Posts tagged More
Every week, the editors and writers at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps. This week’s selections include a war game, a videography app, a classic board game, and a popular twitter client for Mac.
Sky Gamblers – Storm Raiders – Peter Cohen
World War II air combat on the Mac – dogfighting in the skies above Pearl Harbor, Midway, France and more. Fly historic planes with cross-platform multiplayer, Game Center and iCloud support. If you’ve played the game on your iOS device, you know what to expect. But Atypical Games has reworked Sky Gamblers – Storm Raiders to work on the Mac, which makes it an even more fun game on a bigger screen.
The game costs a paltry 99 cents to download, but content like new planes and weapons come at a price – in-app purchases for a couple of bucks here and there. Still, lots of fun to play and not a lot of coin to make it happen.
- .99 – Download now
Luma Camera – Rene Ritchie
While I was at BlackBerry Live — or was it iMore live? — one of the developers in attendance came over and showed me Luma Camera for iPhone. It’s a video shooting app that offers filters both real-time and for post-processing, as well as optional HD video storage space via their website. The most interesting feature, however, is the image stabilization. Real optical image stabilization requires hardware, but Luma does a respectable job using the iPhones built in sensors and it’s powerful graphics processing capabilities.
I haven’t had much of a chance to play around with it yet, but it looks like fun. If you try it, let me know what you think!
- Free – Download now
Ticket to Ride Online – Richard Devine
I must confess to being an avid fan of the Geek and Sundry YouTube Show, TableTop starring Wil Wheaton. It’s via that show I first became aware of the board game Ticket to Ride, and now I’ve found and begun playing the Mac version — Ticket to Ride Online
I’ve never played the board game, but the Mac version is a beautifully colourful recreation of the original, and follows the rules to the letter. You choose a series of routes, and the objective is to lay trains on as many of those routes as possible before the game is up. The longest routes get an extra reward at the end, and incomplete routes loses points. It’s really simple to pick up and play, and there’s a comprehensive tutorial game to help you get to grips with the gameplay.
In-App purchases are available to extend the game boards, with new ones available for Europe, another USA board and for Switzerland. And, the online play supports competing against other Mac, PC, and iPad players. I’ve not tried out the iPad version just yet, but you’ll find a link for that too below.
Tweetbot for Mac – Ally Kazmucha
There are a wealth of amazing Twitter clients for iOS but when it comes to Mac, there are less to choose from. While I tend to use Twitterrific on my iPhone and iPad, I’ve never really liked the feel of it on Mac. Tweetbot is my second favorite for iOS and when they released a Mac client a while back, it definitely didn’t disappoint.
The price point is quite a bit higher than other Twitter offerings in the Mac App Store but honestly, it’s the best available, hands down. If you want the iOS Tweetbot experience on your Mac, there really is no other option.
- .99 – Download Now
Now that we’ve chosen our favorites for the week, we want to hear yours! Did you pick up a killer app, accessory, or game this week? Let us know in the comments below!
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Beyond having an odd sounding name, Oggl is the latest creation by the long serving team at Hipstamatic. The app just went live in the App Store, but at the moment it requires an invitation code to use — though you can apply for one in the app. But, what exactly is it? The official tagline reads as: “A community of creative people capturing & curating their Lives through photography.” So that’ll be a social photo sharing service then, will it?
Anyone who knows Hipstamatic knows that the fundamental principle stands around applying filters to your photos. Pretty common these days, but Hipstamatic has been doing it for a number of years now. When it comes to the social aspect, there’s only one clear market leader; Instagram. So, is Oggl just an Instagram clone, or does it offer something more?
The main ‘timeline’ view is a definite improvement on the way Instagram attacks it. It’s much cleaner, much simpler, with no usernames or comments on display it’s all about the photos. You can customize what it is you want to see, be that from people you follow, editors choices, global or at the moment there’s a special featured selection to see photos from San Francisco. When you see something you like, tapping on the image brings up the user information, and the lens and film combination they used to shoot it.
That then gives you the option to take that combination, and automatically select it to shoot your own images with. I quite like this touch. Quite often I’ll see an effect in a photo that I really like the look of, and having the chance to use it myself in a couple of taps is really handy. Of course, it won’t make me a better photographer, though.
So, onwards to the shooting side of Oggl, Hipstamatic’s bread and butter. The camera app itself is pretty nice, with the different effects being applied during shooting. Below the viewfinder are the selections for film type and lens type, along with some preset effects made up of a specific combination of film and lens. You aren’t bound to applying the effects before taking the shot either. If you don’t like it, you can change it up using the same effects afterwards.
The camera button remains at the top or bottom of each view throughout the app, so wherever you are it’s only a single tap to access shooting mode. To the left of the shutter button is one-tap access to your Oggl gallery, and to the right of it is your exit point back to the global feed. So far then, so good.
It’s when we get to the sharing that things become a little, peculiar. With Instagram, you hit the camera button, take your shot, edit it, tag it and upload it to whichever of the available services you desire. With Oggl, you take the photos, and then you have to go get them and decide what to do with them. It isn’t difficult, but I have to admit that it took me a few minutes to figure it all out. With a sharing service, you would expect to take a photo, then share it pretty much straight away, not leave it sitting in a gallery.
Perhaps oddly too, Instagram is one of the available sharing services for Oggl. The other usual candidates are there: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare and Tumblr, but being able to share to Instagram also seems like a strange move. The main Hipstamatic app can also share to Instagram, I just can’t quite get my head around why you would use something like Oggl, only to then send the photos to Instagram.
This becomes an even stranger thought when you take into account the yearly subscription that Hipstamatic is charging for full access to Oggl. Priced at .99 quarterly or .99 yearly, paying up serves two purposes. The first is keeping Oggl free of all forms of advertising and keeping the app as a free download. The App Store listing puts it better than I could:
Oh yeah, and that’s the other benefit to paying up. While Oggl is free to use for everyone, none-paid members are classed as ‘contributors’ and only get access to a limited number of the photo effects. Paid members get access to Hipstamatic’s full catalog of filter packs.
The Bottom Line
I want to love Oggl, really and truly I do. Instagram has always just felt like an extension of the other social networks to me, and like people tweet about anything and everything, there’s a tendency to Instagram anything and everything. And every meal. Oggl feels different though. They’re penning it as a way to curate and enjoy beautiful photography, and you do get that impression. The photos are always front and center, with the person who did it, where and how they did it and all that other business tucked out of the way.
Whether it will take off or not is another question. Whichever way you look at it, Instagram is free, and the best experience in Oggl is not. The average eye may see little difference between the two, only the mention of subscription fees, and then decide to stick with Instagram. And I still don’t know why you can share your Oggl photos to Instagram. If you want to do that, the main Hipstamatic app will do that for you. I’m going to give it a chance though. I’ve signed up for a three month subscription. I like what I see so far, lets see what I think three months down the line.
So, is Oggl more than an Instagram clone? In some ways, yes. It takes the same idea and makes it a better experience. But it’s going to need people using it to make it worthwhile.