Private ME: Written iPhone App Review
In a world filled with ways to share our lives with others, it’s hard to imagine that anything stays private. Remember when iPhone users discovered that Apple was tracking and logging their location without their consent? It’s scary to think of what we share without knowing that we’re even sharing it.
There are quite a few apps in the App Store which seek to protect your privacy, though. Private ME, developed by Intimate Apps Incorporated, is a relatively new app that is designed to keep self-portraits safe and secure.
Concept and Functionality:
If the front facing camera on your iPhone tends to get a bit more use than the one on the back, it’s very likely that you enjoy taking candid self-portrait photos. Naturally there’s nothing wrong with this, but what happens if the photo app you’re using collects these pictures without your knowledge? I’m definitely not one to stir up paranoia, but these are things you have to consider if you have any sort of concern for your privacy.
Private ME goes the extra mile to protect you and your photos without adding complicated features. Simply choose which camera you’d like to take a photo with, your lighting settings, and snap the photo. For an even greater measure of security, you can add a black bar to your photo by simply dragging your finger across the image.
If you use the native Apple camera app, you’re aware that it automatically saves pictures to your camera roll. If you’re like me, you tend to forget to delete pictures that you don’t want on there. Private ME gives you the option to save photos to your phone, but not without asking for confirmation first.
As someone who has more photography apps than I can count, I can tell you from experience that this is a very decent photo app to use. While I wouldn’t use it for every day picture taking, it’s great for people who like to use their phone as a digital mirror.
Private ME uses a unique lighting system which is designed to give you the best picture quality possible. For photos being taken with the front facing camera, you have the ability to shrink the live view image on your screen and replace the open space with a white background. Those of you who have used your screen as a flashlight are aware of how effective this actually is, but you need to have your screen brightness set to maximum in order for it to work well.
There’s also a timer feature which allows you to take delayed photos. Tapping the timer button once gives you a three second delay, and tapping it again increases it to five seconds.
As a side note, Private ME doesn’t store photos within the app. Therefore, it doesn’t require a password or other secure means of accessing it. I also checked to see if it stores the last image taken if you switch back to the app while multitasking, and I was relieved to find that it didn’t. Though these are small details, sometimes it’s the little things like this that make the biggest difference. This is especially true when it comes to something like privacy.
Private ME is marketed as a safe and secure mirror app, but it’s usefulness extends far beyond checking your hairdo or lip gloss. Though I definitely agree it is worth the current $.99 price tag, the app description states that it’s 50% off for a limited time. $1.99 is a little steep for an app like this, so I’m hoping the developers decide to keep it at its current price.
If you’re truly concerned about your privacy and you’re looking for an app which protects you and your photos, you definitely shouldn’t pass this one up.
Private ME is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
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