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As an exponent of photography in a professional capacity, I just like taking photographs, no matter what the equipment in my hand may be, and that includes my phone. Unlike many of my iOS-owning counterparts, however, the range of high quality Androidography apps at my disposal is pretty small. This, in essence, can be attributed to the two main general deficiencies Android is trying to overcome — hardware, and third party apps. For many years, the photographic hardware with which Android handsets have been equipped has been inferior to Apple’s technologies, and, as a result, many development companies haven’t felt the need to bring their best products over to our mobile community.
Thankfully, things are changing. Both Samsung and HTC nowadays produce handsets which can photographically mix it with the best, and developers are responding; take the example of VSCO Cam, the self-proclaimed “Standard of Mobile Photography,” which is now currently in beta testing on Android.
Another promising new iOS-derived arrival into the world of Androidography apps is Repix. With a sleek design and a heavy bias towards stylizing, it has the usual ingredients of any self respecting Instagram-inspired photographic offering; but does it have the killer features to elevate it above the competition?
So, you are sitting there, flicking through the latest images in your Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr timeline. Some of the photos fit into “human interest” – these photos usually include someone else’s meal – and others are mediocre views of a sunset from the inside of a car. On the face of it, you’d think that these pictures have little in common. Look and think again, though, and you will realize that there is a theme which runs through vast swathes of the photos you see. That’s right, you’ve got it; filters. Photos, it would seem, are nowadays regarded as being dull unless they’ve been doused with a squeeze of zingy Lomography, or made musty with some aged, scratched, sepia.
This popularity, you would think, should drive innovation, and an improvement in the quality and diversity of the filter apps on offer. In reality, however, most apps are just happy to be regarded as competent Instagram clones. Not so with the new Android app Camera 2. Not only has the developer, JFDP Labs, packed 28 effects into its $2.99 offering, but it has also been brave enough to try something different – live, pre-capture filtering. Depending on your outlook, this either sounds like a brilliant, killer feature, or a fast-track route to mobile-computing meltdown. Let’s find out which it is…
Android owners are blessed with a great operating system, which many feel is better than iOS. I think even the most ardent Google fanboys would have to concede though, that photography is one area in which Apple’s App Store holds many of the trump cards. Whilst Instagram has made its way over to Android, many brilliant photographic apps like Afterlight and Hipstamatic have not.
Where Instagram leads, though, some others have followed, and with the increasing competence of Android device camera hardware, it’s little wonder that the quality of the photography section of the Google Play store is on the rise.
Looking to add to that trend is Camera360, which has just been updated to version 4, known as the Ultimate edition. Camera360 looks to provide a complete photographic package, from the taking of a photo through to sharing, with a few edits along the way.
But is it just another generic snap-and-filter affair? It’s time to find out…
How can you not love Pixlr? I’m certainly a fan of the series of photo-editing apps. Originally, I was impressed by the desktop version of Pixlr-o-matic, and then by Pixlr’s free online Editor. Nowadays, however, Pixlr has moved with the times, and has added its own app, Pixlr Express, to the massed ranks of mobile editors available for download on both Android and iOS.
Pixlr Express is free in the Play Store, which is surprising, given its apparent wealth of features and editing competence. At the time of writing, well over ten million folks have installed this freebie, so the assumption is that Autodesk, the developer, is doing something right. Does Pixlr Express provide genuine competition to Adobe’s paid-for Photoshop Touch, or is the lack of price-tag attached to Pixlr Express indicative of a lack of quality? Time to find out…
It would seem that there’s barely a man, woman, or child alive who doesn’t take and share pictures using their mobile phone. Yet how many of us properly edit images before sharing them online? I don’t mean warping the colours and applying a weird frame – I mean proper editing.
Judging by the deluge of grainy, uninteresting photos which seem to fill my timelines on a daily basis, I would suggest very little editing is going on. In the case of these snaps, though, the lack of editing is understandable. In other situations, however, it’s worth taking a bit more care – one look at the galleries of Kevin Russ or Chris Ozer is enough to illustrate what is possible with a photographically-proficient smartphone, a bit of skill and some mobile editing.
It is with these situations in mind that Adobe has created Photoshop Touch, which joins a very limited selection of heavyweight image editors on Android. The feature set is impressive on paper, but can the editing king of the desktop successfully make the leap to the small screen?
This past Christmas, I bought my first DSLR — a Canon 550D. Since then I really haven’t put the camera down. And as well as experimenting with shooting, I’ve been constantly looking for apps on my Android device to link with photography. In fact, I found quite a lot of photography applications and each one services a different purpose. However, one caught my eye from the onset: DSLR Controller.
As the name suggests,DSLR Controller allows you to control nearly every element of your DSLR. This is one of the most exciting apps I’ve used all year, so read on to find out how powerful it actually is.
There’s no shortage of camera apps on Android, with multiple options covering almost every niche imaginable. But sometimes one breaks through the noise with impressive filters or awesome features to wow you.
Pencil Camera HD is one such app. Similar to the popular Paper Camera, it applies sketch-like, painting-style, or texture-overlay filters to your photos and videos, to sometimes-incredible results. Let’s take a look.
So much focus is placed on Google’s search and email tools that, despite the massive number of services the company has, it’s still easy to forget about some of the others that are available. Picasa is Google’s photo organization, editing and sharing tool, and Perfect Tool For Picasa is a companion app that’s available for Android.
Perfect Tool focuses on viewing and uploading photos, but also offers the potential for performing basic image editing from your phone or tablet.
Originally an iOS app, Snapseed garnered quite a following for its powerful photo editing capabilities and also won a few “App of the Year” awards from Apple. In September 2012, Google bought Nik Software, the developer company behind the app and a mere three months later, we have an Android version of the app available to us for free. On a side note, Google also made the iOS version of the app free along with the Android release.
But before I delve into this review, let me get one obvious explanation out of the way – Snapseed is not an Instagram competitor from Google. Instagram, if you didn’t know, is a photo sharing app that lets you apply color effects to your photos and share them directly from your mobile devices. It thrives on its social sharing and community feature, while Snapseed does not have any social features of its own. It is also a more extensive photo editing app than a way to apply readymade filters to your photos.
So with that out of the way, let’s dig into what this latest offering from Google that everyone is talking about really is.