Month: October 2012

A Sudden Crop of New iPhone Photo Apps

iPhone photography apps hit a sort of peak with Hipstamatic, Instagram, Camera+, 645 Pro, and Snapseed. The past few months have seen a few quirky apps being released (Gridditor being one that comes to mind), but most have been crappy knockoffs of the very successful but sadly neglected Camera+*, or silly ones for decorating your shots with candy-colored doodles or cartoon stamps. Very little for the serious photographer determined to replace a compact camera with an iPhone… until these came along! ••• Blux Camera: The first app I’ve seen to offer the equivalent of what’s called “Auto Scene Mode” on most point-and-shoot cameras. The app applies a compensation scene mode based on what it thinks you need (taking local weather into account too). I’ve been waiting for someone to do this, but Blux seems to go even further with 14 filters, tilt-shift effects, and a futuristic, customizable UI that might prove too fiddly in actual use. Still, it looks very good and it’s free for a couple of days. Edit: Having tried it now, it’s …

MacHeist 4 ends today

MacHeist 4 ends today. The annual bundle has gotten bigger and better — just US$29 for a ton of apps and services worth 20 times more — but they’ve struggled to reach the minimum target of 25,000. That was how many needed to be sold before the premium bonus apps became unlocked for everyone. After 8 days into the 10-day window, they gave up and opened them anyway. Now they’ve finally crossed the mark (26,053 at time of writing) with hours left to go. There’s probably a longer article in here about why this is the case. Bundles like these used to make a much bigger splash, and I remember a period where Groupon-like daily deal sites for Mac applications were like… daily deal sites for free iOS applications. I guess that’s where the attention has gone now, and much of the spending intent has followed the growth in mobile platforms. Prices there are generally lower too, and I wonder if this means independent Mac apps have to start charging less, or more, to keep …

Ashes out to sea

Today we got on a little boat and went out halfway to Pulau Ubin, to release the ashes of four grandparents and great-grandparents. I am assured we had the necessary permits for this. Two of the oldest (from way before my time) were recently exhumed from a cemetery that was being decommissioned and reclaimed, and we’ve had the urns about for a few years, in anticipation of this moment. In the end, it was a drama-free affair that was over before sentiment could occur to anyone. Before he began, the man handling everything asked us, in Mandarin, if there was anything we wanted to say to them. But what can you say? As a person still alive, the idea of being dispersed to nowhere in particular seems strange. I think I would like to be kept around the house when my time comes. I’m not fond of the sea, or swimming. On top of the holographic quantum fiber modem would be fine.

The Round Down, 8 Weeks In

I started The Round Down on a bit of a whim two months ago, armed only with the conviction of knowing that I’d long wanted to do an email newsletter of human-approved articles and links for like-minded people. The idea of writing/commissioning original content for such a vehicle was definitely on my mind, but seemed secondary and much harder to get started with, and getting started was priority one. Getting YJ Soon and David Liu onboard to share editorial and news gathering duties, with David focusing on games (check out his gaming podcast, Staring at Screens), has made it possible to keep up. Eight weeks and as many issues is enough time to get settled. We noticed an unconscious trend towards quantity, and the last few that went out had a touch too many things to look at. The initial goal was a small and unintimidating selection of links for weekend reading, nothing that feels like work, and we will be trying hard to steer that course from now on. Thanks for supporting this project (no …