Camera360-Pinguo-Series-A-funding

Camera360 updated with Neutered capture Resolution

camera360_iconAs a FREE camera app on the Android, there is nothing in my books that works better than Camera360 Ultimate. I have installed it in all my android devices and yes, it rocks but the latest update had me fuming.

For the last four months, I have used this on my Apple iPod Touch 5G and realize that there are distinct differences in how it was working. The Apple version of the app (also free) has captured widespread appeal because of its “real-time live view” function. This means that when you choose any effect, you can see it in real-time on what it actually looks like before capture—which unlike the Android version where you only get to see what the effected image would look like after having captured it. Thus the Android version still has some way to go before it gets to the stage of being on equal footing with the iPhone version.

New UI & Controls

I think the new UI is great. Slide the button to the left to get effect mode (filters) and slide right to get scene modes (for preset scene selection). Scene mode isn’t the same as you find in a digital camera, instead, it gives you access to  selection of preset scenes which you include part of the image.

There is also WB support now, whereas in earlier versions, this was not always available on all phones. The app has also been updated to support cloud integration and more social sharing sites beyond Facebook and Flickr to include Twitter too. But G+ support is still missing! The rests are of course China based SNS which you won’t be using unless you read and write Chinese.

Capture Resolution Problem

Sharing files are great but the captured image resolution now only supports up to 3 megapixels only on Android devices. I know this sucks but apparently the slew of new devices has made it difficult for the folks at Chengdu, China to have backward compatibility with all Android phones.

Frankly, I think that 3 megapixels is far too low. I think 5 megapixel should suffice and I have written to Pinguo Technology to change this. Now if you are only sharing your pictures online, 3 megapixel is ample. But if you are shooting to keep some of your photos for print later, then 5 megapixel should make the cut. By truncating it to 3 megapixel, your choices are restricted.

Conclusion

Yes, I am annoyed at the changes but it still remains one of the best FREE camera apps on the planet for your Android and iPhone. Yes, you may not believe me but you can go download it on your iDevice and use it and probably stop bothering to use any other camera app thereafter. I know I have.

**UPDATED** May 15 2013. 

Picture Size has been updated to 6 megapixel capture from 3 megapixel! 

 

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Smart-RAM-Booster-Pro-Apk

Utilities to boost RAM and Battery Life

unnamedI have been doing a whole host of experiments to boost RAM and Battery life and I think it is high time you people out there know the Pros and Cons of installing these apps that have wild claims.

Boosting RAM

I downloaded a slew of RAM boosters, including one called Smart RAM Booster that has a Paid PRO version. Let me set the record straight on this one, RAM boosting is no different than going to your Task Killer or Application Monitor (found on Samsung devices) and quitting all your running apps. What you see is an immediate increase in RAM space but that slowly climbs up because certain apps (such as Social Media Apps) will start to demand their space to fetch notifications and updates. In short, it doesn’t really work to your advantage.

RAM boosting is ideal for quick fix RAM demands, such as when you are running an App that requires more space and need a one button “quit all” fix. It does two things.

  1. Boot out leftover Apps that you have forgotten to close upon quitting but remain in RAM
  2. Boot out all the notification widgets installed in RAM

RAM boosting unfortunately has limited use and doesn’t quite cut it as a long term app. There are loads of RAM boosters out there that promises immediate clearing of RAM but it never remains so for long.

Battery Saving

unnamed-1Your device screen is the main source of battery drain, those high density screens will suck up your battery juice each time you engage your device and there is no other way to avoid it. If you peek into the settings file on ICS devices, you’d see a battery status which will show what you have running that grabs the most power. The Screen and the OS are two that are unavoidable since you need that to run your device, the rest? Oh well. I leave you to decide.

So let’s talk about Deep Sleep Battery Saver. There is both a free version and a paid version. I tested the free version and came to the conclusion that if you are serious about setting up a battery consumption limit, you better opt for the PRO version that allows you to customize the settings to suit your usage style.

The point here is that the free version has little to offer. I did see an improvement in battery life, about 20 percent but this is at the cost of usability. Because it adopts a very aggressive method  of dealing with recalcitrant apps (it turns off 3G and WiFi to protect your battery), it will severely hamper all your IM and Social Media Apps.

Apps like Skype and Viber have no way of accessing notifications and they fight to reclaim their bandwidth when your device is turned on at intervals set by Deep Sleep Battery Saver. Your device will lag and takes ages to access even simple stuff like SMS and phone book. I have not tested this on a quad core device, it might work differently but on a dual core device, Deep Sleep puts your device into a coma even at a Gentle setting.

I am not endorsing the PRO version even though I think that having access to a customized experience can make a difference. It might…but I haven’t tried it.

Conclusion

RAM usage and Battery drain are related. The apps need to occupy RAM space to work and when they start working, they tap on your battery for power. I wish you could of course control this from the app itself. Like for example restricting the Facebook app to run at certain intervals instead of being active 24/7.

If you are serious about RAM problems, my only advice to you is to get a device with more RAM instead of relying on RAM boosters which are a waste of time. You could also optimize your RAM by making a habit of using your Task Manager to close all inactive apps.

Battery life is more subjective as it depends on your usage patterns. You cannot use a one size fits all battery monitor to cut battery drain. I have found System Monitor by Pavel Petrov to be quite good but that’s only installed on a Tablet for testing at the moment. The downside of this app is really the UI, a very bad navigation experience. Aside from this, it’s quite ok so far. You can preset the device to close all running background apps at a certain time. Again, such clearing is temporary as these installed apps already have permission to load themselves back into the device memory and keep doing what they have been created to do.

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