The App: IncrediBooth
The Device: iPhone 4
The Price: Free (for this week, at least)
The Basics: Already omnipresent at weddings and in malls, there really was only one more place for photo booths to go: your smartphone. IncrediBooth takes the experience of cramming you and a significant other into a tiny space for a series of goofy pictures and translates it to your iPhone (minus lingering BO and day-old gum getting stuck to your pants, of course). But is it worth downloading?
The Review: As far as novelty photography apps go, IncrediBooth is a solid addition to your smartphone
It does exactly what you’d expect it to do, so anyone looking for a particularly deep app should keep on moving (Space Paint may be your jam). However, the price is certainly right (it’s iTunes’ Free App of the Week) and it does exactly what it sets out to do, so IncrediBooth is pretty much a success on all counts.
IncrediBooth certainly looks nice. When opened, you are immediately brought to the main screen, where a small window on the screen showcases your ugly mug (or your pretty mug, if your mug happens to be pretty). Naturally, this is the work of your phone’s front facing camera. A button next to the screen allows you to switch to your regular camera, which, interestingly, lets you become the photo booth instead of interacting with the photo booth (think about it). Underneath the window is a red button surrounded by a wheel with four numbers. The red button’s function is obvious enough: you tap it and the app starts beeping, your waning that photography is about to start taking place. When the app does snap a picture, it’s accompanied by a purely cosmetic flash (complete with old-timey flashing sound), letting you know that a picture has been taken and letting you know that you have just a moment or two before the next is taken. It’s a smart, cute and elegantly simply way to recreate the feeling of a photo booth while remaining practical.
What’s not so elegant is the ring around the red button, which is initially a complete and total mystery (especially since the app doesn’t feature an instructions or tutorial button, which should be a given at this point). Eventually, I was able to figure out that you could change photo filters by rotating the wheel, but since you don’t see the finished effect until you head to the next screen, it’s borderline impossible to figure this out without trial and error. It’s especially annoying since it forces you to discover the details and differences of each filter by testing each one out individually. Some kind of filter preview would be incredible helpful here.
Once you’ve taken your pictures, you click on the “frame” button in the bottom right hand corner to see the results. From this page, you have access to your entire library of IncrediBooth images and can share and delete them as you see fit. Although your various photo strips being presented one at a time in a vertical row is aesthetically pleasing, it makes actually navigation a little annoying, especially when your library starts to grow. An alternate viewing mode needs to happen in the next update.
So: it’s a photo booth app that does the job of a photo booth app. It looks nice. It’s generally easy to use. It’s free. However, it’s juuust rough enough to be irritating at times (a major button that only asks me to download new filters? No.), but if you like having as many different ways to take photos as possible on your phone, it’s a must-download.
The Final Grade: B