If you’ve been following me anywhere – AddictiveTips included – you may have guessed that I am a huge fan of photography apps for the iPhone. It’s not only because of my interest in photography, but also owing to the fact that the capable cameras on iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S get really complemented by all the good apps out there in the iTunes App Store. AddictiveTips’ archives are full of brilliant photo apps, including the likes of Magic Hour and IncrediBooth, disposable camera replicas like Dotti, and Mosaic & Collage makers like Fotoyaki. Then there are feature rich photo editors like Pho.to Lab and Luminance, which let you tweak about any aspect of your photos, and capable camera replacement apps such as King Camera and TapShot, which can change the entire scope of how you handle your iPhone’s already-pretty-decent camera. What’s more, this is merely the tip of the iceberg, as the App Store is teeming with several other alternatives, many of which might be even better.
In such a case, one is hard pressed to come across an app that would pale others in comparison, so I was skeptical when I stumbled across the recently-gone-free aremaC. However, after having played with the app for one full day, I’m nothing short of impressed. The sheer power of customization that aremaC (yes, it is Camera written in reverse) brings to photo editing presets, and that, too, to a mobile device, makes it worthy of being your instant favorite. Read past the jump to find out what makes this app so unique.
Even in all modesty, aremaC is the most comprehensive camera replacement and/or photo editing app that I have seen to date. The concept of this app revolves around presets, and before you go sarcastic with “how many presets they could’ve possibly incorporated,” get this: the presets are infinite (virtually, of course). The app comes with a very modest set of presets of its own, but supplements even the choosiest of users with a massive online library which is populated by the users of aremaC. Cannot find anything to your liking even in all that? No problem, aremaC offers a highly powerful preset creator with a plethora of options and settings that you can adjust, and even lets you upload your preset to the online library for others’ benefit.
When the app is first launched, you might be taken aback by how plain it looks. You get a large Welcome to aremaC banner splashed across the screen, accompanied by on-screen controls for flash, front-facing camera, exposure, and locks for white balance, focus and exposure. Bottom right of the viewfinder hosts the zoom controls (up to 6.0x digital zoom), while the bottom bar contains (from left to right) media library, effects bar, camera shutter, help menu and capture mode switch (image or video). I personally recommend going through the help section at least once to familiarize yourself; otherwise, pull out the effects bar to experience the true power of this app.
In the effects panel, you get preset management, choice between various aspect ratios, preset editor, online library and preset creator. You may scroll through the preconfigured filters and view the changes in real time, edit either, browse the online library for various others, or even create your own.
The preset development and editing possibilities are enormous, and quite frankly, I cannot even begin to describe all the tools that are there at your disposal to play with. aremaC offers a huge line-up of basic, elementary, and somewhat unique filters, including 1D-Box, Alpha Tool, Average, Distortion, Gamma, Gain, Time Delay, Curves, and much, much more. What’s more, the parameters for all these filters can further be tweaked to your liking. Beyond that, interactive and parameterized mask-generators like Frame, Photo, Polygon, Text, Vignette etc, are also offered, making up the package as close to perfect as it can get. Add to the fact that aremaC supports all these effects and filters for videos as well, processes full resolution images (videos are capped at VGA resolution, but for good reason), captures all EXIF and GPS data, and lets you edit previously taken photos, and you get, perhaps literally, the most comprehensive camera app that I’ve ever seen.
As with all good things, there usually is some catch. aremaC is no different. While the app functions superbly and delivers beautifully, it will only work on devices capable of running iOS 5.0 or higher, and will not support the original iPad (iPad is fine). This is because of the sheer toll it takes on the processor, and indeed, after having tested it on iPhone 4S, I’d rather not venture with this app even on the iPhone 3GS, even though it’s officially supported. That apart, aremaC is one truly amazing app that might redefine how you approach photography and image editing on your iDevice. Given that it just went free yesterday, and that this article doesn’t even come close to unraveling the true potential offered by aremaC, I urge you to take the plunge, and see for yourself what makes this app so unique.