Snapseed Review

Snapseed Review

Dec 28, 2012

There was a time, not all that long ago, when cameras on phones were not too hot. The hardware was rudimentary, and the accompanying software bordered on the silly. Pictures were not that great.

Since then, it has gotten better… much better. So much so, that for many people, their smartphone cameras are the cameras for everyday use.

Snapseed (from Nik Software) is an app that looks to perfect the picture-taking experience. It is a photo-editing title that incorporates a lot of the features people have come to expect with apps of this type. Being chock-full of fan favorite filters definitely makes it an interesting offering.

I found the app to have a clean, simple interface which belied its bubbly functionality. It opened up with a quick diagram fitted with a test picture and an accompanying tutorial, which was simple but effective; it let me understand the basics of photo manipulation and enhancement. There was an automatic tab, as well as tuners for color, cropping, and more interestingly labeled filters like grunge, vintage and the interestingly titled “Drama” option. “Selective Adjust” allowed me to manipulate specific areas of my image on the fly.

Additionally, there were borders that could be added to give my images a somewhat formal finish.

I found the program intuitive enough to go in and play with right after the install; I especially liked the multitude of import options. The import tool pulled photos from Dropbox, my file manager of choice, or my device Gallery. For Google+ users, the one-touch share button will be welcome; I was also able to share to other apps on my device by using the built-in share option.

The unspoken comparison will be to Instagram; this app does not have the integrated social network that the Big Guy on the Block does, but in the enhancement department, I thought Snapseed more than held its own. The share functionality and cross-platform nature of the app definitely makes it a great creator of nostalgia though.

Instagram for Android Now Available

Instagram for Android Now Available

Apr 3, 2012

Instagram is now available for Android, having been released to Google Play (before they could get the news out to the people on their mailing list!)

At last!

Sharing photos is easy after logging in or creating an account – just tap that big photo button in the center, snap a photo, then apply the filter of choice, then add captions and choose to share to social networks, and that photo’s out there to the world. All the photos from the iOS version appear to be here, with the ability to switch between front and rear cameras (this feature still shows up on devices without a front camera, which tapping it doesn’t cause the app to crash but it does slow things down), enhance contrast, and add/remove frames.

Of course, one of the biggest features of Instagram is that it’s also a social network, and following people on the service and seeing their photos has been fully implemented. It’s also possible to share one’s own photos via Android built-in sharing once it has been posted to Instagram. Double-tapping a photo likes it, though there’s no way to blow a photo up to view it full-screen. Other buttons on the home screen make it easy to find popular photos, track activity from friends, and finding more friends.

When it comes to finding friends, the app makes it easy to log in to Twitter and Facebook, and find accounts to follow on Instagram from those services. The Twitter friends discovery gets credit for being extremely thorough, finding what appeared to be every single Twitter user I followed who was also on Instagram. Many apps only find a small number of users, but this app finds them all.

Curiously, Instagram doesn’t seem to support tablets – or at least not the Motorola Xoom, which does have a full-fledged camera in it. This is most likely an interface issue with tablets, as the app doesn’t have native iPad support on iOS. Still, not having them run at all seems somewhat silly.

For those looking to get in on all the Instagram fun, the app is now available from Google Play.