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Nailup ネイルアップ iPhone App Review: Japanese Nail Art on your iPhone!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ever since I got an iPhone, I've been trawling the App Store for beauty and nail-related apps, just because you know, I'm that much of a makeup/nail polish junkie. Unfortunately the makeup apps I tried were all kinda crappy, but there were quite a lot of pretty great nail art iPhone apps out there, so I thought I'd start a series reviewing some of these nail art iPhone apps for you. A lot of them are Japanese apps, so I'll include some instructions on how to navigate through these apps, as well. That said, you don't actually need to know much Japanese to do that - I only have a pathetic one year's worth of Japanese language study under my belt, and I did it!

So let's start with the first in the nail art iPhone app review series - Nailup! Lite. The Nailup! app actually comes in two versions, Nailup! Lite, which I'm reviewing (because I"m a cheapskate and never pay for apps), and Nailup!, the full version of the app. It's the iPhone version of the Japanese nail art magazine, Nail Up Magazine (ネイルアップ if you're wondering how it's written in Japanese). The difference is that the Nailup! full version has the entire magazine and is updated, while Nailup! Lite only has a few pages and isn't updated.

To download this app, just go to the Appstore and search for "nailup". It'll be one of the first few hits on there. The download screen will look like this:


Once you've downloaded the app, it looks like this on your iPhone screen:

nailup iphone screen 2w


When you open the app, the first thing you'll see is a random page of the Nail Up magazine, together with a little pop up showing you how to use the app. Its pretty simple. You swipe sideways to move back and forth one page at a time, and you can display the toolbar for more options by double tapping on the screen. This has the simplest controls out of all the nail art apps, and there isn't really anything you can't learn on your own.

nailupp iphone screen 3w


Altogether, the Nailup! Lite version of the app gives you 25 pages of free content from the Nail Up! Magazine. I'm not sure if they ever update it...Mine seems perpetually stuck at the March 2011 issue. I kinda wish they had more pages, and that the pages would be updated regularly, like we could get 25 pages of each month's mag, instead of just the same 25 pages all the time. Well, better than nothing, and the photos are really pretty. You get selected pages of step-by-step tutorials for various types of designs, as well as some pictures. There are boxes of text in Japanese here and there, but I really just look at the pictures...

nailup iphone screen 4w


One of my favourite functionalities for this type of app, where you're really just looking at pretty photos for inspiration, is the zoom functionality. You can pinch out to zoom in, and pinch in to zoom out. Pretty nifty, eh? The zoom does let you look at the nail designs etc in relatively good detail, which is always appreciated. Here's a page pre-zooming in.

nailup iphone app screen 5w


And here's me zooming in on a particular nail design on the page that I liked. Pretty good zoom!

nailup iphone app screen 6w


All in all, I'd say this is a good app, and especially useful if you're just looking for pretty nail art photos for inspiration, or just to ogle gorgeous nail designs. However, because the content isn't updated at all, looking at the same 25 pages gets pretty boring after awhile. So this app would be a "download, read, and then delete" type of app in my iPhone stash. It would definitely help if the pages were updated more often. But for a free app, well, it's worth downloading it, even if you only ever read it once.
 

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