Even though Instagram has taken over most of the mobile photo-filter market, there are other options available for more abstract or cleaner photo filters. One of the latest additions to this growing market of iOS applications is Analog by Realmac Software, the developers of Clear, Rapidweaver, and other reputable apps on both the Mac and iOS platforms. Analog was previously released for Mac, though popular demand brought the app and its filters to iOS. But with so many photo filter apps on the App Store, is Analog ($0.99) worth purchasing for the iPhone?
Taking photos with Analog is an absolute breeze. When you first launch the app, you’re instantly greeted with a camera view. The camera view has a line down the center for easy centering and framing of your photographs. When you’re done shooting, you can tap on your photos from your Camera Roll that is displayed above the Camera view. Once you tap a photo, you’re instantly brought to a three-by-three grid of filters. You can choose to save newly edited photos to your Camera Roll or share it with your friends via Twitter, Facebook or email. If you choose, you can open your edited photo in another app.
One issue I had with snapping photos with Analog is the fact that it gives your photos a square, Polaroid-like aspect ratio. If you’ve ever used Instagram, you know what I’m talking about. This means that you cannot shoot landscape photos and if you import a photo into the app, you’ll have to crop it down to size.
In terms of photo filter selection, Analog offers a limited range of options with only a handful of filters. However, all nine of these filters are high-quality and generally look good. In fact, the monochrome filter ‘Inky’ is by far the best monochrome filter I’ve seen on a mobile app.
Even though some of these filters may be a bit too bright for my personal preference, they’ve impressed me with their clean look and style. When applying filters to your photos, they do not distort or take away any visible quality from the images. Unlike other photography apps I’ve tested in the past, Analog’s filters haven’t added unattractive and unwanted fragments or grain to any of my photographs. That’s a real plus.
Both the user interface and user experience offered by Analog are truly stellar. From shooting photos to editing photos to saving them to your camera roll, Realmac Software has done an excellent job of making the app pretty and easy to use. You can tell from the icons and transitions that the developers have taken many design cues from Clear, Realmac’s popular to-do list app, and incorporated them in a way fit for a photography app.
All in all, I think Analog is a worthy addition to any mobile photo enthusiast’s app collection. Even though the app’s collection of filters may not be my weapon of choice, I’ve yet to find a monochrome filter that beats Analog’s ‘Inky’ filter. The app’s interface makes taking photos fun and fast, and you can easily switch between editing and shooting photos with a simple swipe. As of now, Analog is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store, though the app’s price will rise soon after the intro period.
We’ve also put together an interview with Realmac Software’s Dan Counsell about Analog. You should give it a read.