Week 24: Apps

The last few months have been pretty hectic and I haven't published as much as I should or want to. In fact, the last weekly roundup was back in April for week 15. But I'm getting back on track, so here's a list of the cool stuff I came across this week.

SKWRT App

SKWRT is an iPhone app that lets you remove distortions and straighten your photographs. It came out a few weeks ago and it's amazing. It does an amazing job and the interface is beautiful and intuitive. And it really does make a difference to the photographs.

Here's how the developers explain it:

Being photographers and Instagram-addicts ourselves, we dreamt of an application that could fix the one thing that still made our photos look like snapshots - distorted lines due to the wide-angle lens in most of today’s mobile phones. So we went and straightened things out. You’re welcome.

And thank you indeed. I love this app. Check out the video:

You can get SKWRT in the App Store for US$1.99.

Photography at WWDC

I watched Apple's keynote at WWDC with interest. I'm excited in general as an Apple fan about what they presented and I'm sure we'll see amazing stuff from developers taking advantage of the new possibilities.

But what struck me the most was the section on photograpy. It's clear that Apple is serious about photography. What isn't clear is if they're only serious about photography as it applies to the general public or if they're serious about serious photographers. I know, too many "serious".

But seriously, what's happening with Aperture?

Back in March I wrote an article where I shared my wishlist for the next version of Aperture. To my surprise, it turned out to be an extremely popular post. It still gets a fair bit of visits from people searching for Aperture 4.

Anyway, I digress. My point is that at the time I truly believed an update to Aperture was imminent. Then I watched the keynote. I felt it was clear Apple was moving in a different direction with their new Photos app they're building. More towards appealing to the general user than to photographers. I couldn't help but feel it was the end of Aperture.

Then I read this article by Scott Davenport, a fellow Aperture user (who by the way wrote an awesome book about his Aperture Workflow). He took the time to go through the other presentations and it looks like Apple is indeed pretty serious about photography. If you're interested in this go read Scott's article.

After seeing what they showed developers outside of the keynote, I don't think Aperture is dead. OK, maybe the Aperture we know and love is, but what comes after could be even better. I have no idea what it is, maybe a pro version of the Photos app, maybe it is Aperture 4, maybe something else. As long as it maintains backwards compatibility and doesn't loose any of the asset management power Aperture has, I think it could be good.

MacSparky's OmniFocus Perspectives

If you use OmniFocus, go check out David's article on how he uses Perspectives. There's a lot to learn there.

Instapaper's new channel on IFTTT

Finally!!!

I used and loved Instapaper for years. It's one of the first apps I bought for my iPhone 3G. But sometime ago I switched to Pocket because I couldn't use Instapaper as a trigger in IFTTT, which was possible with Pocket.

I have an IFTTT recipe that sends me an email every time I favourite an article. I just did it with Instapaper as the trigger and I'm moving back.

You can read more detail on the Instapaper blog. I'm so happy about this one.