1. cjvitek's Avatar
    I have a Wii, and one of the most enjoyable things (surprisingly) that I do with the system is created the Miis. And now, Mii creation comes to the iPhone!

    eMees is a tool to create avatars for the iPhone. Once you create an avatar, you can save it to your photo roll, and you can even assign it to one of your contacts as their photo! As someone who doesnt have any photos associated with contacts, this is a nice feature to have!

    The concept behind eMees is the same idea as creating a Mii on the Wii. You choose various features like head shape, hair pattern, eyes, lips, eyebrows, etc) to combine into a face. You can also adjust the color, and for some items (like nose, eyes, eyebrows) you can adjust the size, orientation, and horizontal or vertical position. Combine these features and you have a lot of flexability in creating an avatar, and as you practice and get more talented, you can get quite good at creating avatars that start to look like the intended target!

    One additional feature this program has is called the pose option. You can take you avatar and put them into one of three pre-determined posed (sledding, skateboarding, or typing). Unfortunately those are the only poses that are offered hopefully more will be included in future updated.

    I had one major issue with this program. The primary issue was the speed. The interface is very slow.very very slow. It takes a while to load, and then it takes a long time to flip between the various avatar options as well. In fact, the delay almost makes the program unusable in my opinion. The delay is especially pronounced when you are flipping between the various options for each facial feature the different hair styles for example, or the different eye glass options.

    The only other concerns I had with this app is a minor one the difficulty of using an avatar outside of the app. I would have thought that when you save an avatar, you would have the option of saving it as a contact photo, or in your photo roll. But when you save it, it enters the eMees gallery. From there, you then need to select it again to then save it as a contact photo. It seems like the additional step of requiring you to save it first in the eMees gallery is not needed.

    You also dont have any option within the app to email an avatar to anything you need to save it as a photo, then go out, look at the photo, and then email it to someone.
    Pros: Fun way to design avatars for your contacts
    Cons: Limited poses, program is much too slow, using avatars in contacts is needlessly convoluted

    All in all, this is a pretty well designed program. The options to create the avatars are rather full featured, and the ability to use the avatars as a contact ID is great. However, the program is much, much to slow and I got frustrated many times while trying to use it because of the lag. The price is currently $.99, down from $2.99, so you may want to jump on it now, and hope future updates improve the speed problems. As the lag really impacts the usability of the program, I am giving the app only three out of five stars. If future updates improve the speed issues, than it will really be worthwhile application.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.
    02-03-2009 01:53 PM
  2. Jordan Wan's Avatar
    Hi Chris,

    I just wanted to thank you for such a great review!

    I'm really happy you liked our program and although there are certainly further improvements that we need to make I wanted to let you know that a version 1.1 update became available today on iTunes and this update should come to you through your iPhone or you can download it directly from iTunes http://tinyurl.com/GetEmees.

    Version 1.1 is an interim update that was released to directly address the issue of latency when browsing facial features which we understand was too sluggish in our initial v1.0 update. This update also addresses another issue where the app could crash if you forget to enter a name in the pose saving dialog.

    As I mentioned it is an interim update, since we have identified additional optimizations that are possible to make it even more responsive to touch gestures - the availability of a 2nd update where we wish to address more "core" elements to make it more responsive will take a couple weeks but we hope to have it out as soon as possible. Version 1.1 is provided just to give you a little speed boost while we work on our next major update.

    I hope in the meantime that the new v1.1 speed optimizations will make eMees more enjoyable to use.

    I've attached some additional screen captures we've taken of the app to demonstrate what it can do - you may recognize some of the faces ;o)

    We love eMees too and we're going to make it even better, some really cool new ideas as well as extending the library of facial features is planned for future versions.

    eMees Avatar Creator

    Jordan Wan

    02-03-2009 09:17 PM
  3. cjvitek's Avatar
    I will try the update to see if I notice a speed difference. This is a fun app, the only real issue was the speed lag.
    02-03-2009 10:30 PM
  4. Jordan Wan's Avatar
    That's really good to hear. Glad you are enjoying it, I hope the speed boost in v1.1 will tide you over until the next major release where we will go lower level to the "core" to optimize speed further. We may occasionally release small updates along the way to that milestone in case anything needs to be addressed with immediacy.

    Jordan Wan
    02-04-2009 10:06 AM
  5. Jordan Wan's Avatar
    PS. Just a tip - if you want to move through items even faster than using the swipe gesture you can just tap the icons in the thumbnail browser, just tap to the left or right of the current thumbnail (always centered) directly on the thumbnails, this method can even be used to skip over items.

    02-04-2009 10:56 AM
  6. cjvitek's Avatar
    The eMees update did speed things up a bit, but it is still pretty slow. And yes, I have tried tapping on the icon I want (rather than swiping). It helps.

    02-05-2009 02:23 PM
  7. xtxxf02's Avatar
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    02-06-2009 02:52 AM
  8. Jordan Wan's Avatar
    Good. I'm glad the tapping helps. I hope to have a more substantial update soon where I can address the speed at a lower level, this just needs to be done very methodically so the interim update gives us a little time we need. We'll just keep at this. It seems worthwhile to improve the speed as people are generally enjoying it.

    02-07-2009 01:27 AM