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Pictures & Photos

When was the last time you saw a new mobile phone without a camera? Tough one, isn’t it? From a mere gimmick just a few years ago, to a necessarily underpowered addon, to a full-fledged feature, cameras on mobile phones have come a long way. While the iPhone has graduated to become the most used camera amongst Flickr users, every new Android phone that comes out boasts of some new camera technology unique to itself.

Unfortunately, camera apps haven’t really kept in sync with the advances in mobile phone camera technology over the years. So although your phone may be technically capable of a lot of things, the app you use to shoot your photos is most probably showcasing only a fraction of its abilities. And even if it can take advantage of everything available to it, it hides all that control deep within its settings in an attempt to keep the user interface clean and simple to use.

Except for Shot Control, that is.

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Uploading Photos is a Snap with the Bu.mp App

Bu.mp has been around for a while and it really is an extraordinary way to share information with other smartphone users (Android and iPhone). Seriously, just as the name implies, all you have to do is bump phones with another Bu.mp user and – presto! – you’re sharing contact info, photos, and app suggestions.

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Viewing images on Android has historically been an exercise in frustration. I remember being wowed by the 3D scrolling gallery in my first Android 2.3 phone for a long 10 seconds. Took me a day to get fed up and install QuickPic, among other alternatives, just to be able to view my photos without having to take coffee breaks between swipes.

There haven’t been a lot of contenders for the crown of the best gallery app on Android, and Scalado – best known for their “Remove” and “Rewind” technologies for improving your photos post-shoot – have recently entered the arena to take a shot at it (yup, pun intended). Like QuickPic, Scalado Album aims to make the process of browsing and viewing your photos as painless and effective as possible. Here’s a look at how well it does.

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The first thing you need to know about this app is its concept: the effects and filters applied to your photos are made to “cartoonize” them. In fact, it makes your photos look like drawn (or printed) images on paper – hence the name, Paper Camera.

Paper Camera stands out among the wide sea of photography apps in the Play Store. When I first saw the real-time application of its quirky filters, I knew I was going to have fun using it. There’s a lot of potential for your photos with this app –  it’s just a matter of letting your imagination take the lead.

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Pudding Camera is yet another tantalizing Android app for budding photographers. While it lacks some of the extensive features of paid alternatives, it’s a sleek and simple application, featuring a number of filters and camera styles to spice up your snaps. But is it worth giving a go?

If you’re tired of taking mediocre photos on your mobile, this could turn out to be your new favourite app. You won’t need knowledge of photography or even much common sense to use it; and what’s more, it’s completely free.

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It seems like there’s no end to the buzz around Instagram, the uber-popular photo sharing app initially released to iPhone users back in 2010. First the launch of the Android version two weeks ago, then the surge of new users (10 million in 10 days), and then the acquisition of the company by Facebook. But does the app deserve all the attention it’s getting in the Play Store?

For those of you who came in late, Instagram lets you take photos, apply filters to spice them up and then share them with the world on social networks. The app is free to use and now boasts a community of over 40 million users worldwide. Since it took so long to reach Android users, other developers created photo apps incorporating similar functionality. Let’s shoot a few pictures and see how Instagram holds up on this platform.

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One of the major draws to iOS devices is Instagram, the wildly popular free photo app that allows you to snap a picture, apply a retro filter, and share it on social networks. iPhone users have enjoyed this platform-exclusive luxury for a long time while Android fans haven’t had anything with quite the same usability, charm or community.

Most app makers’ attempts to create something similar have been met with lukewarm responses, but there’s now a strong contender that could be just what Android users have been waiting for. It’s called Lightbox.

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