You Need to Check Out These 'Dot-Camera' Apps

camera app If your phone doesn't double as a camera, you're living in the 1990's. Sharing pictures via your phone is just as popular as sharing a conversation -- as in talking, with words.

So it's no surprise that app developers are finding new ways to add pizzazz to those camera pics. A handful of these apps reside on a 'dot-camera' (.camera) domain. It's a unique way to distinguish a brand name and immediately tell people what it is: a camera.

Name.Kitchen editors tested and reviewed four of these "not-com" apps to see if their features lived up to their fun names.

1. The name: Crazy Camera - ‘Look at Life with a Twist!


Why the name?: The camera turns boring pictures into "crazy" looking ones -- including crazy colors, crazy filters, crazy distortions and crazy tiles.

Who'd dig it?: Creative photo fanatics who are tired of the same old filters.

Coolest features:

  • It’s free
  • Unique filter options with millions of possible combinations
  • Very user friendly
  • Social sharing options on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and YouTube

Frustrating features:

  • Only runs on iOS


2. The name: Horizon - ‘Capture horizontally, always’


Why the name?: The camera films and captures horizontal landscapes in any orientation.

Who'd dig it?: Horizon solves the annoying 'black bars on videos' problem, useful for people who take lots of videos on their smartphone.

Coolest features:

  • Captures horizontal images with one easy tap
  • Can apply filters
  • Option to “flex” or lock an image
  • Adapts to stills and video
  • Links directly to Instagram and Facebook messenger, with options to open on personal applications
  • Saves pictures directly to phone
  • Tilt to zoom option, a feature unique to the app
  • Slow motion recording option

Frustrating features:

  • Intended for Instagram, so it only saves pictures in square form
  • Videos appear shakier than built-in iOS camera

3. Name: FilterZilla - ‘Images with Bite’


Why the name?: It's a 'monstrous' take on generic filters. The camera captures images with a Godzilla-like number of filter and editing options.

Who'd dig it?: Photographers looking to add some pizazz to their mobile photos.

Coolest features:

  • 56 available filters different from Instagram
  • Photo Editor includes stickers, enhancement, orientation, cropping, light adjustment, draw, text, redeye, teeth whiten, blemish fixer and a meme creator
  • ‘Fleksy’ and ‘gif keyboard’ incorporated
  • Social-sharing options
  • Great filter names like “See Me” and “Lioness”

Frustrating features:

  • Picture-saving feature is complicated, no visible way to save to camera roll. Prompts to send as a text, email or straight to Facebook and/or Twitter
  • Slightly buggy
  • Unclear what the "+" button in the bottom right corner does


4. The name: AlleyOop - ‘Pass and Shoot’


Why the name?: 'Alleyoop' is a basketball term that means “a high pass caught by a leaping teammate who tries to dunk the ball before landing,” hence the tag line 'pass and shoot.' This is a camera that you share with friends, wherever they are in the world. The app works in three steps: 1) take turns taking private pictures until the “roll” runs out; 2) “develop” the roll (pictures are only at this point revealed to everyone involved); and 3) share pictures on social media

Who'd dig it?: Ideal for friends who live far away from each other and want to have some fun, with a cool "reveal of the roll" at the end. Also fun for friends attending a party; e.g. bachelor/bachelorette, wedding, birthday

Coolest features:

  • Brings back the fun and element of surprise of a disposable camera
  • Unique way to bring a group of people together by sharing pictures and moments
  • Allows for cool filters

Frustrating features:

  • No notifications to alert when it's your turn to take a picture
  • Able to “snatch” a turn unlimited amount of times -- meaning, one person could take all of the pictures in the roll