Arc Soft is well known for its photo and other digital media manipulation apps for PCs and Macs, so I had high hopes for Panorama Maker, the company's latest release for the iPhone. Although I wasn't disappointed, I wasn't doing cart wheels either.
Panorama Maker is a straightforward app that enables you to stitch together several photos to, what else, create a single photo panorama or mosaic.
The app aligns images automatically, which is an improvement over similar apps that require you to align shaded areas or icons to create panoramas. There's a compass-like dial to guide you when snapping photos.
As with Helix Interactive's Panoramas, which I like because of its expansive functionality although it costs more, you can use Panorama Maker to stitch images horizontally or vertically. You're also able to create a number of variations of your basic wide-screen photos, with 180 degrees and 360 degrees views and cylindrical, spherical and fish-eye. Again, those are not particularly unique features, but what's here works reasonably well.
I like having the option of taking as many images I want or to go into my Camera Roll to create panoramas. Not surprising, the more images you attempt to stitch together, the longer it takes to render them. That may be one reason owners of the faster iPhone 3GS might find this app more useful than first-generation iPhone owners.
The interface couldn't be any simpler. Launch Panorama Maker and from the home screen, tap either “Stitch photos from gallery” of “Stitch photos by camera.” Use the compass-style interface to line up your photos, take a few or more images, tap “Stitch,” and the rest is taken care of automatically.
Once you've completed your panorama, you can email it, share with friends on Facebook or save it, of course.
But sure to reset your iPhone before using the app. Otherwise, you might find the camera won't trigger when you press the camera or stitch icons. In that instance, the only solution is to quit the app. Panorama Maker, has gotten rock-bottom reviews and it may have something to do with users not resetting their phones.
For straight-forward simplicity and price Panorama Maker is a winner. But, if you need more features then you might need to check out other alternatives.