Looking for even more control over your iPhone camera? Need a Pokémon Go replacement this summer? This week, we’ve got two apps that can help you step up your camera game, as well as keep you on your toes with a popular cat.
Halide is an app that lets you take the iPhone camera a step further — it gives you the DSLR-like features, without having to carry around a bulky device.
The iOS camera only provides basic editing options like cropping, and adding color filters. Halide, on the other hand, gives you advanced settings to capture a more powerful photo by focusing on detail before you snap a photo. It includes features like smart auto-focus and manual focus, along with full manual controls that let you adjust the ISO, exposure, and white balance. Its gesture-based interface has controls that can be customized to your liking after you start to get used to it.
While I do own a DSLR camera, I’ll admit that I’m still a beginner (correction: extreme beginner). I don’t often switch from automatic to manual, because otherwise I’d end up spending more time trying to figure out how to adjust the settings perfectly than taking a photo.
I assumed because it’s an app it would make the process of using the manual mode much easier. I learned the opposite — it definitely still requires background knowledge of how the settings themselves function to take quality photos.
While the app is very much for professionals, the controls are easy to use — tap on the icons or slide your finger on the bar at the bottom to make adjustments. When going through your gallery, you can put those Tinder skills to use by swiping right to add a photo to your favorites or left to delete it. You can add options like grid overlay and a built-in level, which helps to keep your photos straight.
The histogram is also a nice addition to help you find the right exposure and contrast, and Focus Peaking highlights what’s in focus in red. It’s also really convenient to adjust the shutter speed by swiping the right side of the screen up or down to the desired number.
If you’re a complete beginner who isn’t at all familiar with white balance or ISO sensitivity, this app is still worth downloading because it might be an easier way for you learn the basics. You get to see your changes in real time — without worrying about switching back and forth between settings on a basic DSLR camera.
Halide is currently only available on iOS for $3, and features like histogram, focus peaking, and RAW require having the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7, 7 Plus, or iPhone SE. With summer finally here, this app might just be the motivating factor to getting outside to take some (Instagram-worthy) scenic photos.
If you thought Pokémon Go was enough to keep you entertained last summer, there’s now Garfield Go (the original grumpy cat). This time instead of trying to find Pokémon, you’re helping Garfield get his comics back — they’re scattered around the world in treasure chests thanks to Odie. To find the treasure chests, you first have to find coins spread out near them. But Garfield being Garfield, to get his help you’ll have to feed him — me too, Garfield, me too.
Even though the style and layout of the game is almost exactly the same as Pokémon Go, the basic augmented reality is entertaining, and the graphics are bright and colorful. When I first started playing, I believed the coins you have to collect throughout the map would be in close proximity. After all, Garfield is known as the cat who considers breathing a form of exercise. I envisioned myself collecting all the coins within a few steps of my phone and easily advancing to the next level.
But I was wrong. Really wrong. This game makes Garfield look super active. I only collected a few coins where I was sitting before I received a pop-up telling me the treasure chests were out of range and I needed to get up and go outside — the struggle.
Once you do land on a coin, you’re greeted by a hungry Garfield who won’t budge until he eats. Feeding him is basically the same as throwing a Poké Ball or berry at a Pokemon except this time, you’re throwing the food into Garfield’s food bowl. There’s different junk food you can throw — ranging from pizza to the classic lasagna– and other food can be purchased with the coins you collect.
Throwing food into the bowl is more difficult than it sounds. Garfield doesn’t mess around though — if you don’t feed him in three tries, you’re brought back to the map to move on to another coin instead. Once you do feed him, a bar appears at the top of the screen labeled “hot and cold” forcing you to move your phone around as it hints whether or not you’re close to the treasure chest to collect a comic.
The main appeal of this game are the prizes you win if you’re lucky enough to land on a particular treasure chest. The prize list includes plush versions of Garfield, Odie, and Pooky, as well as gift cards for Starbucks, Amazon, and Dominoes.
Garfield Go is available on Android and iOS for free. If Garfield wasn’t already miserable enough, you can also use in-app purchases to buy him different hats to wear like a top hat, fedora, or a party hat.