The Daily App: Incredibooth -- Nostalgic Photos On Demand
Incredibooth brings the photo booth into the mobile and digital age, in an app that makes it easy to recreate those nostalgic strips of pictures.
Smartphones have largely replaced digital cameras as the photo-capture device of choice for most, but there's still something nostalgic about old-school photo booths and those little picture strips. Sure, you can simulate the look with separate photo filters and frame apps, but Incredibooth makes it easy to simulate the actual booth and bring the look into the digital age.
What's the App?
Incredibooth, available for $1 for iOS devices, is the latest offering by the folks at Hipstamatic, the wildly popular photo app that lets you apply a number of filters to iPhone snapshots for trendy retro-tinged look. Incredibooth expands that concept, letting you assemble shots into a four-pack strip of images, which you can upload to a number of photo storage sources or share via social media. You can share a single snap or the entire photo-strip.
The appeal of apps like Incredibooth -- and its related cousins Hipstamatic and Instagram -- is how their filters can transform relatively mundane and less-than-perfect iPhone shots into something artful and, yes, hip. To that end, Incredibooth comes loaded initially with what it calls a "Cowboy Photo Booth" with four filter effects, as well as a "Super Fly" booth with more filters as well. The app offers extra booths and filters, which are available through in-app purchases at a price of about $1 per booth.
You'll Want It If...
There's a vocal contingent of photographers who disdain smartphone photography and especially apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic for making once difficult optical effects easy to create digitally. If you're one of these, you'll hate Incredibooth for taking a fun, social aspect of past photographic culture and adapting it to the mobile age. But, if you love Instagram, Hipstamatic and the creative possibilities of having an iPhone in your pocket, then Incredibooth will be up your alley, since it essentially takes the Instagram principle and applies to digital photo strips.
The photo booth aspect of the app does promote a fun social aspect to picture-taking and taps into a large vein of nostalgia, and it's nice to see a solid equivalent of it for mobile devices. It's simply a lot of fun, and the kitschy interface makes it easy for anyone to pick it up and join in.
However, paying $1 for a handful of filters causes the novelty to wear off fast. Other filters can be added and bought in-app, but when compared to free filters found in rival app Instagram, the cost can add up. You'll likely want to be a dedicated iPhotographer to invest in this app, because otherwise its charms will wear thin after the initial rush.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
The biggest competition is Instagram, the massively popular free photo app with a larger array of photo filters. Used with one of the many photo-frame apps out there, pictures can be arranged into groups and vignettes easily -- and with a lot more filters to choose from at a much more competitive price. Free is pretty hard to compete with.
If you want the photo booth aspect of the app and can do without the retro photo filters, PocketBooth, developed by Project Box and available for $1 for iOS, works just as well. It also connects with services that can print out your photo strip, turning a digital memory into a physical artifact perfect for pinning to a bulletin board or locker -- just like in the good old days. ♦
Categories: Photography | The Daily App