Photo App Focus: AnalogColor
AnalogColor is the new iPhone version to Pentacom’s popular desktop app for Mac and Windows, ToyCamera AnalogColor. It creates analog-like photos and simulates cross-processing.
The new iPhone version has hit the App Store with a resounding “meh.” It’s difficult for me to get excited about this app because of all that’s missing from it — basic features that are in the desktop version (and other iPhone photo apps) but not in the iPhone version. Even the developer hints that this 1.0 release was rushed out before it was really ready.
That’s too bad. The app has potential and could be pretty good in a few updates.
AnalogColor is yet another retro photo app in a crowded market of retro photo apps. It’s got a clean and straightforward interface. There are several easy to use one-click presets as well as tools to make adjustments. Reapplying each preset by tapping the button randomizes the effects which is pretty cool. The effects include expired film, cross process, simulated film grain, and light leaks. It’s the standard complement of analog retro camera effects.
The film effects look good. They’re well rendered and look natural. The added noise to simulate film grain is a nice touch that few retro apps have. I like the color saturation throughout the effects. It’s very rich and looks pretty good.
But there’s a lot that’s missing in the app. Even without referencing the desktop version, the app feels like it’s missing a lot of features. The app saves at a low 960×717 pixel resolution. While this resolution is fine for sharing online, on Facebook and email, it’s too low to make enlargements printed enlargements of any decent size. The less than one megapixel resolution is too low for making decent enlargements.
Also missing from the iPhone version of the app are some of the really cool toys from the desktop version, such as frames, lenses, and all the sliders for fine-tune adjustments. The iPhone version has only two slider adjustments.
AnalogColor is the type of app that I look for — a lo-fi style app that recreates digitally the look of analog film, so it’s disappointing to me when the app is poorly done, feels incomplete, or feels like a beta version.
The next update should be a big improvement. The developer promises higher resolution. They also hint that photo frames and border support will be added to the app as well. We’ll see. Both features will go a long way in improving the app and making it match the features of the desktop version and most other retro photo apps as well.
AnalogColor has some great features and some great potential, but don’t expect it to be on par with the desktop version. For online sharing, version 1.0 of AnalogColor is okay. For sharing or printing enlargements, right now, there are other apps available on the App Store that do the same thing but with more pixels. This should improve with app updates, but for now AnalogColor has some good features and a lot of potential, but it’s not an essential photo app.
UPDATE 01.21.12 @02:22: Version 1.1 has just been submitted to the App Store and adds the option for full resolution.
AnalogColor is $1.99. It’s currently on sale for $0.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.1 or later.