eXtensions - Thursday 29 March 2018
Focos - Update Adds Camera Access to Photo App for Adjusting Depth in Portrait Mode
By Graham K. Rogers
Apple quite often introduces features, but they are left for third party developers to take advantage of. A good example is the introduction of RAW capabilities. The Apple Camera does not use this, but this feature is now producing some excellent work, with apps like Halide, DSLR Camera, ProCamera and more.
With the ability to duplicate photographs in Photos on iOS devices, more than one image, say background, middle distance and foreground can be produced from the same image using the editing features in Focos. Now, the app has been updated and it is possible to take a photograph from within Focos, and to adjust depth while setting up the shot.
To the left of the Shutter button is a V-shaped icon, which gives access to a number of controls: resolution (1:1, 4:3, 3:2), Grid, Level, GPS (off by default) and self-timer (5s and 15s). To the left is a Settings icon that opens a panel with several significant options. One allowed me to change the app icon back from the new white version to the older yellow one (used here); but more important were saving options (JPEG, HEIC, or TIFF) and file size (1536 x 2049, 2160 x 2880 [default] or3024 x 4032). Among other options, users are given the opportunity to add in artist name and copyright information. Only a few apps I have permit that.
Saved images with the largest resolution (3024 x 4032) in TIFF format were each just over 45MB (a couple reached 50MB). Once I had completed editing an image, saving took a relatively long time, probably caused by the settings I had and the resultant file size. Likewise, transferring to the Mac via iCloud Photos also took a while once I was connected to a reasonable wiFi network.
In its initial form, Focos was already an app that I would recommend. Adding the camera and photo-taking ability to Focos increases this considerably. While I was with my engineering students, having seen what I could do, two downloaded Focos to their iPhones. This app is highly recommended for those with suitable iPhones.
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)
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