There was a lot of buzz a few weeks ago when Google announced that Docs would become Drive, a general purpose file storage/syncing application with similar functionality to Dropbox. As a matter of fact, I reviewed the web app – the summary being that it’s good, but I will stick with Dropbox. The Android app, on the other hand, offers a completely unique experience that’s worth exploring.
With the cameras on mobile phones getting better by the hour, smartphone users on all mobile OS platforms are spoilt for choice when it comes to photo editing apps. But if you have tried a few, you probably already know that not all of them are worth the precious space on your phone. Even Adobe Photoshop – the king of the hill in the desktop image editing arena and something I was excited to no end to see on Android – has been quite a disappointment as far as editing prowess and flexibility goes.
So when Aviary, Adobe’s counterpart as far as web apps go, decided to come out with an Android version of their photo editor, I knew better than to hike up my expectations.
Google has made almost every attempt possible to become the company that you use every day to check your emails, spend time on your phone, read ebooks and even edit your documents. Google Docs, the online document editor, has been available in mobile form for some time now as a web app, and many users had their hopes dashed when the Google Docs app turned out to be little more that a ‘cover’ that redirects you to the mobile web app.
I must admit that it was not until recently that I really starting using Google Docs, having always preferred Microsoft Office for its functionality and design; however, when your documents need to be viewed by multiple people or you want to continue editing them from separate places, Google Docs can be your best friend with the new mobile app. While this free application is nothing revolutionary it shows that Google is trying to allow the user to have the best experience when using their applications.
You’re Android handset comes with a built-in camera application that is fine for taking the odd shot. I’m not sure whether this is specific to my HTC Sense phone, but my stock camera app has options to change photo saturation, brightness, and other variables. There’s also the option to add some very basic filters like sepia and negative. This is a nice set of features that my iPad 2 (and, presumably, an iPhone) doesn’t have and, especially if your phone has a nice five or eight megapixel shooter on it, can be helpful in taking some valuable shots you can look back on.
Cisco’s recent decision to kill off the Flip video camera family also demonstrates that smartphone cameras are becoming the tool of choice for most people’s photo and video capture needs, so these options are becoming increasingly important.
The quote, “the best camera is the one that’s with you”, is tossed around a lot and, although I can’t seem to find its origin, I certainly know it’s true. Everyday moments can be captured with relative ease and with quality to compete with most point-and-shoot cameras. However, these cameras are smart and not like their dumb-phone counterparts. (more…)