Not too long ago, I reviewed Landcam. It’s a good Instagram front-end app that felt a little incomplete when version 1.0 was introduced. Despite my less than enthusiastic review, it’s doing very well in the App Store — landing on Apple’s New & Noteworthy scroll and currently holding #21 on the Paid Apps chart (I suspect with a bullet).
The new Landcam 1.1 update is out and includes a significant improvement, as well as adding a few new minor features. Usually, I’ll let my initial review sit for awhile, but the speed in which they are addressing both my public concerns and the private ones I’d mentioned to the developers before the app’s release deserves credit.
Keep reading to see what’s new in this update and what’s in store for the app. >>>
You can either shoot in-app for quick workflow or import images from your camera roll. Fortunately, Landcam also saves your original image to your Camera Roll at full device resolution. This is always a great feature if you later decide to go back and edit in another app. Buried in Landcam’s settings is a Double Exposure feature that you can turn on. Unfortunately, the double exposure feature only saves raw images at 1280×960 pixels, even in this update.
The most important new feature is higher resolution. Landcam now supports four times the pixels and can save at 1280 x 1280 pixels or 1.6 MP. It also keeps the EXIF data including Geotags in your image for both images shot in app or imported from your camera roll. High-res images are not turned on by default and need to be enabled in the app’s settings.
The app has 8 new sketches to doodle on your snapshots. There are also two new fonts, Baron Neue — a Humanist typeface similar to the beautiful and popular “Gotham” — and Neo Retro. An FYI, the standard font set of the app also includes “Deming”, a commercial font I paid a few bucks for last month. Not all of these are freeware or open-source fonts.
The app is now available in 2 new languages: Spanish and French. There are bug fixes and other tweaks as well.
The app’s slick, iOS 7 style interface has only been tweaked slightly. It’s still super-easy to use as it moves you through the workflow.
Few of my other issues have been fixed with the app in this update, which is more of a maintenance release. 1280 x 1280 was available in beta, but was held back from final release due to performance issues on older devices. It’s a little slow on my iPhone 5, but not annoyingly slow. Hopefully, some well-placed code optimization can fix this. More important, full resolution is promised for a future release and mentioned prominently now in the update descriptions, leading me to believe that this is now a higher priority on the wishlist.
Landcam is not “there” yet in my opinion — I still dislike the frames — although it has improved quickly and the developers have promised monthly updates. Its reception in the App Store gives them the incentive to do so. With this update, Landcam is a better companion app to Instagram, Facebook, and other photo sharing services. It’s not ready for more serious or permanent shooting yet and, in fact, that is probably not in its overall plan.
Landcam definitely carries the spirit of fun instant photography pioneered by Polaroid’s Edwin Land years ago. It’s got a development team that’s dedicated to regular improvements of the app. Landcam may never be a go-to choice for gallery-minded iPhoneographers, but for shooting and sharing snapshots, Landcam is an easy to use, slick photo app that’s getting a bit better.
Landcam is $0.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.