UPDATE 03.31.11: It’s been over two days since I first emailed the developer about the status of LomoLomo Pro. I’ve emailed them four times and have not received a reply. As of today, there still is no update of LomoLomo Pro and no way to transfer my lens purchase to LemeLemeHD. =M=

Just when it was getting good, LomoLomo Pro is gone from the App Store. Also gone from the App Store is the more expensive free version LomoLomo, which has been replaced with the newly named LemeLemeHD.

Read this before upgrading. In addition to a new nonsense name, many of the update’s changes are lame lame.

LemeLeme new God Father lens

Both versions of LomoLomo were recently pulled from the App Store. As of this writing only the more expensive free version has been updated. I say more expensive because although the app itself is free, it’s easy to spend another $6 buying all the features that were included standard in LomaLomo Pro for a buck or two.

The newly named replacement app, LemeLeme version 2.0, features all of Lomo Lomo’s great lenses plus a new free lens, Godfather. LemeLeme/LomoLomo uses “lenses” like many other apps would use “films”. Many of the cameras and lenses have been renamed but all of the “cameras” and filters in the original LomoLomo are still there. The Lomo Wall and file sharing still work the same.

There’s a lot wrong with this update and for me it negates much of the goodwill created with the excellent recent updates of LomoLomo after initial missteps.

LemeLeme's new Inkjet frame

LemeLeme now features eight frames total and several new frames, but only two of LomoLomo’s original frames, which have been renamed for this update. The new Inkjet frame is a grungy, rough edge frame and is one of the few new frames that I’d actually use. The new Black Standard frame looks good, but has a slight transparency that its predecessor didn’t, reducing the usability of the frame. Fabric is a revisit of the superior “Light Grit”, but now with an irritating and unnecessary white blur at the edges. Many of the new frames are decorative, “cute”, tacky and ugly frames. I don’t think these tacky frames belong in a LOMO app. There are fewer usable frames in this version.

There is no mention of any of the name changes in the App Store description. The developer has not responded to my numerous e-mails, so I can only speculate what happened to LomoLomo.

I suspect that LomoLomo was in violation of trademarks and intellectual property held by Lomography. In addition to the name “Lomo”, many of the named camera modules in the app are also the IP of Lomography, including Diana, Action Sampler, and SuperSampler. I can think of no other reason for the need to change the names of so many of Lomography’s properties. No problem there, but a mention in the App Store description would have been nice.

I don’t understand why names of some of the lenses were changed, though. Seriously, was Russia that hacked off about two lenses in this app? Other than Classic Lomo, none seemed to be in copyright or trademark violation. Changing the names of those lenses and filters only creates confusion and inconsistency in the user experience.

The unnecessary changes to the frames are also perplexing to me. Even if there was a compelling need to add a postage stamp frame, why not keep the other frames which were good looking, authentic, usable and did not appear to be in any trademark or copyright violation.

Another thing I find suspect is that LomoLomo Pro was a good bargain at $.99. For a buck, you got two “cameras” and all of the app’s lenses, saving about $6 from buying each individually from Lomo Lomo standard. Now, to get the same number of features — the app’s “lenses” –  the free version works out to be much more expensive than the Pro version. There is no indication of whether there will be a LemeLeme Pro release. Sketchy.

This developer has done a lot to overcome the negativity generated from their connection to Molinker from the App Store scandal over a year ago. These latest events – pulling the apps, changing filter names and deleting favorites, no information on an update to the Pro version, and remaining completely silent on what happened is suspect and negates much of that goodwill for me.

I understand the need to rebrand the app in light of possible trademark violation. I don’t understand the need to change so much else that worked in the apps that didn’t need changing. I’ll get used to the new lens and frame names, but I don’t like the look of the new frames. I think they’re ugly and unusable for a retro camera style app. I want the old frames back. And given their history in the iPhoneography community, this developer gets no slack from me for their lack of transparency.

For many reasons, I’m not upgrading my copies of Lomo Lomo — standard or pro — to LemeLemeHD at this time. At this time, I’m not buying back my LomoLomo Pro cameras and lenses until I hear more from the developer — if at all — or see some additional updates in the App Store. The developer could have made this name change painless, but I think they’ve really dropped the ball.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

LemeLemeHD - MoMoTravel Consulting Inc.