These smartphones these days have built-in cameras, including but not limited to what you’ve got. There are a variety of camera apps available that offer features the box shooters—some practical (photo editing, manual and advanced features), some zany (GIFs and wacky effects). You may already be using Instagram and Snapchat, but there are plenty of other lesser-known Android apps to help you take your best shot and show off your creativity. Filter kids! I’ve also included a handful of apps with editing features. Love taking selfies? I have apps for you too. It’s amazing what’s out there. Let’s dig in.
Take a better picture
Smartphones can take great photos in the best of conditions, but you can improve image quality by tweaking settings like exposure, shutter speed, and ISO. Features like image stabilization help you deal with moving subjects. ProShot ($5 premium version; free demo version) by Rise Up Games includes manual controls and a handy grid overlay to help you set up shots. The Camera FV-5 by FGEE ($3.95) offers comparable features at an affordable price, in addition to a free Lite version. While many camera apps provide filters that you can apply after taking a photo, PinGuo Inc. Camera 360 Ultimate (free with in-app purchases) includes lens filters that you can use when taking photos, which is nice. DSLR Users Geeky Daves Studio ($2. 99) allows you to shoot in RAW mode, which produces an uncompressed image file that you can easily edit. Finally, if you like looking at photos with blurry backgrounds, FreeFocus (free; $1.99 pro version) by MotionOn lets you do just that by choosing a focus area.
Show your artistic side
Mobile photos are a great way to showcase your creativity. You’ve probably seen a lot of Prisma photo comments in your social feeds. Prisma Labs Inc. This app by (Free), takes your photos and turns them into works of art. You can choose filters based on famous artists like Picasso and Van Gogh. Prisma uses artificial intelligence to transform your photos, which is a big step forward. If you’re into Japanese comic books and graphic novels, Otaku Camera by Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc. (Free) can “magnetize” your photos with over 100 filters. Retrica (Free) by Retrica Inc. offers several ways to customize your photos and videos, including a GIF generator, collage maker, and over 125 filters. Go vintage with Retro Camera by AppForig (free), Which lets you preview your shots before snapping, and apply 40-plus effects to the photos you’ve already taken. It includes a timer and makes it easy to share to your favorite social media accounts. Little Photos by Moment (free) also provides movie-like effects. For a large number of filters and editing tools, try VSCO by VSCO (free with in-app purchases).
It also includes community features, so you can connect and share your images with other members.
Selfies have taken over social media, but it’s not easy to take a good one. Kim Kardashian may perfect it, but she certainly doesn’t do it alone. It’s helped, so why shouldn’t you? Taking a flattering selfie isn’t easy. You have to get your arms in the right places, make sure everyone is looking at the camera, and get the right angles and lighting. Not to mention the close-up photos can’t be forgiven. That’s where Perfect 365: One-Tap Makeover by Arcsoft Inc. (free with in-app purchases) comes in with beauty and makeup tools, touch-up tools, as well as tips and tutorials from YouTube artists. You can also try out different makeup styles and colors using the app. Similarly, Facesune by Lightrix Ltd. allows you to touch photos, Allows to hide dark circles and even whiten teeth. FrontBack by FrontBack (Free) helps you make your photos more interesting by snapping a picture of about the addition of your face and composing each shot. That way your friends can see that you’re at a concert, hiking in a gorgeous canyon, or celebrating a friend’s wedding.
And should you be using a selfie stick? They’re not completely necessary if you use the right apps, but they do have their place. Just be careful in the crowd (I almost stuck with one in Times Square) and be aware of your surroundings. Selfies can be dangerous – seriously. Be careful with traffic, trains, rocks, bodies of water, and the like.
Sometimes your shots don’t turn out the way you want them to, but that doesn’t mean you have to start over. There are lots of image editing tools for Android; Your device may also have built-in camera editing tools. Beauty Camera-Pip Camera by AppUniversal (free) includes tools to adjust brightness and saturation, blur and sharpen tools, and the ability to add text, frames, and even create your own memes. It also had red-eye correction and teeth whitener. Cymera – Selfie & Photo Editor by SK Communications (free with in-app purchases) includes a range of filters, collages, skin correction tools, stickers and editing tools. You can also edit photos from other apps, including Camera 360 and VSCO. There are similar offerings from Photo Editor by Aviary (free with in-app purchases), including cosmetic tools, stickers, and common photo editing tools. Line Camera:
Camera app tips
Choosing the right camera app is overwhelming, to say the least. The options I’ve outlined only touch the surface. Before downloading, make sure the app is valid so that you can avoid malware. I’ve included the developers in the description so you can match them in the Google Play Store. One exception: The Otaku app is only available in the Amazon App Store. While you’re at it, read user reviews, which usually indicate a longer duration of use. Expert reviews are also useful because they often include comparisons, and are written by reviewers who have used a number of related apps.
Most of the paid apps have demo or lite versions that you can try before plunking down the cash. Try a few apps before choosing your favorite. Some apps offer discounts from time to time, so be on the lookout for that. Also note that many free apps offer premium features in the form of in-app purchases, which can be pricey. Check out compatibility with other photo apps like Instagram, and how easy it is to share pictures on your social accounts.
Once you’ve selected your preferred camera app, be sure to set it as your default app for taking photos. This can be done by going to Application Manager under Settings. There, you can set and clear default apps for all kinds of tasks.
Take the time to explore the camera settings. Practice using features you are not familiar with; do not fear. Take multiple photos of the same subject until you get it right; Some apps even offer burst mode or a feature that lets you choose the best shot from a series, or even combine a series of shots to create a better output. Camera MX by Epic Labs Corp. (free with in-app purchases), which I covered in the story above, has a cool “shoot the past” feature you can use to take a series of shots if you want to. Working with a moving subject or difficult light. A handful of these apps offer a panorama mode, which can come in handy for capturing landscapes or city skylines. Have fun – that’s all it really is.
Make sure to back up your device regularly so that you don’t lose important photos and data. Google Photos makes it easy to save your photos to the cloud. You ain’t got no excuse! This will make it easier to transfer everything when you get a new device and is important to do before updating your Android OS. If your phone accepts one, it might be worth investing in a memory card or two, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space.
Of course, it’s worth noting that your built-in camera may have enough features to satisfy you. Most smartphones let you adjust the flash and brightness, add filters, tag locations, and set timers. Some let you edit your photos, including cropping, red-eye correction, and other enhancements. As photo apps become more and more popular, hardware manufacturers have to up their camera game.