Results tagged “iPhone”

10:25 AM
My iPhone and iPad are littered with tattoo apps, from portable art references to fun photo games where I give my mom big tribal face tattoos. Today's technology can keep an ancient art thriving with educational offerings and digital creative tools. It can hit hit the mark with apps like the art of Horiyoshi III & Sailor Jerry or it can be a bit creepy with fetish galleries of tattooed feet (don't Google it).

The new Instattoo iOS app is neither awesome nor creepy. It's meh.

The app is largely designed as a creative tool but with little creativity. Billing itself as "The World's First Tattoo Design Generator" (which I doubt), Instattoo gives you a bunch of squiggly lines and let's you morph the patterns in a kaleidoscope-like fashion with a few swipes across your iPad or iPhone screen. "No need to draw!", their headline says! Once you create your "unique" work of art, you can then broadcast it to thousands of your closest social networking friends ... and even better, bring it to a tattoo shop where of course no one there will laugh at you.

[You may think this is just ugly blogger sarcasm, but what's uglier is that someone actually did get a tattoo from this app, as shown in the video below.]

Snark aside, I don't completely hate it because digitally manipulating patterns to create custom tattoos is often used by top artists today and has great potential. Granted, an app like this is too simplified, but it could be a way to play with ideas on the road and then flesh them out in a more sophisticated program or on paper. Or even skin. The idea is there with Instattoo but not the execution, especially with such limited and banal patterns available. It's also worth repeating, although obvious, that a design on a 2D surface doesn't always translate on skin; for example, lines not properly spaced can blur together.

When considering your next tattoo, sometimes it's best to put the tablet down and just talk with a good artist. 

01:22 PM
I had such a blast talking to Zane Claes and Mark Shore for their "Let Us Present" podcast, where they invite a variety of bloggers, musicians, podcasters, etc. from across the web to join them for a conversation. I talked about top tattoo art, scratchers, Leviticus and the law, among other things. Surprise, surprise.

You can listen to me blah blah for 30 minutes(!) here or subscribe to their Podcast on iTunes. [It says "explicit" in the description but I said nothing salacious, I swear.] The podcast is delivered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Zane and Mark are the brains behind Streamified, an iPhone and iPad app that takes all your social streams and puts them in one sweet journal. It's not just a reader, however. You can update your status, capture pics, retweet, bookmark your favorite posts -- like me talking for a half hour? -- and all those wonderful time wasters.

Learn more about Streamified on iTunes. Also check them on Facebook and Twitter: @letuspresent, @streamified, @inZania, and @markshore12.

And remember, we're also on Twitter and Facebook, so feel free to comment there.
05:14 PM
horiyoshi iii app.jpg
Tons of tattoo-related apps have flooded the iTunes store, but a number are indeed worthy of precious space on your iPhone and iPads. Two such apps, which share the work of Horiyoshi III (one of Japan's foremost tattoo masters), are  Horiyoshi 3 and "100 Demons."

The recently released Horiyoshi 3 app is a digital compendium of "photos and drawings for an intimate view of his life and works" -- with some never-before-seen sketches. There are also images of his studio and his Yokohama tattoo museum. You can do a keyword search through images and bookmark your favorite images. They can also be emailed, which could be handy if you want to give your tattooist some ideas for your next work (for inspiration, not copying of course). It's available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch for $4.99.

The "100 Demons" app is the digital version of the Master's 1998 book of illustrations of Japanese demons and mythological creatures and warriors -- which is no longer in print nor available digitally elsewhere. As stated in its iTunes description, "By working closely with the original publisher, we have been granted exclusive rights to release the book in this form. In addition, Horiyoshi III himself has personally reviewed and approved this release." The chapters are easy to navigate and images can be viewed in picture frame mode for a better look. It's available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for $9.99.

Both are worth the money, especially for fans of Japanese tattoo art.

100 demons.jpg
08:42 AM
iphonethief.jpgWe've written time and time again about criminals being identified, incarcerated and databased by their often questionable display of tattoos, but this piece I discovered at Gizmodo this morning takes the cake. 

They report that 19-year-old Joseph Eric Williams is the mastermind behind a wave of iPhone thefts in South Florida.  However, while he's smart enough to pull off a string of tech-thefts, he doesn't appear to have been smart enough to not get an easily-identifiable facial tattoo before entering a life of crime: the words "I'M ME" over his left eye.

In an effort to evade police efforts, he might consider chaning it to read "I'M MEL" - though most American police officers (especially my Jewish brothers and sisters) are champing at the bit to throw a guy named Mel in the slammer.

My personal suggestion for Mr. Williams' potential cover-up, however, would be changing it to read "HI, MOM!"  After all, it probably won't be long before we see his face again... on a local Miami-Dade news broadcast while being taken into custody.

01:45 PM

I'm Marisa Kakoulas, and I'm an iPhone addict.

On my little handheld lies the secrets of the universe: how many calories in that burrito; the fastest subway route from Brooklyn to the West Village; how my boyfriend would look with a fake 'stache and mullet; and how I can best kill time time digitally instead of doing something wacky like reading a book.

But when I'm killing time with an iPhone app, I want it to be pleasant, to make the corners of my mouth turn up rather than freeze into a scowl. I want my eyes to brighten -- not roll around in my head -- as I rack up points and leave other high scorers weeping in their parents' basement.

Unfortch, Tattoo Mania by Handy Games is not that kind of app. You can check the preview vid above and see for yaself. As a public service, however, I'll  save you the $3.99 and break down the suckage:

1. First, the game opens up to what is described as "rock music" that is supposed to provide authentic tattoo studio ambiance behind the buzz of the machines. The soundtrack could've easily been by Nickleback or Creed. [If you're a fan of either, you may just like this app.]

2. The aim of the game is to complete as many tattoos as possible on clients with varying pain thresholds and patience, so you gotta be quick. Thus, inspiring a legion of those Guinness Book tattoo marathon wankers.

-2.jpg3. To complete a tattoo, you have to rub your finger over a stenciled design. Easy for my small nubby digits, but have Brian's calloused guitar fingers try to roam over a tribal and it becomes impossible.

If you tattoo outta the lines, bruise marks appear on the body part. Too many bruises and you lose. Ah, if only fleeting black and blues were the souvenirs of a nasty scratcher.

4. The tattoo designs. This is the downfall of the app for me. If you're going to do a game on an art, at least make some effort on that art part. Ripping off 80s Cherry Creek flash is just lazy. If Handy Games had hired a tattoo artist to provide the designs, they could've salvaged at least a star from me.

Speaking of review stars, I seem to be alone in hatin on this game. Most reviews I've read are just giddy over it, like the Kingston Guardian who called it "ingenious," but the Guardian also had some good practical advice:

" would also really benefit from some sort of design element that allows players to create body art for their customers instead of just tracing lines on the 30 templates provided in the game at present."

The App Struck blog gave Tattoo Mania 4 outta 5 stars, and also offers some decent critique on how to improve it, that is, if you can read through the initial blather like this: 

"I admit I've held a morbid curiosity for the craft, sometimes peeking into the dank and seemingly invite-only domain of tattoo parlors, with their heavily inked and metal-adorned inhabitants..."

Are you scowling too?

Tattoo Mania is the only tattoo game so far for the iPhone and iTouch, so there's nothing really to compare it to.

The photo-fun app Tattoo Shop, which I reviewed in March, is also high on the cheeez factor but lately I've been having way more fun with it "tattooing" my mom and giving myself Mike Tyson facial ink. I'd pick that for tattoo fun over the game, and leave my time killers to Bookworm and Tetris.
01:11 PM
I was looking to download new photo apps for my iPhone yesterday and there was this tattooed baby staring me down, taunting me like a tattooed Barbie doll. So, like I did with Babs, I bought it. I will fork over $1.99 for you, dear reader, so you don't have to should the app suck. The problem is that I'm totally on the fence as to the suckage of this app, so let me list the pros and cons and you can decide.

First, Sonic Boom created the Tattoo Shop app for all phones supported by AT&T, Alltel, Sprint, and Verizon. This is a plus in itself. My review, however, is based on how it worked on my iPhone. Here goes:


  • Not the biggest con but my biggest pet peeve is that ad language that sears my eyes as I read things like "show off your tats" or "legit ink." Seriously, I almost didn't download it for that outta principle. I liken the lingo to grey-haired CNN correspondents proclaiming "That's how we roll" when offering political analysis. None are cool.

  • Ok, now the biggest problem: the choice of artwork or lack thereof -- and I use "artwork" almost facetiously. SonicBoom partnered with flash peddlers but instead of loading up on, say, the cool Bob Tyrrell and Tim Creed commercial designs, the app finds itself heavy on the old Cherry Creek-styled jammies -- aka tribal armbands abound and pin-ups with big 80s hair.

  • But maybe that's a pro. I do silently long for that Pam Anderson in Barb Wire look. The prob: the cheez is limited. There's just not enough designs to have a lot of fun with. While there are a bunch of categories like "Girl Stuff" [gag!] and "Pride" [huh?], the same designs show up over and over again. And don't get me started on how they decided what constitutes stuff for girls anyway.

  • Finally, the leafy panties on the female belly skin is just disturbing. It looks like lettuce is growing from her vulva to her waist. It did make me hungry for a nice Greek salad though. [They offer sample skins if you don't want to use your own photos. Check the screenshots on their tattoo app page.]


  • The coolest thing about the app: using your own photos or being able to take one on the spot. I shot my non-tattooed sis to let her see what she's look like with a Tyson tribal on her face.
tattoo shop app test
  • Also, the lettering tattoos available are pure fabulousness. That's what I end up playing with the whole time. Lots of tattoo-inspired fonts to chose from in different colors. [I just took this crappy self-portrait to show you one of my faves.]
  • The layers feature makes cleaning up mistakes (and fixing certain "tats" without affecting all) super easy.
  • Especially for the iPhone:  Being able to move and resize designs with just a few taps and pinches is sexy.
  • And speaking of, the six packs on the sample boys' bellies are a def pro! slurp.

For almost two bucks, it's not bad for tons of ironic fun. You decide.
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