The recent release of the Nexus 5 marked an important landmark in Android phoneography. The physical camera hardware in Google’s latest flagship phone is not a great improvement on the Nexus’ predecessor, but the overall photographic quality of the new handset, particularly after the 4.4.1 software update, shows that Google is taking mobile photography seriously. At last.
Developers are playing their part, too. Both Android-specific apps, such as Vignette, and iOS imports, such as PicLab, provide good quality, classy editing options on an OS that only had Instagram to play with, not so long ago.
But now, things have gone up another level. VSCO Cam, the self-proclaimed “standard of mobile photography” has exited private beta, and it is now ready to bring its comprehensive adjustments and subtle retro cool to our side of the mobile divide. But can this legend of iPhoneography successfully make the transition to Android?
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?
If you’re a Galaxy Note fan, an international user waiting for Google Play Music All Access or a disgruntled Ouya owner with an affinity for the number 1337, you might have some interest in this week’s Android news. Let’s take a look!
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…
With so many social networks and cloud storage services out there, it can become ridiculously hard to manage them all. Many of us are trying to be everywhere at once, while others just wish everyone else would make up their minds where the best virtual hangout is. Some are torn between their Facebook and Twitter friends, or can’t decide whether to post that photo on Instagram or Photobucket. It can all become overwhelming very fast.
Fortunately, a number of developers have had these same thoughts and aimed to help consolidate your life in the cloud. There are apps that help you post to multiple networks at the same time, apps that let you see all your friends social activity in one place, apps that help you collaborate with colleagues regardless of what tools they choose, and even apps to help you keep your own content in order. This post will highlight a few of these to help you make the most of your life in the cloud.
It’s well known that visual media is extremely popular online and this is especially true when it comes to social media. While it’s cool to read about what someone is doing, it’s even cooler to see a picture of it. This is why photo sharing has been such a huge hit recently. Instagram was already the hot topic in social before it was even acquired by Facebook. So where can you go next?
Many believe the next logical step after pictures is moving pictures and there are a few Android apps vying to make that market pop such as Telly and Viddy. There are a number of other contenders, but these two are almost blatantly trying to give their users that Instagram appeal. From the layout of the interface to the availability of fancy video filters, Telly and Viddy are definitely going head-to-head, and we’ll be following them with a thorough comparison.
Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the Android community, there was actually quite a lot going on. As one might expect, one of the final weeks before the end of the year and less than a month before CES 2013 did not bring a plethora of new device announcements but we did see a few app updates and plans to upgrade a number of phones to more recent versions of the OS.
Android has had yet another big week with a bevy of app updates making their way onto the platform, some new device announcements thrown into the mix and interesting developments with Android’s main competitors. In our This Week in Android roundup for the past 7 days, we’ll take a quick look at all of this. (more…)