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APP REVIEW: CUT ME IN

app_title

When I was 21, I worked at Kinko's. One night a woman came in to ask a question I would never forget for the rest of my life. She walked up and handed me a picture of her and her ex-boyfriend sitting together on a fountain while vacationing in Italy...

HER: Can you print this?

ME: Sure, let me scan it real quick.

HER: Can you take him out?

ME: Uh... I can crop him out.

HER: *Ugh* Then I'll lose the fountain! Can't you just put a palm tree in front of him?

ME: Do what now?

HER: You know, take a picture of something else and cover him up! That shouldn't take too long should it?

Really!? A palm tree? Smack-dab in the front of a fountain? Didn't she realize how corny that picture was going to look? Not to mention the dude had his arm around her. What am I supposed to do then? Photoshop a branch around her neck? (That's some Evil Dead $#!+ ) It's not her fault though, she didn't know. With the advances in technology since then, I think about that poor sweet lady from time to time. Was she ever able to find a way to enjoy that photo without being sullied by the memory of her ex-boyfriend?

Well Ma'am, if you're still out there, I found the PERFECT app just for you! CUT ME IN is a beginner level app that allows you to mask out an existing photo and superimpose it on top of a different image. That's right, an app that finally allows you to cover up those pesky ex-boyfriends! Unfortunately, I don't know what ever happened to that woman, so I can't fix her picture. I guess the only logical option left is to use this app for what it was truly intended for... mockery!

CMI_0

The base version of CUT ME IN is free. It allows you to select one of several provided stock photo backgrounds to use. First thing I noticed was that only a handful of backgrounds images were taken at an optimal viewpoint to place a photo of someone into. The rest are just awkwardly angled. I noticed CUT ME IN featured the option to upload your own photo as a background, so I opted for that. When randomly selecting a picture from my camera roll to test things out, I was immediately notified that I had to shell out 2 bucks to unlock this feature.

*Sigh* Alright folks, if I'm going to use my own money to review this app, then I'm going to make it good! Given the nature of this app review, I'll be using two images. The first picture we'll be using is this one I took of Prints On Wood's foxy young ingénue, Alex. ;)

CMI_1Coincidentally, this is also the same face she makes every time I walk into the room.

After spending $2 to upload this lovely image of Alex, CUT ME IN then prompts you to either take a photo, or use an existing one on your camera roll. Since I'm positive all of you are sick of my boyish good looks by now, I went into our workshop to take a picture of POW's 2nd hottest male employee, Wesley!

CMI_2

To recap: Your first photo is your background image, and your second photo is going to be placed on top. Once you shoot / select your 2nd photo, CUT ME IN allows you to mask out your selection. Using your finger, you can trace the outline of the object you'd like to place into your background image. This is where things get a little messy. There's no edge detection on this tool, only a little magnifying glass that appears to show you the detail of your line (which is helpful incase you have fat fingers like me).

CMI_3

As you can see, I was able to get the general outline of Wes' physique, but it's a little sloppy around the corners (my clipping mask, not Wes). One caveat about CUT ME IN is that with the obvious limitations in terms of cutting out your image, none of your finished photos are going to look realistic. But we all know this app isn't about realism, it's about having fun!

CMI_4Noice!

After cutting out Wes from his photo, CUT ME IN now places your selection from the second picture into the background image. As indicated by the wording at the top of the screen, this portion of the user experience is referred to as the Chopstation. The placement of images and assets in the Chopstation works quite similar to POW's Image Effects Editor. To scale or rotate the size or angle of your placed image, simply pinch two opposing corners of the box and move your fingers accordingly. To delete it, just tap the black X in the top left corner of your bounding box.

CMI_5

The Chopstation also allows you to add to your image with the offering of several tools. A Brush tool that allows you to draw on your picture, Stickers of hats and mustaches to place onto your image, a Text tool to place words on your image, and Word Balloons containing several internet acronyms (OMG, LOL). None of the word balloons seemed to match the impending look of doom on Alex's face, so I moved Wes out of the way to draw my own with the Brush tool. After drawing my sweet word balloon, I got hit with another impending charge when I clicked on Text to add some words.

CMI_pree

Apparently there's 3 versions of CUT ME IN. A free version, a version that allows you to upload your own backgrounds ($2), and a Pro version that features more stock backgrounds, the ability to add text, and the ability to upload your own background images ($3).

When I was messing with the free version, I knew I wanted to use my own pictures, but wasn't too sure about adding text, so I paid the $2 to unlock the custom background ability. When I decided to upgrade to Pro, I thought that the cost would be compounded and I would pay the $1 difference. Nope. You have to pay a total of $5 to upload your own pictures and ADD text if you go about it the wrong way.

Well that sucks. I was having so much fun up until that point. Screw it. I'll just add text to the final image in Photoshop. Speaking of, let's see how my Frankenedsteined foto turned out.

MLADYYES!

Tsk tsk. Here we see another sweet kind gentlesir getting freindzoned, once again, over the prospect of a euphoric evening consisting of watching Cosmos in his mother's basement while drinking Mountain Dew and eating Cool Ranch Doritos. How typical! It's ok Wes, I bet she doesn't even know who Neil deGrasse Tyson is!

Now for the obligatory wood print...

CMI_6It's not the fedora on your head, but the fedora on your heart that matters.

So in conclusion, did CUT ME IN make the cut?

RATE

After we all had a nice laugh about the final picture, based on all the fun that was had, I was going to give this mother a 4. Then I took into account that the final images produced by CUT ME IN are incredibly low rez. The app also offers no image editing features in terms of lighting/sharpness/color, which would greatly contribute to the overall experience. Since we still had a lot of fun, I was going to downgrade the rating to a generous 3. THEN I remembered how I was swindled out of $2 dollars to upload my own pictures and nearly strong-armed into paying another $3.

In my opinion, it would've been less insulting and more intuitive to offer two versions of CUT ME IN. A free version, and a premium one. To pay $2 to unlock one single feature is absurd. To pay another $3 on top of that to unlock more is superfluous. A better solution would have been to bundle everything together for one cost instead of tricking unsuspecting rubes (like myself) into paying a little now, only to pay more later. Taking all of that into consideration, despite all the fun, CUT ME IN garners a solid 2.

After spending all of $2 on a humorous second-rate app while lampooning two unsuspecting participants (I didn't tell them what these pictures were going to be used for), I've decided to clean the sour taste that CUT ME IN has left in my mouth by ending on a high note.

Please accept this nice, normal, crush-worthy photo of Alex and Wes as atonement for my d-baggery.

POWBABES

Wow! Check out those beautiful blue eyes! Those full soft pink lips! That alluring yet seductive european jaw-line! Hotdamn! Wes is a STUD! Oh... and... uh... Alex is pretty cute too. But what's this?

yuckIs it me, or did this picture just got a whole hell of a lot hotter!?

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For more information on CUT ME IN, please visit: http://www.applauseapps.com.au/

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