APP OF THE DAY: EyeEm review (Android/iPhone/Windows Phone)
There is no shortage of social networks and no shortage of photos apps. There's also a growing mass of apps that punch the two things together.
The name on everyone's lips is Instagram, naturally, but that's not the only route if you're looking to funk up your photos and share them with a community of like-minded funksters.
Today we're looking at an alternative that's pretty clever and a lot of fun to play with, whether you become part of that community or not.
EyeEm is an interesting app that lets you take, share and discover. It's principally powered by the EyeEm app, which we're most interested in, but it's worth exploring what the whole EyeEm word has on offer.
So, EyeEm lets you snap photos and edit them with a couple of swipes. This is the first interesting thing about EyeEm, as once you've taken your picture (or simply opened one from your gallery) you can swipe left or right to apply different filters.
Satisfied you have the right vingage/retro/whatever look to your pic, you can then frame it by swiping up or down. Essentially, it means you can create cool pictures with a couple of swipes, rather than switching through menus and so on as other photo apps demand.
That's all fine, but the thing that makes EyeEm different is that you can then add text. Not just a description, but a tagging with choice words. Cleverly, these are suggested based on location, so snap a shot in a shopping mall and you'll have suggestions such as "shopping" or "hanging out", as well as the locations around you – the shops, cafes, etc.
This means you can create something nice and unique both in terms of the visuals and the text and it all takes just a few seconds. No fiddling with menus or boxes or keyboards.
Once done, you can share your image to other networks, or just let it go into the EyeEm community. It will be part of your EyeEm collection, rather like Instagram, and other EyeEm users can view, like, follow and share.
Sharing is something that EyeEm does pretty well, with four icons ranging across the bottom offering Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and FourSquare, so you can share to any of those services with a single click.
The thing we really like about the app is the way the wording is dumped on the image in the app. It looks great, but unfortunately this styling doesn't continue though the EyeEm world. We'd love to be able to fix those words in place, because they look cool, but the effect is lost when you share to Facebook and it just becomes an image caption.
Whether you choose to use the EyeEm community side of things is really immaterial. What we like about the app is how quick and easy it is to customise and add a description before sharing. It isn't unique, but it's a nice clean experience.
Outside the creating and sharing of images, there is the rest of the community to explore. It's really easy to find things around you and you can opt to receive notifications when someone else from the EyeEm community is doing the same thing.
It's a little abstract, in reality, perhaps a reflection of the small community size and the likelihood is that you'll then be informed that someone you don't know is doing something somewhere else.
However, EyeEm will find your friends and alert you when they join the community, making it easy to start building up your own little network within EyeEm. Beyond that, there are some great photos and - depending on your location - you can flick through and see what people have been getting up to locally.
Then there's the EyeEm website too. You can always head to EyeEm.com to find and explore, seek out new people, comment, like, share and so on.
If you're the sort of person who likes sharing images of where you are and telling the world what you're doing, then it's well worth giving it a go, even if just for the app's quick options.