PanoPerfect is a new iOS app from HalfPeeled LLC. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, and is currently enjoying a feature spot in the New and Noteworthy section of the App Store front page.
The “panorama” function of the iOS camera app is often forgotten by many users, buried as it is in the “Options” menu rather than having its own dedicated button. PanoPerfect is an attempt to get more users making use of this flexible photography feature to create their own impressive panorama images and then share them with the rest of the world.
The app’s basic setup makes use of most of the unofficially-established conventions of mobile-social networks. It offers a feed of content from users that have been “followed”; streams for most popular daily and weekly content and most recently posted content; the ability to customize one’s profile and a dedicated notifications area that, for some reason, also houses the “Find Friends” functionality. All of the app’s features may be accessed via a toolbar at the bottom of the screen — there are no slide-out drawers as with many other mobile-social networking apps.
In order to contribute to the PanoPerfect community, the user must first sign up for an account, which is a simple process to do within the app itself, and then upload some photographs. In a blow to the app’s usability, it does not allow access to the camera function of the device, instead requiring the user to take their panorama in the device’s own camera app, then upload it from the camera roll using PanoPerfect. It’s not entirely clear why it has been implemented this way and it’s a relatively minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but some users will probably find it inconvenient. It’s entirely possible that the panorama functionality of the camera is not available to external apps.
Once a photo has been uploaded — and this can be a little touch-and-go at times, as images must meet a certain minimum size before PanoPerfect will recognize them as being a panorama — it is posted to the public streams. Other users may then view it, like it, comment on it or report it as inappropriate. The latter “report” functionality is something that mobile-social app developers often forget to implement, so it is good to see that HalfPeeled have remembered to include it here, particularly as the app deals with freely-posted photographs.
Social functionality is extremely basic, limiting itself to likes, comments and notifications only within the app itself rather than allowing sharing to Facebook, Twitter or other services. While this allows the PanoPerfect community to remain focused and dedicated to panorama photography, it also limits the potential to discover new users or promote the service to those who are not yet using it.
The few missing features — the inability to take pictures within the app itself, and the lack of social functionality — make PanoPerfect rather less than it could be. As it stands, the potential is evident — the focus on panorama pictures successfully distinguishes it from the many Instagram-alikes out there — but it’s just not quite ready for the big-time just yet. With a few updates to implement the most glaring omissions, however, this will be a good app for photography enthusiasts.
You can follow PanoPerfect’s progress through the App Store charts with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.