I love 360° Panoramas. I used to create QuickTime VRs back in the day. I still like to use them in my digital publishing documents for tablets. What I never expected to have was an easy way to create them directly on my iPhone or iPad. That’s where 360 Panorama comes in. This App is an interactive 360° panorama creation tool right on your device.
Simply bring up the App and you get a grid of the world around you to align on. Tap to snap the 1st shot and then simply turn left or right a little and the next shot gets taken automatically. Just keep turning until you captured the entire scene or until you stop the capture. The App will automatically stich the scene together and render it.
You can either output a rendered 360° to the cloud and share it with friends via email, Twitter or Facebook or your can export a flattened pano to the camera roll or email. If something gets in the way, sadly there is no way to edit it out. You’ll either have to take the shot over again or start over. Of course on a flattened version you can edit it in your favorite editing App such as Photoshop and clone out the thing that got in the way.
Here’s a sample one I did in Copenhagen on the way to my event. As you can see my buddy Jason walked through one of the shots.
This is amazing technology for the very low cost of entry. You can create good looking panos in the matter of a couple of minutes. I’d like to see a “re-take” button on the interace, but otherwise it’s hard to find things to complain about.
I have reviewed quite a few different portfolio Apps here and even though there are a couple that I use regularly now, I wouldn’t call either one “perfect” so therefore I’m always on the lookout for a new one. Portfolio Pro is the New kid on the block and it made a splashy appearance on the App Store this past Friday. I downloaded it and gave it a spin over the weekend. At this point it’s pretty easy for me to know right off the bat if a portfolio App is going to be a winner or not.
What I like…
Portfolio Pro is customizable and brandable. This means you can easily add your own logo and customize the typeface. There’s a pretty slick screen saver feature that you can designate which photos float by (Ken Burns Effect) when you’re not in a particular gallery. Like most other apps in this category, you can create multiple galleries. You can import from the device’s camera roll/albums, Dropbox (a must for me) or Flickr. You can easily move the images around in the order you want. You can also choose to show or hide the image titles/filenames. I like the fact that you can BATCH import. It seems the fastest of all the ones I’ve tried in importing my images from Dropbox. It’s also nice to have some themes to choose from, yet still be able to customize them to what you want with colors and fonts. The App supports images and movies. You can either flip through the images manually or have it play a slideshow of any of your galleries. Lastly it’s probably one of the easiest to use! Some of these Apps leave me scratching my head on how various features work. However, I had no problem getting up and running in Portfolio Pro within a matter of minutes.
What could be better?…
Although it meets my first criteria in that it can import from Dropbox, it currently lacks the ability to “sync” with dropbox. My workflow is to publish my galleries “Collections” from Lightroom to folders on Dropbox. When I update a Collection in Lightroom and press the Publish button it updates the folder on dropbox adding/removing images as necessary. I would like to see Portfolio Pro “sync” with these folders so that I don’t have to manually import the new images each time and then have to remember which ones should be deleted. Minimal Folio seems to be the only App that I’ve seen so far that does this. The current transition between images is a “Flipshow” and while this is nice, I’d like a simple cross dissolve as an option. I’d also like to see the ability to add music to the slideshows/galleries the way Portfolio for iPad does. Ideally the ability to pick a different song/playlist for each gallery. Lastly, although I show my portfolio most of the time on my iPad, there are times I do whip out my iPhone to show someone a quick image. Once again I’m spoiled by Minimal Folio not only having an iPad version but also an iPhone version. Best of all they sync via Dropbox.
The Bottom Line
Portfolio Pro for iPad has potential and it’s certainly as good as many of the others that are out there. However, it still lacks a few things that keep it from being my top pick. Looking forward to the next feature update to see what gets added. The App that is the easiest to keep up to date with my latest photography will most likely be the one I use the most.
The Learn the Creative Suite with Terry White App was just updated with a New Video Player and sharing buttons. While these are a just a couple of minor enhancements, having the new video player is a big improvement in quality and time to stream the videos. As always you can still “Star” your favorites for downloading and offline viewing.
I travel internationally for a living and therefore I need to know which countries require a Visa and more importantly the requirements. Keeping up with this information is next to impossible because it changes without notice. Luckily there’s a great App called Travisa Passport and Visa Service. Travisa is a company that specializes in Visa and Passport services and while you can certainly use their service, you don’t have to just to use the App. Recently I traveled to Brazil and I already had my Brazil Visa, but then I wondered if I’d need one for Argentina or Chile. A quick check of the App revealed that I didn’t. However, in the case that I did need one the complete information would be there including the necessary items required to apply and how to apply. If you do use Travisa’s services then you can also use the App to track the status of your Application. The App automatically checks for updates when you launch it and if there is an update it downloads right into the App so that you always have the latest requirement information.
It’s also good for US Passport info. If you are about to renew or add passport pages to an existing passport, the Travisa App can show you those requirements as well.
The App allows you to review requirements directly within the App or email them to yourself or anyone else that needs them.
If you travel internationally, this is a must have App! It’s a Universal App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.