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Pictures & Photos

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.

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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.
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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.

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There are numerous apps for photo editing in the Play Store, most of which apply filters and other enhancements to give images a makeover. There are a few, however, that offer a combination of motion and still photos to create an intriguing animated image. These are popularly called “cinemagraphs”, a way of isolating a specific motion within an image and playing it repeatedly to create a moving photograph. One of the few apps for making cinemagraphs is fotodanz and it certainly can make your photos dance and bring them to life.

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Any android user knows the joys of taking pictures with their phone. As a matter of fact, many people don’t even carry regular point-and-shoot cameras with them anymore because phone cameras have improved so much in the last few years, not to mention the added value of having the ability to quickly and easily enhance those photos before they even leave the phone.

A good app for auto-enhancing then quickly and easily tweaking those enhancements is a gem when it’s found. One such gem is the Perfectly Clear app that offers all these options along with sharing or saving your photos like a champ.

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The humble infographic has gone from the boardroom projector to online viral fame in the last few years. There’s no easier way to represent data to interest a person than by making it look pretty. Good infographics are simple to interpret and often cross language barriers effortlessly.

InFoto aims to tap into this, by converting the hundreds of photos you undoubtedly have stewing on your SD card into a pretty infographic that’ll probably get more likes on Facebook than your original snaps.

When I first heard the idea I thought it was a college student’s half-baked end of year assignment he decided to throw up on the Google Play Store, but it turns out photos actually have a ton of data stored within them. The question is: does the app make impressive use of it?

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Finally! Pinterest has launched its official app for Android devices, which means you can now pin and browse to your heart’s content from wherever you are. Since it’s taken so long to see the light of day, expectations for this release are very high amongst power users and casual browsers alike. I took it for a spin to see how it matches up to its mighty web counterpart — and I must say, I’m impressed!

For those who came in late: Pinterest is a visual social bookmarking platform where you can find inspiration, ideas and even great deals on stuff you want to buy. Users ‘pin’ images (mostly from the web and sometimes from their own libraries) and enrich them with descriptions, tags and links. Apart from contributing to the ever-growing library of visually stimulating shareables, you can also browse what others have pinned, by going through categories or more specific collections called ‘boards’.

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Everyone loves sharing and looking at photos. That’s why social networking sites are so hard to stay away from — that’s why Facebook bought Instagram and Google+’s latest app design places such high emphasis on photos.

If you find yourself catching up with friends and families’ photos on a daily basis – or stalking your favorite celebrities through theirs – Pixable will let you get the job done in half the time.
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As a photographer, I never thought I’d use my smartphone’s camera much, given that it obviously doesn’t have the capabilities of a DSLR. But lately, I’ve learned to love it for what it is – a simple camera that’s on hand whenever I need it – and that’s really the best kind of camera you can have. Having come to terms with my phone camera, I now use it for discreet street photography, making note of locations and props I could use for upcoming photo shoots, and working on my composition.

I’ve been hankering for a solid photo editing app, though – something that offers at least a smidgen of the control over how pictures turn out that desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop do. There are a fair number of editing tools out there, but none seemed to have the complete package of features, usability and fine-grained control over various parameters that I wanted. Then, I discovered Aviary.

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The world we live in is beautiful. Photographs allow you to see far more of it than you could ever dream. Occasionally, I come across one or two fantastic pictures of great scenes that amaze and astounding me. Till now, it’s been hard to find a tool which compiles all of these into one database – but 500px could be it. Transferring the quality and class over from the popular webpage, this new Android app has a promising future.

500px gives you an enormous variety of images, all high quality and superb. Taken from an enormous amount of photographers you can easily pick out the best.

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