There’s no shortage of photography software on the iPhone. But between taking a photo, cleaning it up, cropping or combining more images, and then, finally, publishing the results on a platform like Instagram, the experience of sharing a photo is beginning to look more like an Adobe desktop workflow than, you know, the instantly gratifying snapshots of 2013.
Finger Quilt ($2), designed by Jeffrey Scudder and featured on Prosthetic Knowledge, is an iOS mosaic app that brings the fun back. Much like Snapchat, it melts away most of the deep menu UI. Instead of thinking too hard about editing, it invites you to just delve into the photography itself.
You see your camera’s feed through a grid. Any square you tap is frozen—like you’re taking a picture in just a tiny part of the frame. Then you can move your camera, reframe your shot, and fill in other squares like pixels to slowly form a finished image. Eventually, you’ll create a mosaic of your dreams—or, in my case, pictures of people at various angles that resembled cubist portraits.
The interface itself has almost no additional options: a single button on top toggles to let you to make mosaics with larger or smaller squares, you can flip to your front or rear camera, and you can turn on your flash. That’s it. And while a few minutes into using the app, I start craving all sorts of other features—pinch-to-zoom block sizes? maybe the option to change the shape of the individual blocks into triangles?—I find myself wondering if I’d really want these little wishes granted.
In its current form, Finger Quilt is one of those perfectly minimal apps, built as much for the art as the profit, that seem in short supply as the Instagrams of the world only get more complicated. And while Scudder tells me he has some secret features planned for the app’s future, hopefully they stay out of the way of all the tap-tap-tap fun of quilting by finger.