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!’ www.crazy.camera
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.
- 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
- Only runs on iOS
2. The name: Horizon - ‘Capture horizontally, always’ www.horizon.camera
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.
- 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
- 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’ www.filterzilla.camera
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.
- 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”
- 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’ www.alleyoop.camera
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
- 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
- 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