While some might be quick to call Cinemagram nothing more than a Vine clone, the reality is that this app has quite a few features that set it apart from its Twitter-owned rival. Chief among these is its ability to create cinemagraphs, which are essentially hybrid photo-videos. Also, Vine's looping videos include audio, while Cinemagram's don't, and that's as big a difference as any.
To get started with Cinemagram, you must first log in with an e-mail address, Twitter account, or Facebook account. From there you'll get access to an Instagram-like social network, with a Home feed that should look and feel familiar to most. This Home feed displays videos or "cines" posted by users you follow, as well as cines featured by Cinemagram staff.
As you scroll through your feed, you'll notice that content sometimes takes a second to load before you can see it. That's because we're dealing with moving images with Cinemagram, which makes its load times noticeably longer than, say, Instagram's. That said, it's not unbearable. Once a video is loaded, you'll be able to Like, Repost, or Comment on it. Plus, there's a Share button that is supposed to let you send a link out to friends. Thus far, though, I haven't been able to get it to work.
Beyond the Home feed, there's a drop-down menu up top that leads to a few more tabs. The Activity tab shows news, messages, and cines from those you're following, while the Discover tab shows you trending cines, and the Profile tab shows you, well, your profile. Finally, the drop-down also houses a search tool for finding other users and for browsing through trending tags.
When it comes to recording cines, Cinemagram has a similar interface to Vine's, with its hold-to-record scheme. The difference here is that Cinemagram gives you only 4 seconds (compared with Vine's 6), and as I mentioned earlier it does not record audio.
Once you're done capturing, Cinemagram will take several seconds to process your footage, then it will present you with quite a few effects to treat it. The app gives you more than a dozen filters, looping and speed options, and, of course, the masking tool to turn your cine into a cinemagraph.
To turn your recorded footage into a cinemagraph, all you have to do is draw a mask around the portion of the screen that you want to remain in motion. The rest will remain a static photo. If you've never seen a cinemagraph, they can be beautifully artistic or sometimes downright creepy. Once you're done applying effects, you'll be able to add a caption and share to Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. There's also an option to share via e-mail, but I couldn't get that one to work, either.
The biggest flaw in this young Android app comes in the performance department. When using Cinemagram, I experienced a number of force-quits and some very laggy processing. What's more, a few features didn't work at all, like sharing my own cines through Gmail and using the Share tool to share links to other users' cines. Still, even with such issues, I found the app to be a great tool for creating cinemagraphs. Its recording process is as simple and intuitive as Vine's, and the effects menu is impressive.