Hipstamatic is a photography app that’s captured the imagination of myriad iPhone owners. The app enables you to switch lenses and camera types, aping film cameras and providing a little soul to otherwise sterile digital snaps. Synthetic Corp, the company behind the app, cunningly took advantage of the sheer number of people keen to create retro photos, providing various packs of lenses and effects, and also offering a print service. It’s an effective combination and a solid, entertaining app; the default set-up that you get when paying for the app is enough for some, but the add-ons are reasonably priced for those who want a little more variety.
Bizarrely, the company has now gone full-on freemium with a new product, Hipstamatic Disposable, with a pricing model that makes gold-farming games almost look reasonable, and also manages to more literally take photography back to the dark ages. This time, the app is free, and you pay for digital film. I am not making this up. Hipstamatic Disposable takes the major benefit of the digital age—not having to worry about the number of snaps you have left—and stamps all over it, in the desire to make money.
I hate the freemium trend. We’re way past value-add now and fully into the realm of gouging. We’ve seen golf games where you effectively pay for a few extra strokes, and now here’s a camera app where you pay for the film. I sincerely hope Hipstamatic Disposable falls on its stupid face and breaks its stupid digital lens, before some dolt starts working on a word processor where you have to buy sheets of paper and typewriter ribbons, or a driving game where you have to fuel up your car (with petrol prices defined by actual prices, to enhance the realism), or an art app where you buy little tubes of expensive acrylic paint that annoyingly dry out if you forget to put the little digital caps on to the little digital tubes before shutting down the app.