Free photo app Instagram just got better

iglogo.jpgThe free and pop­u­lar instant pho­to­graphy shar­ing app for iOS, Ins­tagram, just pushed an update through — and it’s a nifty little update too!

Aside from some bug fixes, two new fil­ters were added in the 1.0.7 update;

Walden
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Hefe
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And one has been retrieved from the cut­ting room floor after a bit of a pop­u­lous revolt;

PopRock­et
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I love the fil­ter upgrades, but the app upgrade didn’t go off without a hitch.

In my case, Ins­tagram lives on my iPad, which I use for post-pro­duc­tion edit­ing and shar­ing of my pho­tos. I like to think of it as my iPad Dark­room.

And this update to Ins­tagram had me wor­ried for a moment — it wouldn’t read any images from my photo roll or photo albums.

But after a full shut­down and restart, whatever data­base issues it had seemed to clear up, and I’m hap­pily play­ing in the dark­room again.

iOS devices seem to be the most pro­lif­ic when it comes to mobile digit­al dark­room apps, for now. I’m think­ing that once more developers get busy work­ing on the oth­er devices, there’s going to be a whole lot more awe­some pho­to­graphy hap­pen­ing out there… and I can’t wait!
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Havin’ a ball

Some­times it great just to kick back and play ball with the dogs. Espe­cially when it’s -20 some­thing out­side and the little Daschunds just don’t enjoy play­ing out­side. Yes, they like their squeaky balls.

Red Ball FTW

As you can tell, I’ve been play­ing with pho­tos in my iPad Dark­room. This shot was taken with my Panason­ic FZ-30, expor­ted from the SD card to the iPad using Apple’s Cam­era Con­nect­or Kit. There, I cropped it using Pho­to­Pal. Then loaded it into Cam­era+ for a bit of fil­ter­ing (Tail­fins fil­ter) and a nice ‘film look’ bor­der.

Then, shared on flickr and on #mostly365, and Cam­era+ page.

Two words I thought I’d never see together: Library & Groupon

I must say I’m rather proud of the Edmon­ton Pub­lic Lib­rary — my loc­al lib­rary. They were one of the first in Canada to:

  • offer free Wi-Fi to mem­bers,
  • jump into social media,
  • equip branches with self-check­out barscan­ners and RFID chip auto­mated checkin,
  • allow online holds and media reser­va­tions,
  • cre­ate a mobile lib­rary app,
  • offer digit­al deliv­ery of ‘loaned’ mater­i­al.

And now they’re tak­ing advant­age of Groupon to offer dis­counts on mem­ber­ship renew­als.

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dealdeets.jpgThis last ini­ti­at­ive is just anoth­er step the lib­rary is tak­ing to remain rel­ev­ant, and stim­u­late mem­ber­ship by ‘being where the users are’, while magazines, news­pa­pers and oth­er forms of tra­di­tion­al media are being chal­lenged by mobile inter­net tech­no­lo­gies.

At the close of the offer, it looks like just under two thou­sand people bought in to the concept and bought $6.00 lib­rary cards — a steal, actu­ally for all the ser­vices offered.

But mine can’t be the only for­ward-think­ing lib­rary in Canada…got an example of your pub­lic lib­rary embra­cing tech? Write about it in the com­ments!

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Engine Start

Little bit of crop­ping, little bit of col­our pro­cessing, little bit of Tilt Shift. All done on the iPad. I used Cam­era­Bag, Tilt­Shift­Gen, and Pho­to­Pal.

Fun with iOS apps 😉

US Space Shuttle Program Commemorated [Video]

This has to be one of the best col­lec­tion of images of the US Space Shuttle Pro­gram any­where — built into a video that describes the pro­gram, tri­umphs and fail­ures. If you’ve got 45 minutes to spare, it’s worth a watch!

Canadian Newspapers get an iPad App

Head.jpgEarli­er this week sev­er­al Cana­dian news­pa­pers sim­ul­tan­eously launched a free iPad applic­a­tion focused on provid­ing selec­ted daily con­tent from the print edi­tion of the news­pa­per.

An iPa­per?

Basic­ally, the news­pa­per app really acts like Flip­board or Pulse in that it reformats the head­lines, ini­tial para­graph and per­haps a photo, for easy brows­ing, by sec­tion of the news­pa­per (News, Sports, etc). And, of course, there’s advert­ising — what news­pa­per would be com­plete without it? Hap­pily it’s cur­rently lim­ited to smal­ler ads in the story, or full page ones at the end of stor­ies.

Reads like a news­pa­per

Tap on a story on a main sec­tion page and the page reformats to dis­play the entire story and images. Present­a­tion can be tweaked a little bit by chan­ging the font size, or rotat­ing the ori­ent­a­tion of the device, but that’s it. Pages are arranged in columns, sim­il­ar to a news­pa­per lay­out, though on the iPad some stor­ies will span a few pages.

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Innov­a­tion? Per­haps.

Post­Me­dia, the developer of the applic­a­tion lists these as the main fea­tures of the app in their news release:

  • Heat Map – read­ers see and read “Stor­ies Around Me” and check out which stor­ies are most pop­u­lar in their neigh­bour­hoods and across the coun­try
  • My Art­icles – saves and stores art­icles that users want to read later
  • Social Media Tools – the abil­ity to com­ment live on stor­ies and share with friends through Face­book, Twit­ter and email
  • Integ­rated Video Play­er – read­ers can view a vari­ety of videos with­in art­icles
  • Photo Gal­lery – a wealth of high res­ol­u­tion pho­tos and inline photo gal­ler­ies

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For my money there are two neat fea­tures are My Art­icles, the abil­ity to ‘save’ an art­icle. Once you save a story it’s stored loc­ally on your device to be read later.
As well, there’s a rather inter­est­ing Heat Map of ‘pop­u­lar’ stor­ies where a map is dis­played with col­oured dots over­lay­ing your city — the ‘hot­ter’ the dot, the more that story was read in that area. I guess the intent is to show you what stor­ies are hot in your area; an idea that has poten­tial.

Likes

  • It’s free access to loc­al and nation­al news as cur­ated by a bon­ifide news organ­iz­a­tion in your city.
  • Poten­tial to be updated more often than the print edi­tion, and avail­able via your data con­nec­tion when you want to read it. You don’t have to go to the corner store to get the latest news.
  • Down­load the latest edi­tion for off­line view­ing.

Dis­likes

  • You don’t get the con­tent of the entire news­pa­per. Accord­ing to the developer, “… fea­ture cus­tom­ized news­pa­per con­tent pulled from the best of the web and print edi­tions as well as mobile spe­cif­ic con­tent. Read­ers can down­load, save, com­ment, inter­act and cus­tom­ize the con­tent, their way.”
  • No obvi­ous way to search the con­tent.
  • No way to print, or cut and paste con­tent — which is avail­able in the web edi­tions through the tools integ­rated in the browser.

Will I use it?

Occa­sion­ally. It won’t be my ‘go-to’ app to find out what’s hap­pen­ing in my com­munity, there are too many oth­er live social media sources that give me the ‘now’. But if I need some inde­pth ana­lys­is or insight, I’ll boot up the app and see if the news I’m look­ing for falls into ‘the best of the web and print edi­tions as well as mobile spe­cif­ic con­tent.’ selec­ted to be released to me for free.

Or maybe I’ll just Google it and see what the big G returns. It’s a tossup.[ad#Future Shop Post Attri­bu­tion]