14 Feb 2012
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App of the Week: Photosynth

This week’s app is very funky. Very funky indeed. 

I’m not really into photo apps because unless the camera and/or app can make up for my total lack of ability, there’s not a lot of point in me taking a picture to start with, let alone trying to do something with it.

But Microsoft’s Photosynth makes up for even my lack of talent. Available free on iOS (sorry, no Android app yet, nor, strangely, Windows Phone), Photosynth allows you to take panoramic photographs. Simply point your phone and tap to kick start a new photo; to add images, move your phone up, down, left, right - move in a circle if you like - and when you hear the beep hold still while it adds the next image. Keep going until you have included all the material you want. 

Once you have finalised the shot, you’ll be asked to stitch it together and then you can do what you please with it - share it to Facebook, email it somewhere, or show your client their new home in one single shot. 

The beauty of this app is that last bit - being able to show somebody an entire room or location in one go. You can even turn in a circle and show what a room looks like from any perspective. If you email the photo it will be flattened out into one long image - if you are showing someone on your phone, you simply swipe the image around in a circle. Great for builders, decorators, designers, or simply for showing off the new nursery or honeymoon suite.

Quick to download and install, I was impressed with the start up screen and simple how-to instructions. I have a real aversion to anything that hides the instructions ten layers deep in a help page that takes forever to find, or – even worse – just wants you to figure out how to do it by yourself. 

The end results are great too: nice, crisp, clear, reasonably good-resolution photos that even I was happy to show off.

Plus, if you take a shot you really like there is a special online platform where you can share it, and view others such as this one of the United Nations General Assembly Hall.  

With an average rating of four and a half stars on the app store, Photosynth is definitely worth checking out. 

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