Moment Catcher is an iOS app from Grolux2 Productions, recently updated to its second major revision. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, with two additional in-app purchases of $0.99 each to add extra features.
Moment Catcher’s self-stated goal is “to film children without their knowledge while they watch videos or look at pictures,” which arguably makes it sound rather more sinister than it actually is. What the app really does is provide a front-end through which users can watch videos or slideshows from their device’s photo library or stream content from YouTube while simultaneously recording the reaction of the person watching via the device’s front-facing FaceTime camera. The resulting “moment” video largely focuses on the reaction of the person watching, with a small picture-in-picture version of the video or slideshow in the corner of the screen.
Using the app is very straightforward. Tapping the “Videos & Photos” button from the main screen brings up a three-tabbed interface from which the user may browse through their device’s videos, search YouTube or start a slideshow from one of their device’s albums (including the camera roll). The YouTube facility allows users to add videos as “favorites” if they want to easily get reactions to the same clip from multiple people, but the app does not sync with a Google/YouTube account to allow access to playlists or saved videos users might have saved via the Web.
Recording the reaction video is a simple matter of handing the device to the person who is to be secretly recorded and inviting them to tap the “Play” button to start the video or slideshow — or tapping it for them. The recording will then continue until either the video or slideshow finishes, or the playback is cancelled. At this point, the “moment” is saved into the other section of the app, simply marked “The Moments,” from which the resulting video may be watched, or 15 seconds shared via Facebook or email. By making a one-off $0.99 in-app purchase called “The Director,” users may edit the “moment” clips as much as they like rather than being limited to 15 seconds. A second one-off $0.99 in-app purchase called “The Archivist” unlocks the ability for users to save “moment” videos to the device’s camera roll rather than restricting them to being stored within the app. In practice, only the “Archivist” in-app purchase is really necessary, as once a video is saved to the device’s camera roll, it can be edited to any length and shared to Facebook anyway.
Moment Catcher works well and certainly does what it sets out to do. “Reaction videos” are quite a popular meme on the Internet — albeit more commonly in the form of people reacting to notorious “shock sites” — so the ability to easily create them using a portable device will likely be welcomed by those who enjoy that sort of thing, or those simply looking to use the app to record some memories.
You can follow Moment Catcher’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.