All posts in “Photos”

With new tappable gestures, Tinder’s photos become more like Stories


Tinder today is rolling out a new navigational experience for users of its mobile application that’s designed to make it easier to move between profile photos and profile text. In the updated app, photos now take up more screen real estate – that is, they extend to the edge of your phone’s screen. The way you move between photos and profiles has changed too, as you now tap on different parts of the screen to navigate between the photos and the text.

Tinder is often credited with popularizing the “swipe to like” mechanism that now a number of apps – including those outside the dating space – have since adopted. In the app’s new navigation, however, swiping is taking a back seat. You can now move backward and forward between photos just by tapping instead. For example, to move to the next picture, you would tap on the right side of the screen; and to go back to the last photo, you’d tap on the left.

Meanwhile, a tap on the bottom of the photo will open up the user’s profile, allowing you to read their own text and see more information about how far away they are, their education, your shared connections, their top artists, Instagram feed, and other information.

The new design brings to mind social app Snapchat, which made gesture-based navigation a key part of its user experience. But more importantly, it seems to be Tinder’s way of embracing the popular “Story” format found on Snapchat, Instagram and elsewhere, given that users are now able to move through imagery with taps, not swipes. The format has become something of a standard on social apps today, with everyone from Facebook to Skype adopting tappable photo Stories.

But the change also means that the new Tinder app now makes user photos an even more prominent part of the experience of using Tinder – a move that means it will continue to be thought of as the ‘hot or not’ mobile app for dating. While Tinder’s photos-first mentality is part of its appeal, it may be also why it can’t shake its older reputation as a “hookup” app. Other dating app rivals are responding to Tinder’s positioning by focusing instead on relationships, as with Hinge, or on presenting a broader look at users’ profiles, as OK Cupid is doing with its photo grid and focus on questions.

In addition, now that Tinder’s interface feels more like a “Story,” it opens the door to the integration of video in the future, if Tinder wants to go that route.

Beyond being a new way to tweak the app’s design for ease of use, Tinder explains that the navigational change is also focused on under-the-hood updates that will allow the app to be more flexible when it comes to future design changes in the future. The development team re-engineered Tinder’s card stack with this new design, which will allow the company to leverage the new app architecture to experiment and iterate more quickly going forward, the company explains.

Notably, the team shifted away from Objective-C to Swift on iOS, which Tinder’s iOS Architect & Engineering Manager Garo Hussenjian says is “no longer the future of iOS development;” instead, “Swift is the present,” he notes.

The end result is that the architecture is leaner, the code is cleaner, and the new swipe experience is smoother, Hussenjian adds.

Tinder says the user interface changes will be rolling out starting today to all users worldwide.

Here’s how to take photos even when your phone is out of storage

Seeing this pop up on my phone makes me cringe.
Seeing this pop up on my phone makes me cringe.

Image: trevor boughton/Twitter

We’ve all been there. You get bombarded with “Storage Almost Full” notifications on your phone, but just keep rolling like the problem will magically fix itself. And then you hit that fateful moment: You try to snap a pic of that gorgeous vacation sunset and your phone says it literally can’t take one more picture.

There’s no time to start deleting everything, so you just don’t take the picture. Wrong. You life hack your way into the camera.

If you don’t actually want to pay for more storage and simply can’t get yourself to delete anything, here’s the move: All you have to do is take photos on some of your apps and save them to your phone.

My personal favorite app to use for this trick is Snapchat. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I already like to snap a lot of the things that I’m taking photos of anyway. So really, this method can make you more efficient even if your storage isn’t full. Here’s how you do it.

After you take a snap, there’s a little arrow over a bracket icon in the bottom lefthand corner of the screen. I took a snap at my desk and circled the “save” button in red in case you’re still confused.

Save away.

Save away.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

When you hit that button, whatever you snapped will instantly be saved to your phone’s library. This works for videos, too, not just photos. I’ve been making Snapchat my undercover camera for quite some time now, and it has saved me during so many vacations, concerts, and big sporting events. The trick is definitely worth trying.

Now that you get the gist, start using almost all of your favorite social media apps to take photos when your camera tries to tell you it’s impossible. Facebook has an in-app camera that lets you save shots to your phone. Slack is another quick fix. Just take a photo within the app and send it in a slack (even if it’s just in a message to yourself). When it loads in the message, just hold it until a menu pops up. Click “save image” and go find it in your library. 

Get in all of your other social apps and scope out how to take a photo in a pickle. Just be sure to allow all of your social apps access to your camera and microphone so you can actually take the photo or video in the first place.

If you actually want to get some storage back and take photos on your actual camera again, there’s a way. Here’s a guide to what you should delete first when looking for some extra room. But no matter what your storage is looking like, godspeed getting those pics! 

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Facetune maker’s newest app, Enlight Photofox, is a powerful image editor


Lightricks, the maker of the popular selfie-correcting app Facetune, is debuting a new photo-editing app today called Enlight Photofox. This is the second time that Lightricks has launched the next generation of an existing app as an entirely new, standalone application — a strategy that’s still somewhat rare on today’s App Store, outside of sequels to games, like Monument 2 or Candy Crush Soda Saga, for example.

Instead, traditional app makers are often expected to roll out upgrades to existing users indefinitely — at least, according to their apps’ user base. That’s not always fair, considering how much time and energy are put into some of their bigger upgrades — like entire redesigns, expanded feature sets or the launch of an iPad version, among other things.

A handful of developers have found ways to work around the App Store’s lack of paid upgrades, though. For instance, when Tweetbot released a new version of its Twitter app, it packaged both the old and new one as a “bundle,” which allowed it to upgrade existing customers to the new release through the “complete my bundle” feature.

Lightricks, on the other hand, has taken a different path.

When it launched its Facetune sequel last year, it also introduced a new business model for the company. While its original app is a $3.99 paid download without in-app purchases, Facetune 2 is a free download offering in-app purchases for individual features; and it offers a subscription option that provides unlimited access to all features and content.

Enlight Photofox, similarly, is the big upgrade to Lightricks’ existing app, Enlight.

The original app, by way of background, was Apple’s App of the Year for 2015, the No. 11 best-selling paid iOS app in 2016 and the recipient of an Apple Design Award in 2017.

In addition to a full suite of editing tools that come free with the base version of the new app, Photofox introduces a Photoshop-inspired layers system, which allows you to combine multiple photos, blending them and merging them along the way.

You can edit the individual layers, erase items from backgrounds, control the opacity of an image, transform the shape, size and perspective, flip layers vertically or horizontally, fill layers with colors or patterns and more.

Meanwhile, a new Darkroom feature gives you granular control over adjustments to things like tone, contrast and image details.

Some of Photofox’s tools come free, like those to define the canvas size, add vignettes and blurs, or mimic analog light, while others are paid, like those to heal defects or reshape objects,

Plus, Photofox ships with new content, like fonts, graphic elements, presets and more, which can be used with the images. This collection is available on subscription and will be updated periodically.

The new features and tools are designed to cater to more advanced users — as with Facetune 2. Though the free app is powerful enough to use on its own, you can opt to pay for full access to all the new features for $3.99 per month, or $19.99 per year. A lifetime purchase is available for $39.99, as well.

Until the launch of Facetune 2, Lightricks was only focused on selling paid units of Facetune and Enlight. Ahead of the shift to subscriptions, the company was making around $10 million a year in revenue. (It has sold 11 million paid units of its apps to date.)

“This shift [to subscriptions] is so far showing some exciting early data, with consumer LTVs [lifetime value] rising to as far as about an order of magnitude above the previous business models, enabling the company to build an even more robust and deep set of tools and technologies to service their customers’ creativity needs on mobile,” a Lightricks rep explained.

The company also says it expects to finish 2017 with a significant bump to revenue, but notes it’s too early to talk numbers. It’s planning to release more apps with the subscription business model in the future, too.

Enlight Photofox is a free download on the App Store.

Google Photos is making sharing pictures with friends even easier

Image: pete pachal/mashable

On Wednesday, Google announced several updates to the Photos app that will make sharing selfies, your trip to Machu Picchu, and that ridiculous sign you saw on the way to work even easier.

These features were first announced at Google’s I/O conference in May. Now we have even more information about the updates. A new feature called “suggested sharing,“ for instance, uses machine learning to automatically suggest who to share photos with based on your habits. 

Image: google

The app will also proactively search for photos to share by recognizing events like weddings and pre-selecting images and people. That means less endless scrolling for what to share, or who to share with. You can share directly in the app or via email or phone.

Image: google 

A new “shared library” feature allows users to let selected people see entire photo libraries, photos of specific people, or photos starting from a certain day. Future images added to the library will be automatically shared with members of the library.

Google Photos has been consistently launching great features, making it a preferred choice among users — the company boasts 500 million of them. These updates are rolling out across Android, iOS and the web over the next few weeks, so get ready to share.

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