With its promise of connectivity, versatility and convenience of use, Android devices may now be making their big brother devices like DSLRs and laptop computers a run for their money. Whether for connecting with family or associates or for sharing your latest project or trip, the integrated system of Android devices has made your needs literally just a touch or swipe away on your device.
And the promise of the Android device works well into capturing a moment or an interesting sight. The days when you need to tug around hefty cameras and then sink back on your Photoshop to edit your photos seem to be of a time gone by. Times are a changing, indeed, and with the abundance of apps you can use on your Android device, none of your photos may ever bear the same filter, saturation level or color surprise.
So if you are still undecided on which Android photo app suits your needs and preference, or if you are on the lookout for what for now may be the best available photo out there, check out this nifty review list of free photo apps for Android:
The promise: Snapseed creator Nik Software brings its impressive editor—yes, the one which Apple iTunes Store in 2011 designated as “iPad App of the Year”—to Android users via the Snapspeed for Android. This incredibly powerful photo editor promises to transform your good photos into great ones.
What it gives: Snapseed’s features like AutoCorrect, Rotate, Crop and tons of available enhancements like filters and effects gives users an amazing level of control over their photos. The app’s gesture-based, one-tap-at-a-time interface lets you edit your photograph just the way you like it. Snapseed’s integrated feature-pack service lets you enhance, transform and share crisp, unique and interesting photos with ease.
Where it falls short: The app’s features may be versatile but its interface and tools are not that intuitive, so it could take some time before you master the learning curve. There is also no zoom function to turn to when you want to go into finer adjustments and qualities. Google may also be using this app to expand its social network, so Facebook and Twitter sharing is buried but still accessible.
The verdict: It’s no Adobe Photoshop, but any mobile photographer looking for an Android app to tweak their photos will find Snapseed more promising compared to other photo editing apps out there.
The promise: Autodesk, creator of design and engineering staple AutoCAD, forays into photo editing for Android via its flagship app Pixlr Express. Unlike maiden voyages with only a small crew and a light load aboard, Pixlr Express is surprisingly feature-packed and amazingly powerful.
What it gives: With more than 600 onboard effects, Pixlr Express is almost an all-in-one photo editor. Fine tuners like Focal Blur, Color Fix, Red-Eye Reduction, De-Noise and Sharpen are exceptionally effective tools not found in other Android apps. What’s more, each of these tools comes with its own microsettings, so you can adjust each of the changes before you commit them. One exceptional Pixlr adjustment tool is Auto Fix, which make colors more vibrant, offset exposure problems and adjust contrast levels in just a single click. Not bad for an Android app, eh?
Where it falls short: The app is low on politeness. If you are in the middle of something and you hit the wrong button or if something goes awry with your device’s processor, the app does not ask for your advice before it backs down and throws your work into the dustbin.
The verdict: With more options than you might ever want for an Android photo editor, Pixlr Express is currently the most powerful app in the Google Play Store. Definitely a must-download app to enhance your Android photography.
The Promise: After a long wait, the iPhone’s most popular photo sharing app has finally found its way to the Android world. Currently the world’s largest mobile-based social network, Instagram can make your photo appear fascinatingly artsy with its intuitive interface that has created hoards of users in its social network.
What it gives: Instagram’s signature filters and effects that carry clever names like make photos feel as clever and look just as marvelously retro. The tilt-shift function, which changes your photo’s depth and field, is probably the single most fascinating photo altering feature of Instagram.
Where it falls short: Instagram pushes you to make your photo fit into its mandatory square frame. While this gives every photo edited on Instagram its iconic look, this may prove to be an annoying limitation to some mobile photographers. Though it gives you a stream of photos by others to view, the size of the Instagram social network is still small compared to big players Flickr and Tumblr.
The verdict: Although a few more effects and landscape capability could help, Instagram already combines a lot of interesting photo effects and also throws in an interesting photo-sharing social network. Whether you use it as your primary photo editing app or not, it would not hurt to download this app to enhance not only your photography skill but your social network as well.