AMITIAE - Sunday 8 January 2012

Updates to Grid Lens, Big Lens, Super 8 and Other Apps

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


I have a large collection of photography apps for the iPhone. Although many of them work on the iPad, they are not as effective there: the medium is for a larger display and suits magazines especially; and the camera is not as good as the iPhone 4S I now run. Two recent apps that shot to the top of my favourite pile were Grid Lens and Big Lens, both of which are among those that have received updates this weekend.

Grid Lens

Grid Lens I have found Grid Lens especially interesting with the way that there are several types of grid and that each can be altered with a simple tap. Other options include taking all images from the same scene, so each part of the grid can be a slightly different look at the same subject, or making each cell different. I was enthusiastic when I reviewed it at the end of December and I found it worked well enough with the camera.

The update to version 1.1.0 has a new and useful addition in that a user can now access the Photo Library: giving access to photographs already taken. This will expand the possibilities significantly as users are not limited to the grid format on the road, enabling us to design a better finished product when time is less limited.

Bucket Labs, the developer have also added a burst shot interval option, which again should add to more interesting output, while retaking a picture is also now available. The developer also reports a number of bug fixes have been attended to and there are other improvements.

Big Lens

Grid Lens I first reviewed this app in the middle of December and found it interesting in the way that a user was able to adapt the focus within an image, particularly with the ability to change the aperture (f-stop).

At that time I wrote that the app was fairly easy to use and has a number of useful features for its cheap price of $0.99, particularly with the adjustment of depth of field using the range of aperture settings. With the filters and other limited editing tools this makes an interesting addition to the apps collection for anyone who uses the iPhone camera.

Big Lens has now received a minor update -- bringing it to version 1.0.1305.1 -- which fixes a couple of crash problems: memory shortage; and metadata info.

Super 8

Paramount's interesting Super 8, a video app that was closely linked to publicity for the movie of the same name, and does produce some interesting retro output, has had a number of useful changes in the 2.0.1 update.

"Due to popular demand. . ." Paramount Digital have brought back an option that allows frame-shaking using the accelerometer and this is in turned on in Options from the CASE view. In addition the lens switcher has been updated so that both methods -- tray and swipe -- now work correctly. Error messages have now been made more clear so that problem diagnosis is easier and a low memory warning has also been added. There are other minor improvements reported.


Updates to the Huffington Post app for the iPhone (2.8.5) and the app for the iPad are reported as well as some bug fixes for the Three Little Pigs Storybook HD app. The QR code app, QR't that allows users to create more artistic versions of the codes has been updated to version 1.4. The developers report that a problems with case sensitivity of URLs has now been addressed.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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