HUE Camera FX Photo Editor Review

HUE Camera FX Photo Editor Review

Feb 13, 2012

Somewhere along the line I missed the “Learn Photoshop” train. Although it’s on my list of things to do and learn, I rely on easy to use, point and click, nothing fancy photo editing programs. Usually I only need to fix some color or remove redeye. HUE Camera FX fits the bill in mobile form. From start to finishing HUE Camera FX is technically all anyone will possibly need. Take photos, retouch blemishes, adjust colors and add layered effects all with a touch of the finger. When it’s done, easily share the finished product on Facebook, Google+ and more.

HUE Camera FX allows users to have control over the look of their photos from beginning to end. With HUE Camera FX users begin by choosing a preset lighting scheme. From there users can pick from an array of color options ranging from black and white, to negative, Polaroid, and even individual hue/saturation color effects. What puts HUE Camera FX above other on the go photo editing apps is its automatic layering effect. Want to enhance the reds and place them over a sepia-colored photo? No problem. Add a sepia layer then a layer of the red hue/saturation effect. A drag of the finger over the photo and voila, red appears on sepia anywhere the screen is touched.

Sadly, what makes HUE Camera FX so great is also the app’s biggest downfall. Rather, the inability to zoom in and do precision work is. It is practically impossible to enhance and touch up blemishes to small areas like eyes, hair or even small background objects using a finger. HUE Camera FX attempts to correct this issue by allowing users to adjust the erase and color tool’s size but my finger is still too large for many of the jobs I know this app could otherwise accomplish. I felt teased by all the potential I could see in this app; all I wanted was a zoom tool.

Overall HUE Camera FX has amazing potential. The color effects are simple and easy to use. The app intuitively creates layers for even more “advanced” editing. If only there were a way to complete precision work this app would be perfect.

Toot Toot ABC Review

Toot Toot ABC Review

Feb 9, 2012

Toot Toot ABC is a cute game by Australian based company Game Labs that introduces preschoolers (ages 1-4) to their ABCs and 123s. Children play one of three darling trains who live in an colorful, interactive World. Kids encounter various animals while learning their alphabet and numbers. With three adventures to choose from there is always something for the little ones to explore.

Kids can pick from the ABC adventure, 123 adventure or take a break and race against other trains. During the ABC adventure, kids match animals with their corresponding letter. In the 123 adventure, kids count animals by dragging them in the train cars. What makes Toot Toot ABC extra unique is the use of exotic – or at least Australian – animals; I have officially learned of the numbat’s existence.

One of my favorite aspects of Toot Toot ABC (besides its Australian animal theme) is the brightly colored, interactive World the trains live in. See the red apples on the tree? Click one to have a little snack. Want to show your train some love? Tap his bell and he makes noise. Need a break? Take some time to pop balloons floating around the screen. Children like to explore their surroundings as a way of learning and Toot Toot ABC takes that into considerations when designing their educational World.

Toot Toot ABC also helps children develop fine motor skills. For example, in the 123 adventure, the child needs to be able to click an animal, hold the screen, and drag the animal to the train car for it to be counted. The controls for Toot Toot ABC are responsive and accurate enough for young children to control but not so responsive there is no challenge.

As a new mother I am looking for fun, new age, technological tools to help my daughter learn as she grows and reaches new cognitive and physical developmental milestones. She may not be ready for Toot Toot ABC yet, but it is definitely a game I will keep in mind when the time comes. This cute, colorful, educational game is too darling to pass up for $2.07. I really hope Game Labs continues to develop other educational games for various developmental levels.

HighlightCam Social Review

HighlightCam Social Review

Feb 7, 2012

I’ll admit that the last time I did any sort of video editing it involved a television, two VHS players, a DVD player and a CD player. I have no idea how I got it to work, but it was fun and the results were amazing. Since then I have not done anything fancy with my videos or pictures, not due to lack of want, but lack of time, resources, and ability. When I heard of HighlightCam Social, I was excited to see what it could do.

HighlightCam Social allows users to select videos, pictures, music and visual effects to create movies on their phones. HighlightCam selects the best scenes from the video based on what’s desired be it people, action, voice or a balance of all three. The user can select music, colorize the video, rearrange the visual selections and set its length and quality. HighlighCam then composes a video based on user preferences.

HighlightCam really does seem to create videos based on the best scenes available. To test this I selected about five minutes of video which contained sections of silence, me making a fool of myself with random noises and my four-month old daughter laughing at me. I wanted a video montage of my daughter’s laughs with none of my crazy antics or any ear piercing silence. To my amazement, HighlightCam did it. The video contains only clips of my daughter. What’s more it only took me about five minutes to select all the video, pick visual effects, and set my options.

I have one minor and two major complaints about HighlightCam. One, it takes a very long time for the video to be created. A one minute video composition took 26 minutes to create. Not only did it take 26 minutes but the video had to be uploaded then downloaded to view which brings me to my minor complaint. Creating videos eats away at data plans. To save data I was on a wireless network, which could explain the 26 minutes.

Major complaint number two, credits. Credits cost on average $0.20 (new accounts come with 10 credits). The movies I made cost three credit each and the still picture montage cost one credit. In all a movie cost 30 minutes and $0.60 to create. Thankfully credits are refundable if the the results were undesirable (assuming the movie has not been saved to the gallery).

I am torn about HighlightCam. I am impressed with the results; I love the videos that were made. The app is easy to use, creates decent quality video and accurately selects the great clips but I am not sure it’s worth the time it takes to create the movie or the continued use of the credit system. A free download and 10 free credits makes it worth trying, that’s for sure. I recommend users try it out to see if it fits their needs.

Clip Ninja Review

Clip Ninja Review

Feb 6, 2012

I love my phone; it’s with me everywhere I go. To be honest though, I am the world’s slowest phone keyboard typist. This is fine until I make a mistake and delete an entire email, long text, or awkwardly long URL; ten minutes wasted. Since installing Clip Ninja the amount of time I have saved retyping is immeasurable. Even if my typing speed never increases, I can still save precious time.

Clip Ninja keeps a record of everything typed on a phone in any application. The user can then copy the data to the clipboard and easily paste it elsewhere. Sounds pretty basic, right? There is more. Clip Ninja allows users to save snippets as “favorites,” filter messages by application, editing and create entries, and has unique sharing option. To top it all off, Clip Ninja gives the user complete control over security. No need to worry about passwords or personal information being stored on the phone or elsewhere.

Clip Ninja has an intuitive user interface and is quick and responsive but what really makes it a truly amazing app is it’s security features. The user has complete control over which applications Clip Ninja records from. The blacklist feature allows the Clip Ninja to ignore specified apps, like banking apps. Additionally the user has the ability to manually delete specific entries or set the program to clear its history automatically. Security is enhanced by only storing history natively; Clip Ninja does not even request Internet permissions upon installation.

When I think “what would improve Clip Ninja?” I do not come up with much in terms of functionality. The program runs smoothly and I have not encountered a single glitch.

Overall this app is amazing. The amount of time and frustration saved in the first day of use was well worth the purchase. How much is your time worth?