Photo App Review: SnapDot is a great concept, but lacks a few pixels.
While I love a good faux-lomo photo app, I really love the app developers whose unique vision helps to redefine what’s possible with iPhoneography. This includes the great pop photo apps Percolator, Decim8, pxl., the new app Popsicolor and a few others.
SnapDot is another easy to use photo app that adds unique modern effects. It’s a great idea for an app. I’m trying hard to like Snapdot, but the more I tested it, the less I found myself liking. Read on to find out why. >>>
SnapDot applies a pointillist or “stipling” effect to create its dot-filled effects. The effects are clearer and less dreamscape-like than the new, free app Seurat. The dots are pronounced, but not like the halftone rosette pattern found in the comic book apps. Like percolator, each dot comes close to the color of the image underneath it. It all comes together in a photo effect that’s unique in the App Store. I like a good unique effect.
The app is easy to use. The user interface is slick. There’s a cool, coalscing animation as the app processes the image. There are tools to adjust dot size, brightness, contrast, and a tool to touch up areas in the image for a better conversion. When needed, the help system is a great overlay.
Where SnapDot Falls Apart
What I really don’t like about the app is the resolution. I realize that not every iPhonegrapher needs high resolution images for print and enlargements. There are a lot of users who only share their images online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and blogs and for those uses medium resolution (1024 pixels or so) is perfectly usable.
But SnapDot’s resolution is scalably bad and gets worse depending on the shape and orientation of the image you process. Image resolution gets worse depending on whether on your image is portrait, square, or landscape.
Tall images are 638×850 pixels — barely usable for online sharing to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Square format images are only 638×638 pixels and wide images save at a mostly unusable 638×478 pixels. All images are smaller than the iPhone 4/4S Retina Display. It’s probably simply saving a cropped screen capture. SnapDot also strips out most EXIF data including geotags.
It’s good for online sharing (barely). Output is bad for most size prints and enlargements.
I like the concept of SnapDot and the effects it creates. For tall and square images, it creates some interesting effects for online sharing. For anything else, including prints and even sharing landscape images, SnapDot version 1.0 is sorely lacking and needs to add quite a few more dots before I could recommend the app. That’s too bad because SnapDot is a slick app with a lot of promise.
SnapDot is either $0.99 or $1.99. The price has gone up and down since its release. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.2 or later.