4 Random Photo Apps; Snapseed FREE

The Memorial Day holiday brought lots of free and reduced price apps. Today, I want to look at 4 of the apps I picked up over the holiday for free. Three of them are still free today.

Superimpose is 99 cents now.

Superimpose (99 cents) is an easy way to juxtapose or superimpose (duh) photos. I have several apps that do this or claim to do this, but this is by far the most painless app of this kind that I have used (see the three photos that I superimposed above).

All you do is load a background image, load a foreground image, and mask out the unwanted portion of the foreground image to create fun, creepy, cool, etc., images. The masking is what makes Superimpose so wonderful. There are several ways to mask out what you don’t want. The magic wand is my favorite. You simply touch a color in the photo that you want to remove and it and all connected areas of similar color go away. Other methods include brush, lasso, global color similarity, rectangle, ellipse, linear, bi-linear, and radial gradient.

After you mask out the unwanted portion of the foreground image, you can smoothen the edges with another tool. Then you are free to move, scale, resize, rotate, and flip the foreground to place it anywhere on the background image. You can even adjust the transparency of the foreground image to make it blend better.

Other features include some color, exposure, and other types of editing. Finally, you merge the images into one image and save it to your device at full resolution. Superimpose is a univeral app, so it works on all of your devices beautifully. A very cunning app!

My personal photo infographic.

Photo Stats is free as of the writing of this post. Normally, it is 99 cents. This is a really cool iPhone app that creates a personalized infographic based on an analysis of the metadata from your photos on your Camera Roll. I installed the app on my iPad as well, and it worked there, too. It created the lovely infographic that you see above. It incorporates so much information in such a beautiful format that I was just fascinated with it. I truly didn’t think that I would learn much from using the app, but I was in for a surprise.

You can choose the time range that you want analyzed and the theme of the infographic (you have to share one on Twitter or Facebook to open up more than the base two themes). I really like the vintage theme that I did my infographic in. This app is really easy to use and super intuitive. Take a look at my infographic to see the types of information that Photo Stats aggregates.

Photo Editor Deluxe Pro

Photo Editor Deluxe Pro is a brand new univeral app that is free right now. It’s easy to use and should look familiar to anyone who has used Aviary in any form to edit photos. Aviary is used in many popular apps and is extremely powerful, while also simple and intuitive. Contol everything from redeye reduction to contrast and sharpness, add stickers and filters, crop, orient, and remove blemishes. The enhance feature is particularly adept at making any photo better.

The brand new app thing reminds me that you should always be on the lookout for new apps that are free or really inexpensive. They may not look like much yet, but they may become more in the future and you’ll have an in on the new content. I have a number of apps that have grown from little apps to big ones in this way. It’s as close as I get to gambling. And, with the previously purchased button in all the iTunes stores now, it’s easy to find an app (or book, or song) again even if you don’t keep it on your device right now.

The last free app that I got over the holiday was AutoCamera Pro, and it is still free as of the writing of this post. This iPhone app (works on an iPad though) takes photos automatically when it sees a face. The app works with both the front and back cameras and works rather well.

That’s it for me today. Still working on the fundraiser and trying to bring you a post a day at the same time.

Go edit some photos, and let me know how you like Photo Stats or any of these apps. Until later, …

UPDATE: Snapseed (regularly $4.99) is FREE today. Grab it now, I’ll bring you a Snapseed review soon. It won iPad App of the Year and so many other awards that you just MUST have it!

Lume: Good Things Come in Small Packages

Lume is an illuminating puzzle adventure

A very smart little game can be found under the title Lume HD ($2.99) for the iPad or Lume ($1.99) for the iPhone. This indie game was an Indepenent Games Festival finalist for 2012.

Lume's first screen.

In the game, you play Lumi, a girl who is visiting her grandfather but finds he’s not home and the power is out to the very cunning house he’s built. The entire set of the game was built out of paper and cardboard and looks like a brilliantly colored collage. Moving elements are separately animated, but the rest of the game is beautifully filmed from the paper and cardboard mock-up with working miniature lights.

Solve immersive and perplexing paper puzzles to help restore power to your grandfather’s house in this point-and-click puzzle game. Every puzzle feels like a clever and realistic step to furthering the storyline.

The stage for the game is a very small house with few rooms, so although you may have to touch everything to figure out what to do next, that shouldn’t take overly long. The music will keep you company and stick in your head. It is understated and beautiful.

Inside the house.

Perfect for children of any age, although younger children might be frustrated and need assistance with some of the tougher puzzles. Adults will find this game a joy to play, as well.

Make sure you play in landscape mode. In portrait mode, Lume is just too small to see very well. Also, unlike most iOS everything, Lume does not autosave. Make sure you save often if you don’t want to replay the same games over and over.

The game is part 1 of an ongoing story, so it will not take you very long to finish the story. When I get frustrated with a game, I often turn to walkthroughs. Don’t do that with this game though. You will shorten the already short game and regret it in the end. The developer, State of Play Games, has a very nice website and blog, but no word yet on the second game’s release date. They are working on it though.

This is really like no other game you have played for iOS or probably anywhere else.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

State of Play Games

Foliobook Showcases Your Photos

Foliobook's main screen can be customized so many ways. I like orange personally.

FolioBook Photo Portfolio is an iPad app that you can use for your perfect digital showcase. Although pricy ($12.99), it is an essential piece of any professional photographer’s (or agent’s, artist’s, designer’s, model’s, architect’s, etc.) modern day arsenal. As an aside, I got FolioBook a ways back when it was free for 1 day.

Set up the slideshow feature of each gallery.

Upon opening FolioBook for the first time, you are taken to a startup wizard screen that walks you through the beginning steps of setting up the foundations of your new portfolio. After finishing the set-up, you can double-click on the main screen (seen in the top photo) to further customize the look of the page, rename the main galleries, play with the layout, choose a font (from about 30, and you know I love fonts), adjust the background image, and add galleries or categories (P.S. I like orange a lot).

You can add a logo to the screen if you choose. The background can be solid, an image, or a movie. You can even pick a different background image for landscape and portrait mode, if you want. The finished product looks and works much like a website. The galleries and categories are links to your content.

When you’re finished with the main screen, enter any of the galleries or categories to begin importing photos and setting up your slideshow feature (second photo) if you choose. You can add many photos at once (up to 200) quite rapidly, add transitions and music for the slideshow, and write captions, titles, and/or descriptions for each photo (photo below).

The editing screen for each photo looks like this.

Photos can be imported from your iPad itself, from Dropbox, or through iTunes file sharing. Except for Dropbox, you do have to allow location sharing for the feature to work. I know I’m always saying this, but it’s Apple policy, not a conspiracy. The photo import screen looks much like a lightbox, which should be familiar to many.

The slideshow feature is really nice. But, you can leave the images in the galleries just to be swiped through, as well. There are several types of transitions that can be used between photos. The Foliobook transition lifts photos almost off the screen, which is a nice effect. Use Twitter to share your FolioBook design. Email photos straight from a gallery, too.

Videos can be added with an in-app purchase of $1.99.

In the end, FolioBook is drop-dead simple to use and customizable to an extreme, while showcasing your work and not the app itself. Interference is minimal, but help is available from any screen should you need it. It definitely has my vote for best photographer’s tool. Besides a camera that is.

Check out FolioBook’s website for more information.

That’s it for me today. Remember that I will be very busy with a fundraiser this week, but I’ll continue to bring you daily reviews :) Until later, …

The lightbox look.

Tracy:

This is a really simple and good explanation as I’ve ever seen.

Originally posted on Tell Me In Simple Terms:

In Windows environment, many applications offer time limited trial version after which the software is disabled or feature restricted. But in Apple’s iPhone or iPad, you can’t find similar apps. You can get feature limited apps but nothing based on time trial.

 

This is down to the fact how iOS was designed. In Windows, you have a registry where every application can write something. But in iOS, each application runs within its sandbox. It can’t access anything outside its sandbox. When an app is deleted, all traces of the app is just gone from the device (although Appstore remembers that you installed the app so that it won’t charge you next time). So iOS apps are unable to access anything outside their own sandboxes. This is also good for preventing any malware as damage is minimal and once app is removed, nothing to worry about.

 

In Windows since…

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Quote Apps with a Lot to Say

Quotes are always handy. Whether you’re looking for something clever to write in a card or letter or for something to add spice to a speech, using someone else’s words is sometimes for the best. So, for whatever occasion or situation, here’s some little apps with a lot to say.

Wisdom Quotes HD

Wisdom Quotes HD (free version here) is a universal app with 3,200 quotes. It features an easy-to-use interface, images and links to the corresponding author’s profile on Wikipedia, random Quote of the Day feature, and the ability to set your favorites and to do keyword searches through the quotes.

QuoteDeck

QuoteDeck is an iPhone app with more than 30,000 quotes by more than 2,600 authors. Search through quotes based on author names, author types (i.e. politician, actor, etc.), and topics. Includes built-in information on authors. Rate quotes on a star system and save them to favorites. Quickly view the most viewed and top rated quotes by other viewers. This is a nice app to look at as well. It has more than 250 backgrounds and more than 100 table designs (see the picture).

A univeral quotation app that is larger than large is Quotes Folder (free version here). This universal app has more than 65,000 quotes, maxims, and aphorisms in 4 languages (English, Italian, Spanish, and French). Save your favorites. Save your own quotes and organize them by folder. Get a Quote of the Day with notifications. Get a random quote by shaking your iPhone.

Quotebot – 30,000 Great Quotations features guess how many quotes offline in a universal app. If you don’t have Internet but need a quote, this is your best bet. Search quotes by keyword and author. Browse by author and category.

Saying – for greeting cards is a highly rated, free (ad-supported) app that features categories for childbirth, wedding, exam, birthday, love, guestbook, farewell, convalescense, and condolences.

Not to be confused with the first app, but Wisdom Quotes (and my favorite quote app) is a free and ad-free iPhone app that displays random quotes from an online database which is continuosly evolving. It allows you to save your favorites and to send quotes by text or email to others. Plus, it’s really very cool looking. Very Zen.

So, I just hit 5,000 views and almost 200 blog followers in about two and a half months. I wanted to say thank you to all of you for making it so much fun to blog about something I love!

That’s it for my brief Memorial Day offering. Go enjoy the day!

Until later, …

Memorial Day App Sale Highlights

This is just a partial list of apps on sale for the holiday weekend with brief descriptions of each app.

 

Apps Gone Free

Spy Fox in Dry Cereal

FiLMiC Pro (usually $3.99): This powerful video app for the iPhone is a favorite of technology reviewers and App Store reviewers alike. Full-featured HD video camera with 3 separate shooting modes, 4 resolutions, 26 variable frame rates, audio monitoring levels, stereo recording support, and much more.

Spy Fox in Dry Cereal (usually $4.99): Play this fun, univeral game over and over, because the clues change each time you play in this mystery adventure. Solve puzzles that test logic, memory, and coordination.

Superimpose (usually 99 cents): Create professional-grade superimposed or juxtaposed photos with this universal app.

iColorama (usually $1.99): Give your photos a last touch to enhance colors and apply many filters and image settings.

SoundBox for YouTube (usually 99 cents): This iPad app is a music player just for YouTube. Access and collect music on YouTube, organize videos by song, artist, and album, create playlists, and browse the Web in-app.

Splashtop CamCam (usually $1.99): Use this universal app to remotely check on people, places, and things you care about with live video streaming from your computer’s webcam.

Go There Square: A Stella and Sam Adventure (usually $2.99): I really love this line of children’s books for the iPad. Be sure to check it out!

 

Apps On Sale

Infinity Blade II

Infinity Blade II ($2.99 ~ usually $6.99): Critically acclaimed and winner of more awards than I can count. Universal.

OnCue, The Music Player (99 cents ~ usually $2.99): Build and rearrange a music queue with this universal app with simple touch gestures. See what’s playing, what’s coming up, what’s already played, and anything else in your queue. Use rules to find songs by title, artist, album, genre, rating, duration, and last played date and create re-usable filters from the rules. Enable crossfade for gapless playback and smooth transitions between songs. And, many other features.

Laminar (99 cents ~ usually $2.99): A brilliant photo editor for the iPad that rivals the biggest and best available.

The Tiny Bang Story HD (99 cents ~ usually $2.99): A fabulous iPad game with absolutely no text, so it’s perfect for any age. A brain puzzler that will really get you thinking. Stunningly beautiful and so much fun to play. Look for my full review soon.

SketchBook Pro for iPad ($1.99 ~ usually $4.99): Lovely digital sketchbook with too many features to list here. Be sure to check it out!

My Little Hero HD ($1.99 ~ usually $4.99): The cinematic adventure of a little boy trying to rescue his best friend Pinky from the Boogeyman. I’ve played the iPhone version, and it’s a blast. Perfect for any age.

All EA Games are up to 90% off this weekend. They have an extensive list of apps, including Battleship, Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and many, many more.

I may update later today with another list if I see more great apps. Make sure to keep an eye on AppShopper to find out more apps that have gone on sale and to make your own app wishlist so that you get notified when apps do go on sale.

Tracy:

I will bring you a list and mini reviews of more apps on sale later today.

Originally posted on The Lazy Geeks:

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As we hit the Memorial Day weekend, there is always a sale to be found somewhere along the line. That applies to iOS games and app developers. This is always the time to find popular apps that are slashed up to 90% off.

These sales only apply to this weekend, so you better get your jump on it before they disappear. Many of the apps on sale apply to both iPhones and iPads, so everyone can enjoy the fun. You can find this list over at 9to5Toys, which is a great place for iOS stuff.

Universal Apps (iPad, iPhone, iPad)

Grand Theft Auto 3 for iPad, iPhone, iPod, regular 99 cents, regular $4.99
Infinity Blade II, $2.99, regular $6.99
Mass Effect: Infiltrator, $2.99, regular $4.99
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, 99 cents, regular $9.99
Burnout CRASH!, 99 cents, regular $4.99
Combat Arms: Zombies, $1.99

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Penguin Puzzle Madness

I have a slight obsession with puzzle games that started with Slippy, a penguin puzzler. It led to more penguin puzzlers. You’d be surprised at how many there are. Today, I’ll list 4 of the best penguin puzzlers.

Slippy level 4

Slippy is free and universal, so you can play it on any of your iDevices. Slippy the penguin is a little special. He can’t swim. So, you have to help him.

Slippy levels 1-9

The puzzles are actually quite challenging. You must guide Slippy across the slippery ice. To get across the water portions, you have to push blocks of ice into the water first. Deciding what order to move in, which blocks to push first, and where to go are the biggest decisions. The point is to eat all the fish on each level.

Use intuitive swipe gestures to get around.

The thing that I really love about Slippy is that it’s not timed. I hate feeling pressured into moving really fast. The other thing I love is that it supports landscape mode on the iPad.

Slippy has 25 levels, and you can download extra levels designed by other players within the app. You can also design and share your own levels with others.

Polar Puzzles is very tricky.

The next game is called Polar Puzzles (for iPad | for iPhone | free, univesal game). This game is much more complicated than Slippy, but it is just as fun.

Polar Puzzles level 4-1

You play as Peter the Penguin and you are trying to rescue your little penguins from a mean polar bear named Growser. There is some really cute and funny video footage of Growser and the little penguins.

There are more than 75 levels in four worlds and a bonus world.

Peter is a little more capable than Slippy. He know how to swim at least. But, he slips around just as much. Swim through holes in the ice, slide through tunnels that turn you in different directions, and go through portals that warp you into different locations all to reach the nest of little penguins in as few moves as possible.

Peter has a little help from his friends and a slippery seal who boosts him over obstacles. Slide, bump, and flip your way through these evermore difficult puzzles, and try to get three stars on each one. Intuitive swipe gestures propel you. If you want to start a level over, click the pause button and then reset the level. It took me awhile to find that out.

PenguinPatrol to the rescue!

PenguinPatrol (free version here) is a little different than the first two games. You play as the Penguin Patrol who is trying to save a variety of penguins across trecherous terrain in this universal game.

Solve more than 75 challenging levels that get harder and more complicated as you go. More levels are on the way apparently.

In this game, you encounter different types of ice. Some of the ice breaks after you step on it once or twice, some ice slides you all around. And, you can’t fall in the water.

The game works with intuitive swipe gestures. If you make a mistake, you can undo your last moves, which is awesome. This game has some very nice (not annoying) music, too. Collect 3 stars on each level and unlock all the achievements.

Puzzle Penguins is another challenging game.

The last penguin game is called Puzzle Penguins (for iPhone | for iPad). In this game, you play as a penguin whose glacier has just broken apart, scattering the baby penuins around (these baby penguins sure are pesky and need saving a lot). And, you again play a penguin who can’t swim, so you have to avoid the water.

Using swipe gestures to slide around, you must rescue all of the babies by bouncing off rocks and ice blocks while avoiding falling in the water. After all the babies are rescued, you escape on the block marked “E.” There are 60 levels of penguin puzzlery to be had in Puzzle Penguins.

That’s it for penguin madness. I will update you later today with apps that have gone on sale for the Memorial Day holiday. Until then, …