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Slideways Review: Photo Streams In Your Dock

Jumpster, the first physics puzzler from the folks at G5 Entertainment, is now available from the app Slideways from Khaitu is a neat new way of viewing photographs from a variety of sources.  Though there isn’t much fuss or pazzazz about Slideways, it does a simple job and does it well, just how we like it.

Slideways Pros:

– Plenty of options

– Simple design

– Easy to use

Slideways Cons:

– Could do with more transition options

Here at AppSmile, we like photographs a lot, so to have an app like Slideways that lets you view slideshows of your favorite pictures while your iPhone sits in a dock on your desk is great. Users can view photographs from the photo library stored on their iPhone. Just add them by tapping them, it’s so easy. Add more at a later time if you like or set up more than one mini library of, say, one for the children and one for pets. You can add photos from any Flickr user or by any Flickr tag. You can also do exactly the same with Picasa users or tags as well. Of course, you can use multiple tags within the same stream if you like. Add a combined stream of Flickr and Picasa Explore too.  For even more individual tastes you can add an RSS stream from your favorite photo website or even add a website itself.  We’re not sure how many different photo streams Slideways lets you set up, but with all the above options you’re not going to run out of choice any time soon.

Khaitu has done a really nice job designing the app. It looks professional and while it doesn’t have any fancy gimmicks it does look good.

Further options allow altering the slide time and the transition period. Photo streams can be set on loop or not and a play and pause button can be set to pop up when you tap the screen in the middle of the slideshow. Switch on the Ken Burns effect and the slideshow zooms in to a section of the current photo, a really nice effect. Of course, if you want to see what time it is when your photographs are scrolling through a slideshow on your desk, you can enable that option too.

All in all a nice little app from Khaitu that lets you look at a lot of your favorite photo streams all in one place. A must for photography fans and one that we can give 5-Dimples to.

What PhotoShop Mobile Wishes It Had Been

ArtStudio, a terrific new drawing and painting app from Lucky Clan, is now available from the app store. While many app store drawing apps allow you to sketch a rudimentary drawing or add some effects to your photos, ArtStudio blows these away by providing a ton of tools to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, while maintaining a simple-to-use, unobtrusive interface. This is what PhotoShop Mobile wishes it had been.

ArtStudio Pros:

– Unique line smoothing algorithm

– 25 types of brush strokes

– Real-time settings preview

– 6 levels of undo/redo

– Support for up to 5 layers

– Has as much in its terrific tools and execution as it is in its intuitive interface

ArtStudio Cons:

– None as of this review

While we can all agree that few people really consider the iDevice to be the ideal platform for touching up photos or creating works of art given its diminutive size, Lucky Clan aims to prove the doubters wrong and it’s hard to argue with their impressive offering. Utilizing advanced mathematics, including a line smoothing algorithm developed specifically for this app, ArtStudio aims to provide basic functionality for time-wasting scribblers, as well as an arsenal of advanced options for the seasoned professional artist.

ArtStudio includes three drawing modes: free draw with and without smoothing, and line drawing mode. There are 25 types of brush strokes, such as pencil, eraser, paintbrush, smudge, fill, tube, airbrush, and more, each with up to 8 adjustable settings and real-time preview of any changes your make. There are 6 levels of undo/redo, unlimited zoom, multiple filters, support for up to 5 layers offering features like duplicate, reorder, merge, and transparency settings, customizable color swatches, export/import/save/e-mail for pictures, drawing tutorials, and much more. Chances are that whatever you’re looking for in a mobile drawing app, ArtStudio has it in spades. If you’re an artist on the go, or even someone who likes to dabble a bit, you owe it to yourself to give ArtStudio a shot.

The interface is super clean and very simple-to-use. Tapping in the left and right upper corners will undo and redo, respectively. A pinching motion activates zoom and you can pan by dragging two fingers. Tapping the bottom right corner brings up the toolbar. The first three icons in the toolbar are your brushes, your colors, and your layers. Tapping on these brings up your brush selections, your simple colors, and your active layers. Holding your finger on these brings up various brush-related parameters, an in-depth color palette, and layer support options, such as adding, deleting, merging, duplicating, and clearing, as well as visibility levels. The toolbar also contains icons for color/lighting effects, saving/importing/exporting, quick access to tutorials, and app specific options such as offset drawing, mode selection, and activating the shake menu, which brings up 100% zoom, clear layer, and undo options while drawing for even faster selection. The beauty of this app is as much in its terrific tools and execution as it is in its intuitive interface. We’re clearly impressed by this app and feel that it holds its own against other popular apps like Brushes. The introduction of the iPad gives ArtStudio a platform upon which to shine brightly, though it’s just as slick and useful on the iPod or iPhone. Offering plenty more value than its $3.99 would indicate, you can’t go wrong with ArtStudio, a 5-Dimple masterpiece.


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