My first thought when I heard about Moju (free) was "Oh, great - another photo and video sharing app..." That was before I downloaded and tried it. The idea behind the app is simple - you capture individual photos or short videos in motion, which are then viewed with a twist of your iPhone. But viewing is an understatement - the images truly come to life on your screen as you move the phone.
The effect is similar to what you see with lenticular printing - you know, like on those plastic rulers or trading cards where you twist the object back and forth and see animated images. But rather than being gimmicky, I found Moju to be quite enchanting.
That feeling isn't universal, however. A few Facebook friends thought the Moju "movies" were too jerky. Then again, they may have been referring to me...
To use the app, you can sign up with a new account or with Facebook or Twitter. Once signed in, you pick a user name and password for future use. A few screens show you how to use the app, and then it's time to have fun.
While I was talking to Moju co-founder Mok Oh on a Google Hangout this morning, I shot my first Moju by holding down the on-screen shutter button - thereby putting it into burst mode - and spinning around in my office chair. This spinning selfie actually has its own hashtag on Moju (#spinningselfie) so apparently I wasn't the first to try that out!
After you've shot the images or "video", moving your iPhone displays the animated image. You can apply filters to the Moju, then share it through Facebook and Twitter along with a caption and location if you desire. Moju users also see your works of art in a feed in the app, while those Facebook and Twitter friends see a still photo they can click to go to the Moju website for viewing. Note that an embed feature for websites is still in beta and we were unable to get it to work, so what you'll see are videos captured from the website. On the website, moving a cursor right and left imitates rocking the iPhone back and forth to play the Moju.
Some of the advantages of Moju-tography (is that a word? It is now!) include requiring less bandwidth to upload and share than video and less storage space on the iPhone itself. Oh noted that an upcoming update will bring the ability to take short videos that are stored in Photos on the iPhone and convert them to Mojus.
It's a very quick way to shoot very short stop-action animations, too. I took my good friend Domo, mounted my iPhone 6 Plus on a tripod with a Glif, and then took 24 separate images while moving Domo. A "ghosting" option is a default setting in the app, so your last shot is superimposed on what you're about to take a photo of. That really helps in aligning objects for stop action.
For my part, I like that Moju lets me see a short "video" on my iPhone with a quick flick of the wrist. I don't have to suffer through a long Vine or Instagram video; I can see it all in seconds, then slow it down if I want more detail.
Moju also does a good job of letting you find new people to follow. There's an Explore option under the "hamburger" menu that features a variety of interesting Moju images, and you can also search hashtags if you'd like to see more of a certain type of Moju.
If you're bored with Instagram or Vine and want to try something new and fun, give Moju a try. It's free, it's fun, and it's certainly different from the run of the mill ways of sharing images with friends.