Review: iBeams


Well-known member
Jul 5, 2008
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iBeams is an interactive app in the same mold as the various firework or light show apps (like the recently reviewed spawn). It allows you to interact using the touch screen with various visual effects - like sparks, neon waves, flame, color sprays, etc.

When you start the app, you see a visual effect on the screen. To change it, you can tap the icon in the lower left of the screen, and choose from 13 different effects. Alternatively, you can just tap the screen to cycle through the various visual effects. Touching the screen and moving your fingers allows you to interact with these effects - they follow your finger, they respond to multitouch, and they change their patterns.

Within the app, you can also adjust the settings for motion blur, speed, color, and using the accelorometer for tilt control as well. Each of these will modify the visual effect resulting in a new display.

One thing I really liked about this app was the ability to modify the visual effects. In the Spawn program, you can modify the effects a little bit, but you are mostly limited to just changing the speed and size of the bursts. Here you have a number of visual patterns to choose from.

Unfortunately, I could never get a really "grand scale" visual effect going on the iPhone screen. Each effect can be played with, but I never was able to achieve the dizzying flash and bursts of color, light, and motion that I would want to see with a visual effect simulator. Some of the individual effects are sort of cool (I never get tired of "star field", and some of the effects will the screen very easily (like "spiral") but I would love to see the ability to program some sort of choreographed movement or have multiple effects on the screen at once.

Pros: Nice options for visual effects types and control

Cons: Only one effect at a time, never got the "ooooh" or the "aaaahhhh" that I was looking for

All in all, if you are into various visual effects, you may enjoy this app. You may even have more success at manipulating the controls for a great screen saver type effect. I think it has some potential, but I was never able to achieve the satisfying effect that i got in some similar programs. For $.99, it could be worth a try if you are interested. Three out of four stars.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a promo code to review this app.

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.