Cinemagram brings animated GIFS to the iPhone and makes us wonder what’s going on over at Instagram

cinemagramA new app called Cinemagram launched today, and it’s getting a lot of attention for bringing animated GIFs to the masses. It’s become a popular art form across Tumblr and fashion-focused social networks, and until recently came with a fairly complicated process. You’d need editing software access and know-how, as well as a good deal of patience. Of course there are generators out there but those clearly don’t produce the results you get from doing it yourself.

But photography is going to the masses, and now this includes animated GIFs (which technically are cinemagraphs — they are published as animated GIF files, but for all intents and purposes you can still call them animated GIFs). Cinemagram is available for $1.99 for iOS and makes the creation process altogether very simple, plus it throws in a few filters to boot. It’s not the only option out there either: Kinotopic is fairly similar, and there are trade-offs between the two. Cinemagram has filters but not as many options for simplifying the “map drawing” process. Kinotopic also has the ability to pull from your current video library, whereas Cinemagram does not.

Of course, the quality isn’t that of those made with photo editors, not to mention better cameras. But it’s obvious that the digital imaging evolution is lending itself toward speed, convenience, and the lowest common denominator. This isn’t to say that advanced, professional cameras and photographers with the requisite skill levels will go the way of the analog camera – if just means that there’s a wider audience who wants in and applications like Cinemagram are making that possible by continuing to open up access to more effects and features.

And it’s a good week for users that are a fan of this trend. Viddy, a filter app for videos also launched. It’s not the first of its kind, but it’s the latest to capitalize on Instagram’s lack of a video feature – which hasn’t gone unnoticed.

In fact, there’s a lot of ground here Instagram is missing out on and we can’t help but feel like it’s falling a little behind. The long-rumored Android app has yet to make an appearance and might be delayed in favor of Windows Phones (although CEO Kevin Systrom seemingly killed that rumor in a recent interview with Gizmodo), and since Systrom mentioned integrating video some four months ago we haven’t heard another word. And there hasn’t been a significant update since the 2.0 upgrade – which many users suggest was really a downgrade.

We get it: Instagram is still an incredibly small company and is working to scale its platform’s performance capabilities to its skyrocketing user base, and it’s being incredibly careful about this (maybe too careful?). There’s also the fact they’ve done so much without – namely without Android users or a Web app. So imagine what it would be with these, or with animated GIF or video support? It just makes us wonder what the holdup is and anxious for the next big thing (even if it’s just new filters or a selective color tool) from everybody’s favorite photo sharing platform. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Photography

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…