.

Here's the link to download Weather HD for free - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weather-hd-free/id412489722?mt=8&uo=4

Thanks for reading!


Why does Facebook keep changing?!?!

If you haven't seen the new changes to Facebook, I suggest you log in right now. If you haven't been on in a month or so, you'll probably be shocked. The social network has made quite a few "improvements" to their site.

One of the changes I have noticed is privacy settings. The Facebook privacy settings have often been seen as confusing and frustrating. Believe me, they are sometimes. But once you figure them out and go over them in detail, they don't seem so hard to monitor, so you can more easily control what you share.

Another change I have noticed is on my Facebook home page. All of a sudden Facebook is sharing with me "top stories" from my friends, much like a news site. Personally, I rather not have my Facebook page like this.

Also, you can know subscribe to pages, and you can see which of your friends have subscribed to a certain page. Isn't this a little like following? This confuses me.

Lastly, I would like to cover the "Close Friends" addition. This is basically like a group for your best friends. I think this makes the whole "Everybody is your friend on Facebook" idea more complicated. Adding someone to your "close friends" group allows you to see more of what they share. I cannot give too many details on this because I do not use this feature.

There are probably a lot more changes to Facebook that I have not covered. These are just the ones I have noticed myself.

Are you happy with the new Facebook?

Why do you think Facebook keeps changing?

Of course, you could always switch to Google+, which is Google's version of Facebook. As for me, I'm gonna roll with the punches and keep logging in.

App Review - BeFunky

There are probably hundreds of choices when it comes to photography apps for iPhone/iPod touch. BeFunky is one of my favorites. I was excited to find out there was an app for BeFunky because I originally started using it on its website companion, BeFunky

This app is good for novices, but it's also handy for those who know a thing or two about editing photos because of its ability to tinker with little things like hue and saturation. BeFunky has a wide range of effects you can place on your photos, from LomoArt to Dramatic B&W (Black and White). 

My wishlist for this app is relatively short, since it has pretty much everything I need for great and easy photo editing. The only thing this app needs is more sharing options, like Blogger for example. Currently. in version 1.1.3, you can only save your photos to your Camera Roll, Facebook, Flickr, and the BeFunky website if you have an account there. 

Overall, BeFunky is a nice option for those who want to be able to edit their photos on the go for free and upload them to a nice amount of places. 

Here is the like to download BeFunky for free: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/befunky-photo-editor/id442716817?mt=8&uo=4

I hope you enjoyed this review. Thanks for reading!

BeFunky home screen

Editing a photo
Photo I took with my iPod touch then edited with BeFunky


Saturday, September 24, 2011

iOS 5 Notification System

If you're like me and many Apple followers, you are waiting on the company's big iOS 5 release. There have already been many assumptions about the new features of the operating system update. One of the biggest ones has been notifications. In the past, the notification system for iOS may have been seen as annoying or intrusive. Every time you get a notification, a small window pops up on your screen, basically interrupting whatever you are doing on your device. I quite often find myself closing notifications while using an app or doing something else on my iPod. Of course, you can always opt out of notifications. But then you miss out on Facebook updates (nobody wants that, right?). The new iOS notification system is actually very similar to Android's. This design could change at almost time before the release, though, so I wouldn't be too excited. However, I am a fan of both notification systems, and I expect nothing but excellence from Apple.

What do you think of Apple's supposed new notification system?

Do you own an iOS device?

If so, are you looking forward to iOS 5?

App Review - Battery Master Pro

When I use my iPod touch, I try to monitor my battery level, so that my iPod doesn't unexpectedly die while I'm in the middle on web surfing or watching a video. However, how much battery life my iPod has left or how long I can continue using it is very unclear. That's were the Battery Master app comes in. 

The Battery Master app is an upgrade to Battery Master free. The only real difference I see in the Free and Pro app is that there are more application choices. Battery Master Pro is a productivity app that shows you how much battery you have, and how long you can continue to use certain applications before the battery on your iPhone or iPod touch dies. 

The only thing I don't like about this app is that the times may not always be accurate. You can set the "battey capacity" of your device, since times are only estimated. But most of the time, I find the battery life times to be accurate. 

Overall, I find this app to be extremely useful, and I use it almost everyday, especially when I am on-the-go and not near a charger. 

Below is a screenshot from the app: 

Screenshot - Battery Master

Here is the link to purchase Batter Master Pro for $0.99: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/battery-master-pro/id326647737?mt=8&uo=4


Thanks for reading!

App Review - 4Steps

If you are looking for a fun free iPhone/iPod touch app that will both entertain you and improve your thinking skills, consider
4Steps by blank.

This app is very easy to use and figure out. There are 2 modes: Leveland Time. The Level mode has 3 games - jigsaw, arithmetic, andimagination. In all three games, you must put together a picture, insequence order. In the jigsaw, you put the picture together either fromtop to bottom or left to right. In arithmetic, the picture goestogether in number order, small to large. In imagination, you basicallyput the picture together in order of the way it happened.

I like the simplicity of this app, it is very easy to navigate, the interface is smooth, and it's designed very well, as you can see in the screenshots below.

There is really nothing I don't like about 4Steps. It's easy and fun to use, and it also has a bit of educational value. You learn to solve simple math problems quickly, because the puzzles are timed for example.

Here is the link to download 4Steps: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/4steps/id390691753?mt=8&uo=4

Thanks for reading!



4Steps Home Screen

Game selection screen - Jigsaw, Arithmetic, and Imagination

Arithmetic game

Introduction

Hi, my name is Elisabeth and I am the host of the Soleil Tech Princess blog. On this blog, I will be posting technology news I find interesting, opinion articles, and hardware/software reviews.
I hope you find my blog informative and entertaining.

Thanks!

Elisabeth