Best Android photography apps

Cameras on phones have come on in leaps and bounds from the clunky old technology and low quality snaps of days gone past. Now, with many us uploading our mobile snaps directly to Facebook and Twitter, we're after something that makes them stand out from the crowd.

We recently treated you to a round-up of our favourite iPhone photography apps, so we thought it only fair that we do the same for Android. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there doesn't seem to be quite as wide a variety available on Google's OS just yet, with most of the photo apps involving retro effects and nothing much besides. However, we trawled the app store for the best ones around and here's what we found...

Adobe Photoshop Touch

Adobe Photoshop Touch is essentially a scaled down, tablet friendly, version of the popular software. Sure, there are other photo editing apps in the Android Market, some of which won't even cost you a penny - but none have that Photoshop feel and the tools that you've now become accustomed too for knocking up "hilarious" pictures of your pals in situations they weren't really in.

Tools such as layers, transformations, filtering, curving, selecting and all the other artistic gubbins that you'd expect from an app with the Photoshop name attached to it are present. One feature that we particularly like is the Scribble Selection tool which allows you to easily select parts of pictures that you want to edit - rather than having to carefully manoeuvre an outline. The merge tool also allows for some funky image manipulation and you can also add live content to your images using the camera fill feature. Read More.

Market: Link

Price: £6.99

Rating: 5/5

Vignette

Seen by many as Hipstamatic for Android, Vignette can add a wide range of effects to your Android phone. It offers its own camera interface, so operates separately from the camera app you already have on your phone. The app is divided into two different sections. The first is composition the second is effects. When lining up your shot in the composition view, you get a clear picture of the scene in front of you. Aside from the effects you can also add frames which help to complete the overall impression of your image.

It isn't only about the extreme effects either. Sure, the tobacco filter is dramatic, but adding a simple border to an Ilford portrait can give some great results. And whilst using these filters can dress up the poor performance of your phone's camera, if you have a cracking shot to start with, you'll get substantially better results at the end. Vignette is available as a free demo with limited functionality, but for us has been £2.49 well spent for the full version. Read More

Market: Link

Price: £2.49

Rating: 4/5

 

Touchnote

Touchnote has been around for a while and is available on a wide variety of platforms. We know what you’re thinking: with a smartphone in your pocket isn’t the postcard dead? Touchnote blends the two, letting you snap off a photo on your phone and transform it into a printed postcard that gets delivered by the postman at the other end. It’s a fusion of old world and new which is what we like about it.

The app itself is logical and cleanly arranged. You simply choose the image you want to use, either by taking a photo or using one you’ve already got in the Gallery, write the message then pick who you want to send it to. Bear in mind that there will be a data cost in sending the card, so if you are roaming then the real cost will be higher, unless you can find some local free Wi-Fi. When your card is delivered you'll receive an email alert; in our tests the card was printed and posted the following day, and the print quality was excellent. Read More

Market: Link

Price: £1.49

Rating: 4/5

 

Retro Camera

Although popular iPhone app Hipstamatic is still not available on the Android platform, there are a few alternatives around for the hipsters among you. Designed to give your snaps a cool, analogue look, this app lets you apply various old-school finishes such as film grain, monochrome and cross processing effects.

As well as storing your pictures in the normal Android photo gallery, the app also keeps them hanging in a virtual darkroom, which is a really nice touch that adds to the vintage feel of the images.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

FxCamera

As the name implies, you can use this app to apply effects to your snaps, including Toy Camera, Screen Splitter, Polaroid and Fish Eye. 

We've lost count of the number of times that we've uploaded mobile snaps to Facebook only to have to rotate them manually, so we're pleased to see that this app has a handy auto-rotate function so that your pics are always the right way up when you upload them.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Camera ZOOM FX

Rather than adding hip retro effects, this app sticks to the basics, adding digital zoom capability, along with a night shooting mode and an function to get rid of the pesky banding effect that you get when taking shots of TVs or computer screens.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a pro, you can even add grids to your images to improve the composition. You can also use sound activation to take shots (known as 'clap to snap') or make your pictures look like passport shots.

Market: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Camera Illusion

The aim of this one is fun, rather than professional-looking snaps, and what's more, it processes your pics in real time; saving you the trouble of having to go in and edit them afterwards.

You can apply various effects when you take your snaps, including a comic-book style chalk drawing effect and the illusion of looking through glass. This one probably isn't as good for great photo results, but it is a lot of fun to play with.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

PicSay

If your photos are in need of a little re-touching, then this app will let you colour-correct your snaps or sharpen them, and it also offers red-eye removal. Not only that, it also lets you get creative with paint, word balloons and stickers so that you can jazz up your snaps and personalise them. 

And don't worry, you can remove objects if you end up going over the top. As well as giving you access to plenty of great effects, this app also enables you to resize your pictures and then email them, saving you precious time.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

Time Lapse Lite

If you haven't guessed already, this one lets you create your own time-lapse movies by continuously shooting photos and assembling them together as a .mov video file that can either be uploaded to YouTube or played back on your phone. 

You can set the intervals at which pictures are taken and choose what speed to play them back (up to 30fps). Whether you choose to shoot a cloud rolling by or a busy cityscape, this free app offers excellent results. It goes without saying that you'll need to make sure that the phone is fixed in one place while the time lapse piccies are being shot, or the effect won't work.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Andropan

This one enables you capture beautiful panoramic shots by capturing a series of side-by-side shots and then piecing them together. You can vary the resolution of the snaps you take. This is the same effect that you used to get with your film camera, by taking lots of pics and then cutting them out and painstakingly sticking them together after matching up the edges. 

Thankfully, things have moved on a bit since then with this app doing all the hard work for you - once you've taken your snaps, you simply select Create Panorama and hey presto!

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

FingerPaint

Primarily aimed at kids, this one lets you "paint" using your finger as a brush on the touchscreen. As well as creating original works of art, you can also make additions to your existing images, sometimes with hilarious results. 

You can choose the colour and the size of the brush and then it's up to you to get doodling.  Plus, it has the added bonus of being far less messy and destructive than real finger-painting and there's no chance of getting paint spilt over your fancy smartphone.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Snap Photo Pro

This very reasonably priced app offers up a whole host of picture-tweaking possibilities, not least the ability to sync up with your camera's accelerometer and banish blurry pictures by improving the image stabilisation. This does mean that there can be more of a delay between pressing the button and the image being captured, but we think it's worth it. 

On top of that, you'll also get zoom upscaling, and an array of filters that can be applied to your snaps, along with multi-shot bursts and brightness and contrast control. You can also add a grid to the screen to help you line up your subject properly.

Market: Link

Price: 62p

Rating: 4/5

Got any good Android photo apps that we've missed? Let us know.