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MOBILE DEVICES

The Best Android Photography Apps
By: wubayou
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    2011-12-21

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    So, you decided to go with an Android smartphone over the iPhone. There’s nothing wrong with that, as each platform has its advantages. Unfortunately, one advantage that Apple seems to have is its massive App Store that contains a huge selection of apps across various categories, including photography. There’s no need to worry, as the Android Market has its fair share of photography apps that you can put to use to turn your smartphone’s camera into one mean photo-snapping machine.

    PicSay Pro



    Here’s an Android photography app that caters to more advanced users.  On one hand, it is a tad expensive in terms of app prices at $3.99 per download.  On the other hand, PicSay Pro has won awards and acclaim for its features that make it worth its price tag.  After all, you do get what you pay for.

    First, PicSay Pro offers a ton of must-have functionality for anyone looking to take their smartphone photos to another level.  There’s crop and straighten, as well as a sharpen feature.  The app comes with a nifty little tool to get rid of any pesky red eye, and you can enjoy more fun editing with the addition of filters and special effects such as Tilt-shift and Vignette.  You can really get interactive with the photo editing process by inserting cutouts taken from other pictures, adding word balloons and text, paint, distort, and much more.  Does your Android device work with a special pen for its touch-screen?  Go ahead and use it with the app, as it also supports pressure-sensitive drawing.  These are just some of the features that PicSay Pro brings to the table.  As mentioned, don’t be deterred by its price, as you will definitely love all the new and exciting functions the app has to offer.

    Action Snap



    Taking pictures of fast action shots can get tricky at times.  This is especially true if you are trying to take shots at sporting events, or any other place where a lot of movement is occurring.  Action Snap is an Android app that tackles this problem by taking multiple quick photos and combining them into one to give you a true depiction of what is actually going on.  The app gives you the option to combine four or nine photos, and you can also tweak the time intervals from as little as 0.1 second to as much as five seconds.  Of course, if you are in the mood for snapping normal photos at a calm pace, you can do that as well by switching to the app’s custom mode.

    Action Snap does come with some cool effects to bring your photos to life, but its main appeal is the way in which it tackles fast moving scenes.  The basic functionality comes at no cost.  The Pro version gives you added functionality in the form of digital zoom, front camera support, flashlight support, extra effects, and is ad-free.  Those features are nice, but the free version should suffice if you just want to play around with action sequences.

    Magic Hour

    Filters are the name of the game with the Magic Hour app for Android.  In case you were wondering, Magic Hour refers to the first and last hours of sunlight during the day that provide supreme photo opportunities.  The app lets you use a grid to make sure photos are just right, and also works with flash in certain compatible devices. 

    The amount of things you can do with just a few taps is impressive.  There are settings for brightness, contrast, saturation, texture, and much more.  You can use the settings to create your own filters that can be saved and edited, or you can select from an expanding catalog of preset filters.  Magic Hour comes with 40 filters by default, but you also gain access to a free Filter Market with what seems to be unlimited options thanks to other contributing members.  The filters are a great way to turn your photos into something worth sharing without the need to tweak a bunch of settings.  Just pick your filter of choice, apply it, and you are done.  Sharing through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr is as simple as can be, and the app will even give you the option of which specific album you want to upload to.

    Lightbox



    The Lightbox app for Android makes the list not necessarily for how it enhances taking photos, but for how it lets you share them.  After all, what good are photos if nobody else can see them?  Lightbox uses an online account to essentially store your photos safely.   Such a feature is important should you ever lose your smartphone.  Once you take a photo with the app, it will automatically upload to your online account for access across various devices. 

    Sharing is possible through the big time social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but Lightbox also throws in functionality for Flickr and Tumblr.  Instead of uploading annoying links to your Facebook profile, Lightbox actually uploads your photos to albums for improved sharing and viewing.  It’s easy to import any existing photos from your phone to the app as well.  If you are lacking an internet connection, the app will still work and allow you to use it to snap photos.  Once you regain a connection synching will take place.  Lastly, Lightbox does give you the power to edit and add some filters and effects to your photos for more aesthetic appeal.  Best of all, the app is free, so there’s no risk in installing Lightbox and taking it for a test drive.

    As you can see from this list, apps can really help convert your Android smartphone’s camera into something special.  The aforementioned apps are just a small sample of the existing selection in the Android Market, so look for similar photography apps to max out your mobile photography experience.  Do you have any photography apps that you’d like to share?  If so, let us know!


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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