Category Archives: Mobile Apps

An Evening With Rush

Geddy waving to us after the show.

I attended last night’s Rush concert in Philadelphia. Generally I’m unable to get my big camera into concerts, and usually have to fall back to a point and shoot. The point and shoot died last year, and I’ve been unwilling to replace it since I’ll rarely shoot with it. I’ve tried to use my cell phone as a substitute, but it really produces awful images. I managed to get a few decent shots last night, and thought I could stylize them rather than just come up with standard concert shots. I have a few more I may work on this weekend. This one was my particular favorite as you can see lead singer/bassist Geddy Lee’s connection with the fans. They are a great band

Adobe Creative Cloud – Impressions After a Month

I had a few complaints upon Creative Cloud being released.  In hindsight they weren’t such a big deal.

  • Adobe clarified the point that Lightroom 4 will be included, and available later in 2012.  That’s works fine for me.  I already upgraded to v4 as a standalone product a few months back.  It’s nice to know going forward I’ll have access to future versions as a Cloud subscriber.  Win.
  • I bristled initially at the touch apps not all being included.  I understand that Adobe doesn’t have control the app markets.  They have clarified as well on their site how it works – you buy 3 touch apps, and get access to a free month of Cloud access subject to conditions of eligibility.  I had purchased Proto last fall for Android to tinker around with wire-framing some web designs I had been working on. Fast forward to today, and I find that I am not using it much primarily because I now use an iPad most of the time when away from the desktop.  it would be nice to automatically have Proto on the iPad too.
  • I was also interested in using Photoshop Touch, but read luke warm reviews, and the fact that the files have a resolution limit (2048×2048) which as a photographer doesn’t work for me.  So for now I will keep my Photoshop love on the desktop for now.
  • Currently the other touch apps are such that I wouldn’t use them in my web or photographic workflow.  Until I do I’m not purchasing any of them just for a free month.
  • I have found the access to all of the Creative Suite apps to be very nice.  I can tinker around in apps that I would not have normally had access.  I am a prior Web Premium CS user which precluded me from using the video apps.  I’m no videographer, but have always wanted to tinker around with Premier, and After Effects for photo slideshows just to see what I could do.  Now I can without spending a lot of money.
  • I am interested in checking out Muse to see if it will help me with rapid prototyping of web designs – also included.
  • I like to use jQuery in my web design for animations, and interactive elements.  Now I have access to Edge which looks like a very nice animation tool using HTML 5.  Pretty cool.  I plan to see if it is for me.  I haven’t used it yet so I am not sure if it uses jQuery or not.  Dreamweaver has jQuery integration.
  • All things considered it is a pretty good deal which I have stated before.  Especially if you are an existing CS user since you get a special break on the price for the first year.  It’s essentially a no brainer.  You can access the cloud for a month, and see if you like it.  if not then you can just purchase the upgrade to CS6, and then wait for the point releases going forward to determine whether you need the new features.  Subscription based software is where it’s all going. You may as well jump in now.
Adobe has a general FAQ available here.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Free photo collection apps for the iPad

I happened to come across some free apps yesterday in the Apple app store for the iPad that  have stunning photos on several topics. I downloaded several of the free apps.  I haven’t gone through all of them yet, but figured I would grab them all since they were free.  They also have some functionality where you can save trip/travel ideas like Trey Ratcliff’s Stuck On Earth app (which is worth a look too).  Check them out.  These are the apps I nabbed:

  • Paris
  • National Parks – gorgeous images of our National Parks
  • Heritage
  • Japan
  • North Korea – an interesting collection of images from North Korea
  • Burma
  • France – some gorgeous shots of France with many aerial shots.
  • Wild Friends – some stunning wildlife images

iPad Synergy With Lightroom Using Photosmith

Thumbnail view of Photosmith images

I stumbled on to an app a few days ago called Photosmith. It’s billed as the iPad’s companion app for Adobe Lightroom. I found it while doing some searches on YouTube for using the iPad in a photographic workflow.  Photosmith doesn’t offer any editing functionality. Rather it allows you to organize, tag, select, or reject photos to later import into your catalog.  You’re probably better off doing any serious photo editing on the desktop, but for review, and selection the iPad works just fine.

Continue reading iPad Synergy With Lightroom Using Photosmith

Are you going to stop using Instagram now that Facebook has acquired them?

I’ve barely had a chance to get acquainted with Instagram now that I have it on my Android phone, and now Facebook has acquired them.  I read over the past few days the negative response to the acquisition.  Now long time Instagram users are pondering whether Facebook will totally foul up the popular social photo sharing service.  At least this takes the heat off new Android users of the service that have been maligned because they use Android phones rather then iPhones.

How do you feel about Facebook taking the service over?

Do you fault the Instagram crew for selling for $1 billion?

Are you likely to abandon Instagram now that Facebook owns them?  I am guessing that most will continue to use the service.  Every day I read at least five status updates about how much Facebook stinks yet nobody seems to leave.  I know a few people who actually did try to leave Facebook for Google Plus, but returned because nobody is using Google Plus.   Despite the acquisition I suspect Instagram will still be heavily used.  For the better remains to be seen.

What will be interesting to watch is if rivals to Instagram will see an uptick in usage.

These are cross platform so you can get them on iOS or Android,  I suspect they have the greatest chance in seeing an increase in usage since iPhone users may ditch Instagram, and want something new.

  • EyeEm – touted by Leo Laporte on a recent iPad Today webcast as having a nice UI
  • PicPlz
  • Pixlr-O-Matic – I have used this and it is pretty cool.

Below are some Android alternatives:


Why are iOS users angry about Instagram on Android?

I posted last week about Instagram finally being released for Android.  Since then I have read reports of disgust, and outrage from its iOS users.  I am just curious why?

I can recall in the early 1990’s when Metallica, and Guns and Roses broke through to become mainstream bands.  I was very disappointed.  There seemed to be a loss of the cool factor now that everybody was listening.  I am just wondering if the complaints that iOS users have is similar in nature?  Is it because it isn’t exclusive to the iPhone any longer, and that Android has crashed the party?

I read that Steve Jobs was angry about Google releasing the Android OS.  Another thought that occurred to me was if some of the negative reactions towards Instagram on Android stemmed from a sense of solidarity with Steve Job wanting to crush Android?

You can’t blame them for making an Android version.  There are more Android phones in use than iPhones.  It makes sense because Android is a huge market even if it is fragmented by multiple handset manufacturers.  I know from first hand experience that Android cameras are not the best, but they are getting better.  Having used high end Android mobile devices I can tell you that they aren’t bad.  Just different.  The competition is good for Apple.  Just as Microsoft pushed Apple to continually improve on their products, the Android market drives Apple to press on, and innovate.  I have always heard that the best camera you can use is the one you have with you.  If for some that happens to be an Android device then so be it.  Let the Android users sit at the table.  I think they may surprise you.

Instagram Finally Coming to Android

Instagram is Coming to Android

I am pretty excited about this.  Instagram is finally coming to the Android platform.  I’ve been an Android user for the past 3 years, and have watched all along as really cool apps have been released only for iOS.  Android has some cool, and very useful apps that I use daily, and also enjoy.  Perhaps it’s just a case of the grass being greener on the other side of then fence.   I’ve seen my fellow photographer friends constantly posting Instagram photos.  I wanted it too!

It was announced at SXSW on Sunday that Instagram will finally be coming out for Android.  It will share photos to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr among others.

iPhoto Bests Photoshop on iOS

Ars Technica posted a review over the weekend featuring a shootout between Apple’s new iPhoto application going against Adobe’s iOS version of Photoshop.  They gave iPhoto the edge in their tests.  I’ll be interested in to see it in action myself.  Currently I have an Android tablet for which there is already a version of Photoshop available.  I expect I will be getting the new iPad sometime later this year at which point I’ll try them both out.

In the past I was always a bit skeptical about how much you could actually get done on a mobile device with photos beyond simple edits, and applying filters.  Many apps are currently available that allow for quick and fun editing of images on the fly.  I am just curious how the iPad will change that.  Will the iPad become a serious platform for image editing or will it remain the domain for simple and quick fixes?

What do you think?