ARTPOP (Free) by Lady Gaga “could mean anything,” as sung in the title track on the album. With the release of Lady Gaga’s third studio album “ARTPOP,” Gaga and her TechHaus team have built an intriguing companion app. The main question to be answered here is whether or not the ARTPOP app is more than a gimmicky way to boost album sales.
When I first heard about the ARTPOP app, I wondered how good it would actually be. To my surprise, it is looking good and feeling fine. Everything from the captivating intro video to the visuals, animations, and motion effects in the app have been perfected.
At this point, you may be wondering what the app is all about. The ARTPOP app is centralized around the idea of “the auras,” which is the community of users within the app. Cleverly named after “Aura,” the first track on the album, each person’s “aura” is a personal profile that they will develop while using the app. Think of it as an overall presence of your activity in the app, accessed by tapping on the glowing orb at the bottom of the main menu, which will reveal your activity scattered across the screen.
Unfortunately, only the “ARTPOP” and “ArtHaus” sections of the app are available right now, with two unknown features set to unlock in April of 2014. It is quite possible that Gaga will release additional songs through the app at that time, which would definitely give it more of a purpose.
The ARTPOP section is, of course, the album itself. It is simply a music player, which will automatically import the songs from “ARTPOP” that you have purchased from iTunes. Your play history will become part of your aura, but other than this, it is just a music player.
The next area of the app that is unlocked as of its release is the ArtHaus studio. This is where you will be able to make unique GIF images, which are based on a moving objects with a background of your choice. Instead of trying to further describe the creative process involved, I’ll just leave a few finished examples here, here, and here. To make things more exciting, there is an area where users can view which images have been seen by Gaga, which I think is pretty cool.
From anywhere within the app, an edge gesture in from the left side of the display will reveal a panel. In here, you can quickly control the playback of music, as well as participate in chat rooms through LittleMonsters.com.
While using the app is not necessary to enjoy the album, ARTPOP — in both the album and the app — is an interesting project. I am curious to know what it will turn into in the future, but as of right now, I would still recommend the app to anyone who owns the album. After all, there is no bad time to begin developing a young aura.