Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)
Makers of to-do list app Clear create stripped-down Analog CameraLaunching today in the iOS App Store, Realmac's Analog Camera is a clean, no-frills photo app that borrows design and usability features from the developer's popular to-do list title Clear.
Analog Camera doesn't offer users much in the way of new features. With a selection of eight photo filters, an in-app camera with exposure and focus control, and a plethora of sharing options, the title stacks up similarly with other camera apps that have been available for years.
However, what sets Analog apart from the rest is an attention to detail rarely found in a common camera and filter app. Drawing from the gesture-based Clear, Realmac combined a distilled photography feature set with the easy to use design that made its to-do list software popular.
Boasting a "flat" design, Analog is built around tiles, each serving a specific purpose. For example, when the app is opened, users are met with a live view of the rear-facing camera. Below the preview window is a large shutter control button. A two-finger touch activates focus and exposure points, much like the Camera+ app. Double tapping on the screen puts the camera back into auto mode.
Once a picture is taken, the image is sent to Photos, the catalog of which is displayed just behind Analog's camera view tile. Swiping down reveals a user's Photo library, and tapping on a picture will open a filter selection menu. Users can browse through the eight filter options by tapping and holding a filter tile, releasing on the desired effect.
Filter and sharing options.
Just as in other photo apps, access to a user's camera roll and Photo Stream means that any pictures taken previously by another app can be filtered and sent out through Analog.
Sharing is also handled on the filter page, with options for saving to the iOS Photo library, attaching the photos in an email, integrating with Facebook and Twitter, and opening the processed picture to any compatible app with a "Send to" button. A pull down gesture returns users to the Photo library view, and from there a flick up activates the in-app camera.
Those familiar with Clear will find some of the app's sound effects have made their way to Analog, further adding to the app's fit and finish. The UI is snappy, as is filtering and animations.
Analog does make some concessions, however, as the in-app camera is unable to access the iPhone's zoom and flash capabilities, making picture taking less than ideal.
Also of concern is the severely cropped image produced by the app's filter processing. The cropping area is adjustable, outputting a 2,048-by-2,046 pixel image, though the resulting square image cuts off a large portion of the original 2,448-by-3,264 pixels.
Some users might also be turned off by the lack of filter options, which at launch stands at eight. No word yet on whether more will be added, though many competing photo apps offer filter packs as in-app purchases.
Analog Camera is available now for $0.99 from the App Store.
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