eXtensions - Friday 14 July 2017
A Difficult Experience with a new Filters app: Pop Art - Spoiled by Details
By Graham K. Rogers
These days it is hard to find apps that are totally new, especially in the Photo & Video section of the App Store, but I keep digging around looking for items in my Why Haven't I seen this Before category. I thought I had found something this week - new and not at all well publicised - in Pop Cam-Image Editor with Pop Art style Filters. It is a filter-based app with camera and Photo Library access. At a price of 69 baht ($1.99) I thought it worth a look.
A couple of times recently I have seen apps in which English rubric is relatively poor and, as someone else remarked in an app review not so long ago, if the developer has not made the effort to fix this, what else may be wrong. In the case of the Italian-developed DSLR Camera, not much: some of the Italian (lucci for Brightness and ombre for Shadows) gave the app a certain charm.
Earlier today, I spent an hour with the Dean of the Faculty (a former student) discussing ways in which we can avoid the release of unedited English - it takes me 3 nanoseconds to find and fix - and improve Faculty output (brochures, posters). He is aware that a poorly checked document implies that the Faculty may not be concerned on other levels.
The instructions and warnings that appeared (there were more after that initial screen) suggested that no effort had been made to check. It will do, is not good enough. I was not surprised to find problems.
The filters themselves are unusual and varied enough to be interesting, even with the price, but when I used one of them, named Vivid, it crashed the app every time. I tried on the iPhone 7 Plus in case it were a problem with the iPad Pro, but the same happened when I used it with the camera (Front or Back). When I tried with the Photo Library, it crashed 9 times out of 10. It was just not possible to use the Vivid filter, but all the others were fine.
Beneath the editing screen, simple control buttons gave access to the editing features, the camera and the Photo Library. The last of these, Detail, displayed a set of editing sliders, allowing adjustments to the image output. Each slider set was different, depending on the filter selected, but color and line thickness, as well as hue and saturation were the most common options.
What output I produced on the iPad Pro and iPhones was more than acceptable. The style of images produced had much potential in terms of graphic Art (the Warhol filters are a clue). Having edited an image, it was not initially clear how this might be exported: the Shutter button doubles as the control for this: not exactly clear.
With the problem filter, I sought help and this raises another problem. When I have contacted developers like Michael Hardwick (645 Pro) or Plum Amazing (iWatermark+), response times can be measured in hours. A developer like Macphun will send an initial marker email and then send the query to a staff member, but this usually takes little more than a day. I sent a message to the developer of Pop Cam and I am still waiting for a reply. That breaks another of my rules for user/developer transactions.
Pop Cam image output from iPhone 7 Plus
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. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
For further information, e-mail to
Back to Home Page