Watching a Photo App Rise in the AppStore
Make Your Art Pop: A Colorful Camera to turn your photos into Fresh, Funky Pop Art.
As avid iPhone photographers, we lamented the fact that nearly every app in the AppStore offered generic hipster style retro filters. We longed to give the average photo app a total makeover with a rockin' set of features that were both entertaining and innovative, but also created unique wall-worthy art that one could display, share, and be proud of. The result was Popkick - A colorful camera to turn your photos into fresh, funky pop art.
We first focused on the filter technology to deconstruct the original photo and transform it into multi-colored layer art. We then built a set of poppin' new features, including: a spinning color wheel to ink the art into all kinds of rich hues; color layer shifting where users could move parts of the photo around and watch in real time as they melted and blended together; a cheerful concoction of 12 bright vibrant filters; a handful of photo enhancements and effects; and a handpicked template library to showcase ideal examples of Popkicked images.
Since we wanted to create photo art that could transcend the digital world to decorate the real world, we worked very hard from the technical standpoint to push the boundaries of how large of a file a photo app could output. Most apps only allowed users to have relatively small file outputs to share. We, however, wanted to create something that from an engineering standpoint was a masterpiece where not only was the filtering technology fast despite its complexity, but the output technology allowed users to output comparatively massive image files. We put a lot of care into optimizing the app and succeeded in supporting high resolution outputs where users could create photos that were up to 7 megapixels in size and print their art as posters, album covers, or postcards without losing image quality.
We carefully honed all aspects of Popkick's design while minimizing the interface to allow the art to take center stage. We added interactive details such as backgrounds that morphed to mimic the photos as they were filtered and tweaked, animations, and video, to result in a beautiful fun user experience, that looked completely different from any other photo app before it.
For Popkick's launch, we built a marketing campaign with websites, social media, and a wild unique app video to showcase the app in all its funky, colorful glory. Popkick was released on iPhone in Fall 2013 with iOS 6.1+ support and iOS 7 optimization.
After months of development, we launched Popkick in the fall of 2013. We eagerly and anxiously awaited the response, hoping we could build the same kind of monumental buzz we had created in the past for our other apps. We were however entering a new world of photos and filtering insanity with devout iphoneographers and fierce competition, as well as launching at a non-ideal time of year for a bright, colorful photo app. Additionally, Popkick was not the first of its kind in its category, but it felt fresh and new, taking a more artistic approach to photo editing than merely applying faded filters and overlaying text.
To our delight, Popkick took off and flew to the top of the charts worldwide. The app was immediately featured around the world by Apple in the Best New Apps (Photo & Video) and Fun with Filters categories. We watched Popkick climb the charts and #popkickapp photos fill the Instagram and Twitter ecosystem.
Rave reviews from critics began pouring in. Billboard, the world's premier music publication, named Popkick - "an Artist's new best friend … creating interesting photos that apps like Instagram currently don't offer." Fuse TV called Popkick one of the "Top 10 Must Download Apps for the Holidays". AppPicker claimed that "Popkick demonstrates just the right amount of innovation … a great development which gets my recommendation." Leading iPhone photography sites called the app "Absolutely original … smooth, easy & fun" (Italianeography), "A great effect to have in your iPhone app toolbox" (LifeinLoFi), and "Fresh out of the box today & has me hooked already. I spent just a few minutes playing with Popkick & got some great results. The interface is really quite special too & unlike any other iPhoneography app I've used" (iPhoneographyCental).
User's responded positively with a 4.5 - 5 Star rating worldwide claiming it to be unique artistic fun and the perfect app to decorate your walls with, and while the hours away popkickin' anything and everything, while some even sent out prints to friends and family for the holidays.
We were absolutely thrilled. This is just the beginning for Popkick and we look forward to improving and getting even more creative with it.