It is funny how the App Store can go quiet for ages, and then suddenly spring (unintentional seasonal pun there) into life. So it has happened again, with a clutch of new photography apps hitting the digital shelves in the past couple of weeks. Here are four of the best.
Looksee (Free; in-app purchases)
You could argue that VSCO Cam’s insane popularity has made iPhone imagery look rather samey. On the other hand, you could just ignore that and enjoy how pretty the retro styling is. Looksee wants to capture the attention of those of us in the latter camp, with an array of pleasing purchasable filter packs, and a growing community. It must be said that better editing controls would be appreciated — filter strength cannot be adjusted, for instance — but this app represents a nice addition to the iPhoneography toolkit.
Priime (Free; in-app purchases)
Priime may be yet another filter app, but it has something a little different to offer — it provides an intelligent filter recommendation service. Depending on your outlook, this is either an incredibly annoying feature, or a very convenient one. But the caliber of this app is indisputable. Many big-name Instagrammers have contributed filters and short written guides, and kudos must go to the developer for sharing the revenue from these packs with the contributing photographers. The app also offers a decent array of editing options, plus batch editing, and the ability to deal with monstrous image files.
In an effort to get us all taking more photos, NowThen prompts users to take an image in one ten-minute “moment” of every day. In doing so, the idea is that you should build up a kind of visual diary, but there is a very social side to this app, as well. Every image taken with the app goes into an open-license global image bank, which documents what the world is doing today (and what it was doing yesterday). Clearly, this isn’t a concept that is going to appeal to everyone. But for those who persist with the daily shooting schedule, the reward should be a fuller library and 365-images worth of extra photographic experience.
Any new app Instagram makes is going to get a lot of attention. Even if it is a collage maker — a type of app that is already infuriatingly abundant. However, like Instagram’s first spin-off app, Hyperlapse, Layout is well made. It offers a simple way to arrange multiple images into a single frame, but it also lets you play about with photos by mirroring or flipping parts of the image. Selfie enthusiasts will be buoyed by the self-timer portrait mode, too. None of these features is anything greatly special, of course, but the association with Instagram will probably still make Layout a very popular app.