The humble infographic has gone from the boardroom projector to online viral fame in the last few years. There’s no easier way to represent data to interest a person than by making it look pretty. Good infographics are simple to interpret and often cross language barriers effortlessly.
InFoto aims to tap into this, by converting the hundreds of photos you undoubtedly have stewing on your SD card into a pretty infographic that’ll probably get more likes on Facebook than your original snaps.
When I first heard the idea I thought it was a college student’s half-baked end of year assignment he decided to throw up on the Google Play Store, but it turns out photos actually have a ton of data stored within them. The question is: does the app make impressive use of it?
InFoto is extremely easy to use — in fact, you just press one button and the app does the rest itself. Depending on how many photos it has to process it might take a while. I had hundreds stored for months on my SD card: holiday pictures, random junk I tweeted and useless attempts at tracking receipts and documents. All in all, it took three minutes.
The only other option on the main screen is to view your most recent infographic.
The infographic is presented at the end. The quality is extremely good with fantastic resolution and great sharpness in the text and graphics. Due to the limitations of a phone’s screen the graphics are presented as slides, with each one focusing on a different aspect of your camera usage.
InFoto works by sifting through every single photo on your phone and retrieving the Exif data. This is like background fuzz invisible to the viewer which can be read by an application to retrieve information about the photograph. It’s all very CSI: Silicon Valley.
So what kind of information are we talking about here? Date, time, location, shutter speed, picture orientation, flash usage and a few others.
The infographics rival others around the web made in Illustrator and Photoshop. The background remains a simple solid grey while charts are displayed in complementing colours with nice separator effects and explanatory text.
There are two location based slides available in InFoto. The first is a broad worldwide graphic displaying the world map in grey with commonly visited countries marked. Top nations have a number of photographs beside them.
The second is a close-up of your top country for taking photographs providing more specific information such as cities ranked in descending order.
Weekly trends are measured with a simple bar chart showing on which day of the week you most regularly use your phone’s camera. Again it sticks to the infographics’ overall colour scheme of solid grey with blue and orange graphics.
The time data gets a little more specific in the next slide with a line graph displaying which time of day you enjoy using your Android’s camera app. In true infographic style, text is kept to a minimum with small images depicting the time of day.
The ISO of your photos is portrayed in a cool pie chart (my favourite kind of chart) with different values displayed as percentages. ISO (in relation to photography) is the International Standardisation Organisation’s scale for measuring film speed (camera sensor’s sensitivity to light) in each photograph.
Overall I think a pretty impressive infographic is created. However, I do think that a few extra colours — particularly in the bar and pie charts — would have made the infographic better. When it gets to using different shades of blue to distinguish between chart elements it’s time to bring a little yellow or purple into the mix.
Once an infographic has been generated you can share it easily using any share function Android can pick up on your phone such as email, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
Design and Usability
The design of the app and indeed the infographic can be seen above. I think you’ll agree that both look very well. The decision to have the entire app in horizontal orientation was, in my opinion, a good one as upright would have left plenty of unused space on the screen. Due to the fact that user interaction with the app is so limited all the designers needed to do was make the main menu (all two buttons!) look good and ensure a pleasant graphic was generated in the end. So, good job guys!
There are rumours that the developer will add more features, so perhaps the designers will have to work a little harder on the next update.
When I refer to the usability I’m talking about the infographic. Most generators are desktop based so for a phone to generate such high resolution graphics is a real treat. The slide or entire graphic wouldn’t look out of place in a magazine, never mind a blog — definity publishing standard!
InFoto delivers on its promise. For anyone wishing to try it out there’s a free version available on the Google Play Store. It’s exactly the same as the premium version except there are advertisements across the bottom of the screen, and it’s not possible to export the final large image that combines all your infographic slides into one picture for easy social network sharing.
To support developers of good apps however I think a purchase should be made if you enjoy the infographic. At the moment, InFoto is priced at $0.99.
For photographers (amateur or pro) this would make a great app for showing off. Hopefully, we’ll start to see more applications like this for generating great statistics about an entire Android phone. Now that’s an app I’d definitely like to use!