Wednesday, October 07, 2009

CameraBag follows Tweetie to the desktop

One angle that is rarely mentioned in the debates about the App Store is the potential for developers of popular iPhone apps to go cross-platform and create an additional revenue stream with more expensive desktop versions. The most obvious example is Tweetie, a wildly successful Twitter application that debuted on the iPhone with a price of $2.99 and soon appeared on the desktop as well, where users have a choice of paying $19.95 or using a "free" ad-supported version.

The latest developer to wade into the desktop waters is NeverCenter, makers of the useful photo-filter app CameraBag. CameraBag, which taps into the iPhone's camera function and offers users a choice of filters designed to mimic the results of popular vintage film cameras, sells for $1.99 on the App Store. But the recently-released desktop version costs $19.

Unlike the desktop version of Tweetie, however, CameraBag for Mac offers significantly greater functionality and usability than its iPhone counterpart. In addition to a vastly larger display on which to view and edit your photos, the desktop version allows for quicker application and layering of filters, simple drop-menus for adjusting the borders, cropping, and output size, as well a "reprocess" feature that allows for nearly endless tinkering and fine-tuning. The Mac version of CameraBag really shines, and I was happy to fork over $20 for it. In contrast, I've only ever used the ad-supported version of Tweetie for Mac.

In a sense, the inexpensive iPhone version of CameraBag served as a very effective demo for the more lucrative Mac version. This move from mobile to desktop software is clearly more suited to some apps than others, but it should be interesting to see how this trend develops as the App Store grows in popularity and reach.

Here are a few photos I edited using CameraBag for Mac. (I posted some photos from the iPhone version in the previous post.)

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