Posts Tagged ‘ Photo ’

QuickPic – So Quick With Pics It’s Sick

QuickPic

Having rooted my phone and switched over to other roms on my HTC Desire (I’m currently rocking the latest stable rom by Cyanogen, it’s rather nice) I’ve had to rely on the standard Android gallery app as my default photo browser. As much as I liked the flashy interface I was always annoyed by how long it would take to load. Even worse was the fact that it would display EVERY single folder on my phone that would happen to have a jpeg stored inside. Actually getting to the photos I wanted to view was a chore.
In the end I decided to dump it and search for something that was less concerned about being flash and more focused on simply being quicker to use. I found QuickPic and it does the job nicely.
Simplicity is the keyword in QuickPic. You’re given a choice of two ‘easy-on-the-eye’ gallery views and from here everything is clearly laid out. Picture folders load up quickly, flicking through photos is swift and painless and yet there are still all the options (delete, rotate, share, zoom etc) that the standard Android gallery app offers. One of the best features is the ability to select an unwanted folder and instruct QuickPic to ignore it giving you full control on what photo folders will appear within the app.
You’re not limited to photos either, you can also browse your videos and have them played back in the video app of your choice.
That’s pretty much all there is to QuickPic but then again that’s what makes it so good. There’s
minimal faffing about, it just gets you straight to where you want to go.

ABOUT THIS APP – CURRENT VERSION : 0.9.9
REQUIRES ANDROID : 2.0 and up , CATEGORY : Photography , SIZE : 185k , PRICE : Free

Links : Android Marketplace, Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : Quick and simple to use yet still loaded with enough features to make it a must-have app.

Advertisements

Stop Motion Lite – STOP!… Hammer Time!

Stop-Motion – Lite

Just when you’re thinking there couldn’t be any more unexpected tricks that your Android phone could perform up pops another odd function to take you by surprise. Just last week we uncovered the genius idea of using your phone as a document scanner by using ‘CamScanner‘ and now there’s a new addition to the ever growing list of ‘mad things you never expected your phone to do‘, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have three words for you…. Stop. Motion. Camera.
It’s kind of crude in operation but yes, your Android phone can operate as a camera that can create stopmotion videos, animations or claymations and once you’ve made your video you can save it as a file to watch on your phone or your computer.
It’s a very simple looking program but it’s also very easy to use. Simply set up your shot, tap the screen to shoot a frame and repeat. When you are done click ‘save’ and the app with string all the shots together to make a .mov file that you can watch on your phone or PC or upload them to Dropbox or wherever you want to share them. The lite version limits you to a 176×144 resolution however higher sizes are available if you pay up for the full version. For some reason I couldn’t get the built-in share function to work with Dropbox, every upload would result in a fail. In the end I had to resort to ‘Astro file explorer’ to find my movie and use that to share the file to Dropbox. Here’s what I managed to throw together in 5 minutes armed with just a piece of paper and a biro.

Obviously it’s a very crude looking video, if you look closely you can see my aborted first attempt (I forgot to restart the filming) and my hand pops up in the middle. Classy stuff.

Stop Motion Lite is a unique way to spend time using your Android handset (if you have kids, break out play-doh and get animating) and the results are good enough for a free app.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : A unique and fun app that unlocks a new side of creativity for everyone.

Camera360 Lite – Is This Camera App An ‘All-Rounder’?

Camera360 Lite

"Art In Your Hand" the app boasts. Not bloody likely if I'm using it.

Even though it weighs in at 5 Megapixels, the camera on the HTC Desire isn’t the best that I’ve come across on a handset in fact the results can sometimes leave a lot to be ‘Desired’ (sorry). This means that those of us looking to snap the perfect picture on our Android handsets will turn to apps in order to help get the job done. For the last few weeks Camera 360 has been fulfiling that role so well that it’s become the app I now go to for taking a picture.
Camera 360 comes in both free and paid flavours but the free version comes packed with enough effects and tools to keep the average user busy, at least initially. From the main view screen you can choose from a normal shot or one of five effects types (funny, scenery, etc) each of which have their own variants of styles and settings. There’s plenty to get through and top of my list so far are the tilt-shift mode and the pointless but fun ‘surrealistic colour painting effect’. Once you’ve taken a picture you can tap the screen to show how your picture looked before and after the effect process, very useful. There’s also an anti-vibration function which will check for a solid shot before snapping the pic, it’s a welcome addition and something that I really could’ve done with to fix those countless blurry posed group photos, sigh! As well as the flashier effects there’s also the standard photography options such as resolution, white balance, delay exposure and even some geo-tagging thrown in for good measure.

There's a good range of effects, complete with descriptions for the non-photography savvy user, i.e. me.

Despite all the effects and processing that goes on the app runs efficiently and without hangup although there have been complaints from other users of memory issues leading to the app crashing but I have yet to experience this myself. Camera 360 also takes advantage of Android’s sharing functionality so photos can be uploaded directly from the app to wherever your phone allows, however this method sends a smaller version of your photo, to upload the full size version it’s best to share via the gallery function on your handset.
Camera 360 doesn’t overcome all the shortcomings of the standard HTC camera (if anything a decent lens would help, at least that was one thing Nokia got right), but it should help you get better results than the standard camera app would allow. Worth a look.

Link : Install via Appbrain

Bottom Line : For a free app it comes pretty nicely stacked with effects and functions that should help make taking pictures on your Android handset a bit more successful. Good stuff.

Adobe Photoshop Express – PhotoShop it, in your pocket.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe have bought Photoshop to Android, it’s not quite the full Photoshop suite (no putting the heads of your loved ones onto monkeys I’m afraid) but it does offer up some useful tweaks for improving pictures taken on your Android handset. According to Adobe you can “Edit and share photos virtually anywhere. Touch to crop, rotate, adjust color, and add artistic effects. Quickly share with family and friends” and whilst this is true it’s not quite the smooth ride you may be hoping for.

Adobe make flash. However they do not make flashy intro screens.

The front end of the end is smart enough, a gallery of the pictures stored on your phone open up for you to scroll through. If you have an Adobe ID you can also see any pictures you have uploaded to your account (if you don’t have a free account you can sign up direct from your handset). On my handset APE did a good job of only picking up the pictures I had taken with my camera and ignored all the other image media on my phone (album artwork for example). On the downside there’s no option over what folders are checked by APE so you may find yourself unable to access pictures stored somewhere that APE isn’t looking. It’s also been mentioned in the Marketplace comments that if you have a lot of pictures stored on your phone you may find the gallery slow to load. Despite these drawbacks the gallery does flow smoothly and menus respond quickly to your actions.
Selecting a photo brings up a full screen view and from here you can either upload it (to Facebook, Twitpic or Photoshop), edit it or delete it as well as set it as wall paper or start a slideshow.

An un-edited photo....

... and the 'Vibrant' effect in full swing. Lovely. (Click both pics for larger comparisons)

Editing pictures is simple, effects are listed at the top of the screen and you simply select what you want to apply, from simple cropping and touch up effects to more extravagant filters (the ‘Vibrant’ effect is essentially the ‘star wipe’* of this app, giving pictures more life and making them look more, well, vibrant). All added effects can be un-done and your original photos always stay intact, any edited photos are saved as copies.
Basic editing such as cropping or straightening is intuitive and effective. Being able to crop and edit photos whilst on the move is a real plus. For more flashier effects however a point for concern is the fact that all processed photos are automatically compressed with no option to choose otherwise. In my experience files originating at 1Mb were squished down to approximately 150kb (depending on the effect). In a side by side comparison processed photos are noticeably smaller by 15-20% which some users may be fine with but I personally I would like the resolution and quality of my photos to stay intact. Because of this reason I am not 100% sold on APE, what’s the point of editing and trying to improve images when the final result is compressed and altered beyond my control? This app could prove ideal for users looking for quick photo editing and uploading, for me it’s just not quite the golden ticket it promised to be.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : A nicely put together app with some great basic editing effects. Sadly the app seems to shoot itself in the foot by automatically compressing photos when you decide to use the more flashier effects.

*This is a Simpsons reference where Homer makes a video about Flanders and every scene transition consists of a Star Wipe.

PhotoFunia – With ‘Special Guest’ Kanye West

PhotoFunia

PhotoFunia is the Android version of the online photo editing tool www.photofunia.com, in their words “You upload any photo and just wait to see the magic. Our proprietary technology automatically identifies the face in the photo and let’s you add cool photo effects and create funny face photo montages”. PR bumph aside it’s true that with a few simple steps you can add an image to a large selection of templates and have your pictures transformed with great results.

 

So many choices, so little time.

 

Opening the app takes you directly into a list of photo effects to use, straight away you’ll notice the large number of effects on offer, I counted roughly 150. The menu is simply laid out and clearly displays how your finished photo will look. Unfortunately the effects don’t seem to be listed in any order and there’s no way to sort them or filter out a particular effect style.

Once you pick an effect you are give the option to take a picture or process an already existing photo, you’re then given some simple crop / rotation options and once you press ‘OK’ your picture is uploaded to be modified. Here’s where the catch comes into play, in order to use the app you must have a data connection as all the photo processing is done online. If you have no wi-fi access or no network signal you won’t be able to use the app. Considering the small install size this seems to be a fair trade off and things seem to upload / download quick enough, even on 3G. Once your photo is done you can save it or share it directly to Twitter, Facebook or whatever sharing platforms you have installed on your handset.

In general the results are very good, on a phone they look great, on your computer they can sometimes look pixelated. On occasion the face sensitive effects don’t quite work as you’d expect but for a simple ‘does it all’ app such as this it’s to be expected.

Of course to demonstrate the effectiveness of all this photo-trickery we need a solid test subject. So let’s bring in our special guest, Kanye West.

 

What up homies. It is I, The Kanye West

 

 

Hooray! Yeezy just saved a goal. Kanye wins the world cup!

 

 

Mirror mirror, in my hand, who's the best rapper in all the land?

 

 

Check it y'all! My favourite mug for when I have tea & biscuits.

 

Thanks Kanye. As you can see, the effects are very much spot on and are good fun to mess about with.

Bottom Line : A nicely presented free app that offers all kinds of easy-to-do photoshop style fun. Recommended.

Links : Official Page, Install via AppBrain

%d bloggers like this: