Review: Camore+, a companion app for Camera+
Version reviewed: 2.0
Bottom Line: Not great, but not bad. Adds some good features to Camera+, but is pretty clunky in the way that it does it. Might be good for Camera+ users who also share to Instagram a lot.
Camera+ by tap tap tap is a pretty amazing camera replacement app. It does a lot and it does it all well. It’s one of the first apps I recommend to new iPhone owners who want to take better pictures with their iPhones. Its power and ease of use give it a well-earned broad appeal. It’s definitely worth its position at the top of the photo app charts.
Camore+ (by Rivawan, not affiliated with tap tap tap) is a companion app for Camera+. It’s basically a front end and back end to the app with Camera+ in the middle. It adds features to the workflow that really should be in Camera+ in the first place.
The app is a former number one app in Japan’s App Store, Photo & Video category. This is what piqued my interest about the app.
Camore+ is not a camera and has no filters or effects of its own. It uses APIs to link to Camera+ for nearly all of its operations. For instance, taking a picture in Camore+ opens the camera module of Camera+, let’s you shoot the photo and then switches right back to Camore+. Each switch takes a few seconds. Do not use Camore+ if you need to shoot quickly.
Camore+ imports images directly from your iPhone’s Photo Library — something which takes a few steps in Camera+. It’s actually faster to load an image from your photo library using this app than in Camera+.
Once an image is loaded to Camore+, any image editing switches you right back to Camera+’ image editing module. Click Done and your processed image is not saved to Camera+, but instead you are switched back to Camore+. If you do enough edits in Camore+/Camera+, this little dance will make you dizzy.
Camore+ also has access to Camera+’ image Lightbox as well. Probably more by accident than design, this is a great feature. Normally, edits made in Camera+ are destructive. When working in the app’s editing module, editsare applied and saved over the original image. Opening an image in Camore+ creates a copy. You can work on the image as much as you want and the original image remains unchanged in the Camera+ library. This is possible to do in Camera+, but it takes several steps in contrast to just one in Camore+.
Where Camore+ excels is by adding import, export and share features that are missing from Camera+, but that really should be there. Camore+ supports both PhotoApp Link and Apple’s “Send To App” protocols, meaning you can also edit your photos in a lot of other apps that support either protocol without first saving to your camera roll. Unfortunately, depending on which app you send it to, it might not support two-way links and it may be only a one-way trip. “OpenIn…” may not always mean you’ll easily be able to open back in Camore+. That’s a limitation of other apps, though, and not of Camore+ itself. Also, not all of the apps using OpenIn actually open the image, making the list of available apps look more impressive than it actually is.
Camore+ has additional sharing options that Camera+ lacks, especially the important Send To Instagram support. The Send To Instagram button is the only share button — you won’t miss it. It surprises me that with all the features Camera+ has, it still lacks a lot of built-in sharing support, including Instagram. Camore+ “adds” this capability, although not through Camera+. Camore+ also has support for Dropbox, Evernote, LINE and others, most likely through Apple’s Send To App API (I couldn’t find them within the app itself). You many not always have access to these options as the API limits choices to a dozen or so apps. Instagram sharing is the biggest feature here. You can also send to Twitter, but there is no Facebook integration. Multiple sharing destinations with a single click, like those in Instagram, would really increase the value of Camore+.
Camore+ now saves images in their original size, a new badly needed feature in the latest update. Unfortunately, it strips out most EXIF data including geotags.
Camore+ has other handy features, such as a default Instagram caption that you can use as a starter template to reduce typing. If you share online only through Instagram or Facebook, you can also change default image resolutions to 480, 960 or 1200 px in Camore+ to be more Instagram and bandwidth friendly — another handy feature that Camera+ lacks.
I’m not too excited about Camore+. The constant switching between apps is jarring. Overall, there’s nothing in Camore+ that isn’t in other apps. But that’s it’s purpose. It’s like a central connection to get Camera+ working better with a lot of other apps. It adds a lot of import, export and share features that are missing from Camera+, but that really should be there. The experience would be smoother if the apps were integrated.
If you use Camera+ as your main camera (a whole lot of you do) and share to Instagram (probably even more of you do), then Camore+ is worth a look to keep these features in just one app. That app won’t be Camera+, though. Camore+ will be acting as a handy but clunky traffic cop. Camore+ extends the usability of Camera+ in ways that especially benefit Instagram users. It’s a handy app if you think you’ll need it, but it’s not an essential one.
Camore+ (CamorePlus) is $1.99 in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 5.0 or later.