Photography and Video Apps for Android - dummies

Photography and Video Apps for Android

By Daniel A. Begun

Oodles of camera and video apps are available for Android devices. Nearly all of them add features to the mix that most Android devices’ default camera apps don’t typically offer. You can enhance images to your liking, add effects to pictures as you shoot them, share images and videos, watch live TV, stream live video and audio broadcasts, and create your own time-lapse movies.

Here are some of the top photography and video apps available for Android devices:

  • Adobe Photoshop Express (free): This app doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the computer-based versions of Photoshop do, but it can make the photos you shoot with your Android device’s camera look much better. With this app’s editing tools, you can crop, straighten, rotate, and flip images; adjust images (see the figure below); apply a soft focus; and apply effects and borders to images.


  • CamCalc Free (free; ad supported): If you need a photography calculator to help you get the perfect shot, CamCalc includes eight calculators for use with still cameras (film and digital), video cameras, and even motion-picture cameras. The included calculators are Depth of Field, Field of View, Focal Length Equivalents, Flash Calculations, Color Temp. Conversion, Miniatures, Solar Calculations (sunrise and sunset times), and Exposure Compensation.

  • Camera360 Ultimate ($3.99 US): Camera360 Ultimate applies effects to your pictures as you shoot them. Some of these effects — such as Surrealist Color Painting, Back to 1839, Line Sketch, and Four-color Poster — can create truly eye-popping images.

  • Foxy Photo Editor (€1.99): Foxy Photo Editor is a powerful image editor for Android devices. Many of its features are of an advanced-enough nature that they are more commonly found in pricey image editing software for desktop computers. If you want to use your Android device to touch up your photos, Foxy Photo Editor will get the job done.


  • OrbLive ($9.99 US): OrbLive lets you watch video and photo files and listen to music files that are sitting back at home on your computer. And if your computer has a TV tuner, you can use OrbLive to watch live TV on your Android device. OrbLive works anywhere that your device has a Wi-Fi, Edge, 3G, or 4G signal; faster connections mean sharper looking images and better sounding audio.

  • Photobucket Mobile (free; ad supported): Photobucket Mobile makes it super-easy to share pictures you shot using your Android device. You need a free Photobucket account (which you can sign up for within the app or at, but after it’s set up, you can upload photos and videos to your online Photobucket albums. You can even set Photobucket Mobile to automatically upload all new photos you take with your device. You can also view and manage your online albums, download photos, and send out links to your photos.

  • Photofluent (free): Photofluent will help you capture better-looking photographs by providing lots of valuable information and tips. Geared toward amateur photographers, Photofluent provides scads of details for a wide variety of indoor (such as sports and weddings), outdoor (such as fireworks and kids), and special-situation (such as panoramas and high dynamic range) photography. Each article indicates whether the concept is for beginners, intermediates, or experts, and includes an example image, sample camera settings, details, and suggestions.

  • Time-Lapse ($1.99 US): This is a fun app for making your own time-lapse movies — the movies where you watch flowers bloom in seconds or traffic whiz by at unrealistic speeds. After you record a video, you can watch it using the Time-Lapse app, upload it to YouTube, or e-mail it.

    Time-Lapse records video in a format that most Windows or Mac video playback software does not support. So your best bet for viewing these videos on a computer is to do so using the free VLC media player (which you can download at

  • Ustream Broadcaster (free): You can use Ustream Broadcaster to send a live video and audio broadcast of practically any event — be it a graduation, wedding, or your kid’s kindergarten puppet show. From launching the app to streaming live can happen in as little as ten seconds. That is, of course, assuming your device has an active Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

  • Vignette (£2.49): There’s a good reason why Vignette is one of the most popular Android camera apps. With more than 70 effects and 50 frame styles to choose from, Vignette offers more options to enhance your photos than practically any other camera app. (Each effect also includes over 20 custom settings for even further adjustments.) And like Camera360 Ultimate, Vignette applies the effects when you shoot your pictures.