The last thing the world needs is another photo app. For heaven's sake, developers, we have enough photo apps to choose from - BlackBerry probably offers thousand of them all created by the same developer. So, when an app like Cluster comes along, I'm reluctant to download it or review it in any manner.
But, this one has caught my eye.
What Cluster Does
I like to take photos. A lot. I document every event, and my iPhone is never far from me. People know that I take a lot of photos, and those people (for some reason) always want copies of the photos that I take. The thing is that I'm not really into sending out mass photo emails - or, I just forget. Cluster aims to change my inconsideration.
To use Cluster, you have to create a "cluster" (or album), and enter basic album details like the time, date, location, and those friends that attended X event. After that, you can upload the photos from that event to your Cluster album. The app then finds photos from Cluster albums your friends have created, and adds all of those photos into one neat package.
Sounds fun, right? I can see just a few issues with this app, though.
Some Drawbacks to Cluster
The first glaringly obvious problem here is that other apps have tried to curate photos before - and failed, miserably. The second problem is that your friends have to have Cluster in order to share photos, and some people might not have an iPhone. Hard to believe, I know.
While the concept of a virtual photo album that can be easily shared is an interesting one, it has been done before, and I'm not certain that this one will succeed. I still have to upload my photos, add a bunch of details, and share them with friends. It's kind of like a Dropbox, really. So, what's Cluster's appeal?
Cluster Aims to Make It Simpler
Cluster really tries to make that whole virtual photo album thing simpler. Does it succeed? The app is easy to use, but I'm still not convinced that people want this app - or that another photo app is actually needed. The one thing that Cluster does do is make it possible to view photos from an event at a later time.
This way, you aren't looking at photos of something while you are attending that something. That, I suppose, makes this app purposeful. Would I use it? No; but only because I don't want to go through the trouble of creating an album and sharing it with my friends, and most of my friends have Android phones.
Since I know all of you want to know, there's no word on an Android version of Cluster at the moment. Now, if Cluster were available on both iOS and Android, and would work cross-platform, I might consider using the app regularly.
But, for now, Cluster adds to the, well, cluster of photo apps already in the app store, so this app is going to have to find a way to stand out.