Short review: BeardMe, the choice of the discerning pogonologist.

July 22, 2009

Update: I don’t know why but the images keep vanishing from this post. If you can’t see any pics of the app in action, then just imaging some things, with beards on them, in a fairly convincing way.

When it comes to iPhone-enabled novelty facial topiary, there is only one serious choice: BeardMe.

The app features 32 mustache and beard styles that you can overlay on a new or library photo, and a range of colours, stylings, and photographic effects (sepia, B&W).
The positioning and rotating controls are pretty intuitive, and surprisingly deep – there’s a set of perspective tools included that should mean that you can match your ‘tasch to pretty much any face at any angle. I found them a bit fiddly, but worth persevering with if you want a high-quality effect.

bear3

SkyBeard approves

Negatives?

  • It’s subtle enough to be missed much of the time, but the app puts a watermark on all pictures (“BeardMe” in the lower right corner)  – I can excuse that in free camera apps, but I don’t expect it in paid apps.
  • The gorgeous interface design is inexplicably let down at the “email picture screen” (very minor niggle).

Quote from the BeardMe product page:

In a matter of seconds, give your child the political savvy of Theodore Roosevelt or your cat the historical prominence of Frank Zappa. Bestow on your grandmother the infectious gusto and zest of beloved movie critic Gene Shalit or on your roommate the pulsating star power of actor Billy Dee Williams.

Tested on: 3G, 3GS.  ||  Price: 0.59p, or 0.99c

Developer Site: beardme.com ||Buy from: Apple iTunes Store link

Our Rating: 5/5: Hard to see how this could be bettered.  ||   App store score: Not Yet Rated

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The sky is #ccc: ColorBlind Avenger

June 21, 2009

I wanted a simple app for determining the colour values of things I photograph, so I could steal colours from nature to use in web designs.

I wasted a bit of time with Think Ink (free) but it doesn’t do the hex values, and keeps trying to sell me “Neenah paper”, whatever that is.

Although intended primarily for colour-blind users, I’ve found that ColourBlind Avenger does exactly what I want, simply and quickly.  As a bonus, it also gives you the plain English name for many shades, which is fun.

The developer describes the genesis of the app here:

The basic idea is that you can take a picture of anything and then tap anywhere on the image to get color values and more importantly color names for that point. I first found out that I’m colorblind when I colored Santa Claus brown in Kindergarden. Those darn crayons with labels torn off.

Rating: Recommended app. Excellent for people with colour-blindness, web designers, decorators.

Store link : £0.59

Developer: Brian Wardle | Version: 1.1  | Size: 0.3 MB

IMG_0006IMG_0005IMG_0003IMG_0001

For extra fun, run the HEX value of your chosen colour into Kuler from Adobe, and voila, a fun swatch:

Swatch by kuler, colour by OxfordBus.Co.

Swatch by kuler, colour by OxfordBus.Co.

Review by JimbobC

ps if you want something a bit more full-featured, for a higher price, check out cliqcliq, which looks slick.


Darkroom. Stabilise your photos.

April 5, 2009

A short review for a simple concept: this app lets you take less blurry photos when shooting in low light on the iPhone, by forcing you to hold still before the shutter will release.

Developer: www.stepcase.com | Version: 2.1 | FREE

It goes like this:

1. Fire up the application.
2. Take photo.
3. A countdown starts

4. Once the sensor detects that you are relativly not-moving, it takes a picture (and automatically saved if you’ve enabled that option).

Any downside? Some users have complained that the app is slow at saving photos, and freeze-ups – these are both complaints that I could level at the default iPhone camera, but so far I have not experienced this in Darkroom.

The pro version includes a self-timer mode, and a bigger shutter release button (the whole screen), and costs 99c.

Other camera apps include similar functionality, but I like this one becuase it is single-serving: it does one thing, and it does it well.
img_0678
Test shot:Mike Kus, senior designer at Carsonified at Oxford Geek Night, in a dark room
Recommended: simple to use and genuinely useful.

Longevity: Good

Tested on: iPhone 3G, 2.2.1 | Size: 0.1MB


Ghost Camera Lite

April 5, 2009

This review is haunted! By mediocrity.

What they say: “Ghostly photo is great for livening up conversations at parties”.
In a nutshell:
Applies 2 different “spooky” effects to your snaps.

Things this app can do:

1. Put a scary face on things.

ghost1

2. Put ghost hands on things.

ghost2

That’s it.

The iPhone application store is stuffed with toy gizmos to add “fun effects” to your shots. I guess this is no worse than “Swap Heads ROFL” or “Tasch master 3000”, but the sheer lameness of the ghost effects elevate this application into the ranks of the truly pointless.

Incidentally, check out appliya’s catalogue for some truly mind-bogglingly low-rent application ideas – Meow Cam has jumped to the top of my “things to check out and see if they are as pointless as they sound” list, surely to become a regular feature.

Longevity: Nil.
Recommended
: No.
Price
: Free
Version tested:
1.0.1
Paid version: 0.59p, featuring extra ghosts and layout choices.
Developers: http://appliya-inc.com/en/

ITunes Link (please don’t)