Operating system: iOS
Countless mobile apps let you create unique and artistic smartphone photos. Probably too many, in fact.
However, while the likes of Instagram, Hipstamatic, Camera+ and the rest of the filter-friendly crowd sure make your photos look pretty, they don’t really embrace the spirit of collaboration.
Dubble, a new free app for iOS, is hoping to fill that void by randomly pairing-up users to create one-off, double-exposure photos, where both pictures appear, layered within a single frame.
The results, as you’ll see for yourself, can be fantastic, as the app’s algorithms throw together some really interesting matches. But really the pleasure of creating these shared photographic experiences and the excitement of waiting for them to spawn is where the real joy derives.
After initial sign up, you can dive straight in and begin capturing photos using the in-app camera interface, or select your favourite existing photos from the phone’s Camera Roll. Just frame the picture, caption it up and hit Upload. It really couldn’t be simpler.
Within a few seconds, you’ll see your photo ‘Dubbled’ within your profile page, from where it can be tapped and pinched for closer examination.
There’s an almost intangible intrigue that results from the randomness of your paired photo and you may find yourself spending a lot of time Dubble-ing up your favourite smartphone snaps just to experience the thrill time and time again.
Once the Dubble appears within your profile, you’ll be able to see the user who’s photo yours is now married to and check out their other Dubbles (and the ‘Singles’ that spawned them). However, there’s no opportunity to interact with them further through following, commenting, liking or any of that Facebooky business. Saying that, we think this element of mystery adds to the experience rather than detracts from it.
By swiping the photo to the right, the creations can be easily shared further over social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or via email or MMS. You can also share other people’s photos to these networks, so it might be advisable to keep your submissions within the realms of decency.
Of course, not all of the photos are great matches, but you can always Redubble – give it another go - in pursuit of a more suitable photographic partnership or delete it from your feed completely.
In the main, we’ve loved the experience of using Dubble. It’s a brilliantly unique alternative to the self-centred world of Instagram, where pouty, self-glorification through a crude distortion of reality often rules the day.
The random exchange has a two-strangers-thrown-together-in-a-room feel to it. While some users may find that a little awkward or unsettling, others will enjoy the experience of instantly creating a piece of art in a fleeting exchange with someone they’ve never met and never will.