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tap2focus is a clever poor man's Lytro app for the iPhone

Mel Martin

We've all been impressed with the Lytro Light Field Camera, which allows a single picture to have multiple focus points. It's a complex process, and the Lytro cameras aren't cheap: they begin at US$399. Our Steve Sande reviewed the Lytro Camera about a year ago and was impressed with the technology.

Now, a $0.99 app called tap2focus kinda, sort of simulates what a Lytro Camera can do, albeit in a rather low-tech, but clever way.

Here's how the app works. You take a picture by tapping on an area you want in focus. Then you tap another area that should be in soft focus. Tap3focus then snaps another picture. If you have multiple focus points you can tap in multiple places. When done, tap2focus creates an image that allows you to tap in different places and put the area you touched into focus. Of course, this is not one image, but several, and if you moved the camera, you'll see the movement as you tap.

You can share your photo with anyone who has the app installed on their iPhone, or if you sign up for a free account and your friends can view the image on the web either on a computer or on any smartphone with a browser. You can see some examples of how the app works on the developer's website.

Gallery: tap2focus | 3 Photos

I have to say this is a clever idea, but like the Lytro, I'm hard-pressed to see the everyday value. The app could be considerably enhanced if the developer aligned and cropped the images which would stop the movement that results from handheld picture-taking.

tap2focus is clever, and inexpensive enough to play with. I applaud the creativity, even though I don't think it is a must-have app. tap2focus requires iOS 6.0 and is optimized for the iPhone 5.

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