Back in November of 2012 I wrote my first article on iPhoneography apps. It was an attempt to cover Hipstamatic. I chose Hipstamatic because the app sparked my interest in iPhone photography. The fact that I was getting wonderful results, blindly, was fascinating. You couldn’t see, through the viewfinder, what the resulting image would look like. I found myself taking many photos just to see what they would look like.
That is both a blessing and a curse of Hipstamatic. It was terrific for me, who was just starting out and had a number of friends asking how I got those results. For those who were more studied in their approach (as I have now become), it is frustrating. Many people all over the world asked Hipstamatic to allow them to choose the filter afterwards. As it turns out, that capability was never (and most likely, will never be) added to Hipstamatic. Instead, another app was created to allow for post-capture addition of Hipstamatic lenses and films – Oggl.
The trouble is that Hipstamatic wasn’t content to leave it at just making the filters a post-processing alternative. They decided to create a new social photograph network like Instagram at the same time, and also improve their revenue stream by eliminating free “Hipstapaks” from the Hipstamatic app and charging a subscription for Oggl. New monthly Hipstapaks are free under the subscription in Oggl, but cost a dollar in Hipstamatic. On the other hand, you can’t buy them in Hipstamatic and use them in Oggl without paying for the subscription. So in order to get the full benefit in both apps, you have to pay twice – a dollar a month in Hipstamatic and a ten-dollar yearly subscription in Oggl. Definitely not cool.
And yet I pay for it (at the moment). Why? Because I still like the look of my images processed through those lenses and films. Because I still get a little bit of the “ooh, look at that!” feeling when I take shots in Hipstamatic or process them in Oggl. Because I hold out a slim hope that they will come to their senses and stop gouging their customers.
Let’s take a look at the somewhat convoluted interface of Oggl. The first thing you’ll see is the Home page. The Home page plays up the “social networking” portion of the app, with “feeds” of the people you follow as well as your Instagram feed and various promotional feeds.