Finally, a photo editor for webOS? Finally, indeed! As a photographer myself, one of the features I appreciate the most about the Palm Pre is the extraordinary camera quality. For the past year I’ve marveled at all the shots with perfect exposure and white balance that would have come from my SLR only after several rounds of test shots and fiddling. But an automatic system can’t calculate a photographer’s creative vision, and now with Photo Effects we’ve got some tools at our disposal.
This application comes in two flavors: the free Photo Effects gives users access to filters such as black and white and sepia, and Photo Effects Plus adds cropping and resizing functionality for only $0.99. This is something that Photo Effects definitely does right: having a limited free version is a great way to build consumer confidence that your app delivers the functionality they’re looking for.
Photo Effects free makes a modest plug to promote the paid app with an application menu item, but as someone who looks at an awful lot of apps, I think it’s totally appropriate to toot your own pro version horn — especially to an eager and currently underserved market like photographers. These folks have no shame dropping hundreds of dollars for a new lens…go ahead, be bold and use an occasional splash screen to tell them about the extra features they’ll get for less than the price for a latte!
So let’s take a look at what makes this app awesome. Following the app’s directions to tap the folder icon to select a photo presents the user with the standard webOS photo picker. I’m going to work on a picture I took in Mexico last year where the colors came out a little dull. I still like the composition, however, so I’d like to see how it looks in black and white.
Now here’s where this app really gets interesting. Currently, webOS can load a photo into the canvas for editing, but doesn’t have a way to save the resulting image. Some apps get around this by directing the user to manually take a screenshot, but Photo Effects came up with a great workaround by uploading the photo to their server for processing, then sending it back down to the phone and saving it. Here’s the end result.
After downloading the edited version, the user can set it as wallpaper, or send it via SMS or email. The whole process is very quick and seamless; I’d have no idea that the photo was processed on a different server if the app didn’t say so.
This method is admittedly more complicated to implement, but by combining great functionality with a better user experience now, this app has a head start growing a user base that will put them ahead of the competition when we make improvements to this functionality in the future.
What features have you run into in an application that gave you an “ah ha” moment? If you have either run into this in a webOS application, or of course if you have written this yourself, let us know! If you’re close to submitting your app, do it now! You can still benefit from our Hot Apps promo; Fast Movers have shown that you can get in the money within a week!