eXtensions - Sunday 2 July 2017
A late Discovery: Cartoonatic 2 - Disappointing in Some Ways
By Graham K. Rogers
I have several apps from Macphun for both Mac and iOS. On the Mac, some of this software (like Tonality and Luminar) works really well either as standalone installations or as Photos extensions. On iOS, one of the earliest apps I looked at was Mobile Monet (no longer shown in the App Store), but the interface changed and I lost interest.
The original Cartoonatic was very usable and, like Toon Camera, output was quite exciting, particularly when considering I first used this with the iPhone 4. Cartoonatic 2 was released in 2015 and does not appear to have been updated since. I missed this because of the change in name. The app is a free download and there are in-app purchases (more on this later). An opening panel asks for access to camera and microphone.
At the centre of the tool bar is a camera button: red for video, blue for photographs. These are selected using an icon immediately to the right of the camera button, but when the video is in use, the camera icon is displayed (and vice versa). At far left is a files icon, but when this is first pressed the user is advised this is an in-app purchase of $35 (sic) as are other features, such as removing ads and watermarks, with a premium package at $69. On the App Store, these purchases are shown as 35 baht, and 69 baht, with a Full Pack at 99 baht.
I wrote to Macphun pointing out this pricing discrepancy and was told these were correct: "I can confirm the prices and that they have been set so without a mistake" and that there was no planned update. I further pointed out the baht/dollar differences (I had initially wondered if they referred to the Singapore dollar) and was informed that this would be reported to the team. App Stores in other countries also quote prices in the local currencies.
I decided to make the purchase and the TouchID panel confirmed that the fee would be 69 baht. I authorised the purchase but this did not unlock the 3 cartoon effects or the 4 special effects. It removed ads and the watermark and gave me access to the Photos library. The full pack is 99 baht ($2.99).
Cartoonatic 2 - Watermarked image (left), Interface, and Image with no watermark
The video is here:
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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