HawkeyeSPECS Charges for Zooming

Price: $2.99    Score: 5/10   By Steve BeaudryHawkeyeSPECS?

HawkeyeSPECS by LevelHead LLC confused me when I first downloaded it. I wasn’t sure how useful it would be. It’s advertised as a program that helps you zoom in to pictures to see them more clearly, but my phone’s pinch-zoom works just fine. It has photo manipulation tools, but isn’t the Photoshop app free? And doesn’t it have much more than just brightness, contrast and focus?

Still, I played around with it thinking perhaps it has a niche use that I’m not seeing. After taking a few photos, using the zoom lens and adjusting some color properties – I just don’t see a good mainstream use for this app. And here’s why:

The “big sell” for this app, the reason for its name, is the ability to see portions of your pictures close up through a sort of zoom lens or segment. But I find it much more effective to go to the photo in the iPhone’s provided Photos app and simply out-pinch it… make it bigger. That’s the way Steve did it, that’s the way America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.

The most original tool here is the color manipulation. There is brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness. That’s it. And for free you can download Photoshop.com mobile and have all these options plus several more. I guess these color manipulation tools are helpful if you’re a photography enthusiast, but for the average consumer it’s just extra baggage. And for both of these users, there are other, cheaper and arguably better options.

Here’s something I like, though. HawkeyeSPECS gives you the ability to name the photo file whatever you want. In stead of some assortment of number associated with the date and time, you can name it “awesomepic.jpg.” This makes it easier to find in a list of files, but there is a point at which this, too, becomes unnecessary. Anyone who really cares about their pictures browses them through thumbnails, making a clever filename somewhat superfluous. However, another real problem with this program is the fact that it only recognizes pre-taken photos in your camera roll, not your full library.

I don’t want to completely disregard HawkeyeSPECS because it does what it does well. There are no bugs and the interface is clean. As a whole though, I probably wouldn’t get this app if you’re looking for a good photo app. For the price, it’s just not worth it – there are other options which provide the same features for free.

HawkeyeSPECS requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible only with iPhone.

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