moblog uk

Android Apps

by Android_Apps

More reviews

Recent visitors

rss rss feed

Camera Zoom FX for Android review

(viewed 4330 times)
We review Camera Zoom FX for Android, a camera and effects app with more features than you can shake a stick at.

Although there are hundreds of Android photo apps, some allowing you to take photos in-app, others only enabling you to edit pictures from your gallery, Camera Zoom FX has the most options we’ve seen from a third party application.

Basic functionality
Open up the app and you’re taken to the camera app. More functions are offered from Camera Zoom FX than most pre-installed cameras, giving you the flexibility to manually adjust many of the settings yourself.
Along the top of the screen you’ll find the basics – flash settings, change cameras and stabilisation options.
The latter function helps you get the straightest, sharpest image possible, with a horizon tool, guiding you to line the horizon up with a horizontal line, stabilisation that senses when the camera is being jerked around and two different grid options.

Along the bottom of the screen are the more in depth levels settings, allowing you to change the size of the picture, whether to autosave when you capture a shot or not and focus options. You can choose whether to pre-focus the photo and use the shutter button to capture the photo or to focus and capture the photo when you tap on the screen.
You can also adjust the focus type. Choose between Auto, Infinity, Normal and Macro depending on the subject of your photo.

Beneath focus in the adjust levels menu is the list of filters you can add to your photo before taking the picture. Although it’s not as extensive as some post-processing apps, there are plenty of scene modes lower down the list to add to the filters.
When you activate a filter, it will show you what the picture will look like in real time – although we found after selecting the filter, the app often crashed, forcing us to restart it or use a task killer to force quit the app.

Our favourite filters were posterize that makes the photo look like a cartoon, taking out the gradients and neon that highlights the edges in your photo to give a glowing effect.
Scene modes allow you to set the camera to take pictures depending on your environment and the conditions. Each scene mode changes the settings including white balance, brightness and exposure and there’s a huge number to chose from, including fireworks, action, beach, flowers and HD, with all shown as a real time preview when you select them.

This is all well and good, but as soon as you activate one of the modes, the refresh rate of the screen slows down, giving it a lag reminiscent of mobile cameras from 2006.

Delving Deeper
Other options you can change from the settings menu include white balance, anti-banding if you’re taking a picture of a TV or computer screen for example and night shot for taking pictures in the dark. You can also manually adjust the metering – either select frame-average where is assesses the light in the full frame to change the brightness, centre-weighted which is the default and spot-metering where you can select the area to use.

The second menu along the bottom on Camera Zoom FX allows you to activate image stabilisation with Stable Shot, the timer, voice activation (so you can take a picture using voice commands rather than tapping the shutter button), Burst to take multiple pictures in quick succession, Collage and Time Lapse to take multiple pictures over time.
Oddly, you can only activate one of these at a time, meaning you can’t stabilise time lapse shots.

Effects
Tap on the FX button and you can add yet more effects to your photos from the presets including favourites such as Holga, Old Film Reel, Dated Polaroid and Dramatic Sky. Like most good photography apps, you can also download more presets from the Camera Zoom FX store. All these effects are available from the edit photo screen too, or you can produce your own effects by adjusting the colour, effect (including mirroring the image, adding distortion or tilt shift), adding a frame, lighting effects via the composite menu or adjusting the levels.

Summing Up
Although Camera Zoom FX has some great tweaks available in the edit menu, it really does make sense to set the filter and effects from the picture-taking menu. Not only can you see what your photo will look like, but post-processing can make the picture look over-edited.If he developer of Camera Zoom FX can iron out dome of the crash bugs, the app is surely one of the most extensive camera tools available on Android.

Camera Zoom FX Highlights


How to create a collage in Camera Zoom FX
You can create a collage in Camera Zoom FX using either the camera function or in post-processing. To create a collage from the camera app, choose the collage option from the settings menu (second item on the bottom of the screen if in portrait mode) and take four photos, one after the other, as directed on screen. Now, tap on the 1234 icon in the left corner.When you’re taken to the edit screen, you can choose what kind of layout you’d like by selecting FX > Collage. You can also superimpose the pictures from this menu to create a layers, multiple exposure masterpiece.

How to create a Polaroid photo in Camera Zoom FX
You can create a Polaroid-style photo with Camera Zoom FX either from within the app or by importing a picture into the gallery. To set up for a Polaroid camera, tap on the FX button and Ready Made. Now select Dated Polaroid and you’ll have the effect of a retro Polaroid picture.

How to produce an HDR shot in Camera Zoom FX
Like many of the other effects in Camera Zoom FX, you can take an HDR shot using the app either when you’re taking the picture in camera mode. Just select HDR in the Scene Modes settings menu within the Adjust Levels menu.

Getting the Basics Right


How to adjust the Contrast and Brightness with Camera Zoom FX

The contrast and brightness can be changed in the Adjust Levels menu in the camera part of the Camera Zoom FX app.

How to switch to the front camera with Camera Zoom FX to take a selfie
The switch camera icon is the middle icon in the top right corner if you’re in portrait mode or the left side if you’re in landscape mode. By default, the camera will use the back main camera, so tap the icon to switch to the front camera to take a selfie.

How to adjust the flash with Camera Zoom FX
You can turn the flash on and off or onto auto by tapping the first icon in the cluster in the top right side of the screen. If you’re in landscape mode, they will appear down the left side.

How to Adjust the picture quality with Camera Zoom FX
The picture quality can be adjusted in the Adjust levels from within the camera part of Camera Zoom FX. It’s the first option and although by default, it’s set to the highest resolution, you can make it smaller be selecting any of the options below.
27th Nov 2013, 16:35   comments (0)

Pixlr-O-Matic Review for Android

(viewed 977 times)
We review Pixlr-o-matic, a free, slick and fun editing app for Android.

What Is Pixlr-O-Matic?



Pixlr is a set of image editing tools for Android that are organised under a simple and slick UI. Pixlr can either upload an existing photo or take a snapshot. For a snap, the app uses the standard Android camera, which means that it doesn't offer any additional capture features.

The UI is intuitive, looks great and is easy to learn. The app is pretty efficient to use and the functionality is very visual, making the Pixlr easy usable from the start. The app's performance is very smooth, even on a comparatively under-powered smartphone.

If you want to edit a photo that you've already taken, Pixlr will allow you to upload from Android Gallery. As an added goodie, this app allows the user to upload photos from online services such as GoogleDrive and Dropbox. As a result, you can edit an image that is not currently stored on your phone, such as if you took one with another camera. Once you've started using the app, your last photo will appear as a shortcut in the home-screen.

Effects
Pixlr uses the standard Android camera. It integrates perfectly, but this means that it offers no extra features.Once you have the picture that you want to edit, you're taken to a screen in which Pixlr offers most of its features: effects, overlays, borders and crop.

You can choose from many different colour effects to give your image a different feel. Pixlr's effects look great, offering hipster, vintage and grungy feels along with many other more surprising ones. Each effect is displayed in a miniature preview beneath your photo so that you have an idea of how it will look when applied.You can select each effect one by one, or swipe to skip forward rapidly. Pixlr applies these effects to your image very quickly.

Overlays are handled in the same way as effects. You can scroll through different additions to your photo, such as rain, colour gradients and bright shapes. These, once more, look great.

When you're done with overlays, you can choose from a number of borders. These include a variety of different options such as simple outlines and a Polaroid-imitation, through to more complex ones like the scuffed photograph and floral looks.

Pixlr's cropping feature is its only real weakness: press the button and all you get is a version of the original image that is cropped to be square. Pixlr also offers a shuffle button that you can press to get wild-card effects, overlays and borders, which is actually pretty fun.

When you're done playing, you can save the image in a choice of three file sizes. Nerds will be delighted with the sharing options. You can add your picture to Dropbox, send it to an Amazon Kindle, broadcast on your social networks, forward it to your friends via Google Hangouts (which is pretty neat), and for the really nerdy: send it via LAN. There's also a button named 'imm.io' that allows you to upload their picture to imm.io, Pixlr's dedicated image-sharing website.

Once you've uploaded your photo, imm.io gives you a snort URL key for you to share with your friends so that they can see your picture.

For a free app, Pixlr-o-matic is excellent. Packed with features, easy to use and great for sharing pictures with friends, this app is a great choice for an amateur photographer.

Despite having no capture features and a rubbish crop, Pixlr is great fun, four and a half out of five fun!

Pixlr-o-matic Highlights


How to get new effects, overlays and borders with Pixlr-o-matic
If the effects, overlays and borders aren't enough for you, tap the button with a film icon and a '+' sign and be taken to Pixlr's cloud-based store. Here you can install new features, which are organised into themes and free of charge. For example, users can access a group of effects called Vintage, which includes Borg, Carl and Doris. Helpfully, if the app gets too cluttered you can streamline things by uninstalling groups of features, too.

How to efficiently manage your images with Pixlr-o-matic
Imagine if you were chatting on Google Hangouts and wanted to share a picture from another device, with a few edits, in the conversation. If you synced, say, your computer to Dropbox, you could upload an image by selecting 'upload' then 'Dropbox' from the home screen. You can then add an overlay, for example, and send it directly to your Google Hangouts conversation. Do this by tapping the disk icon at the bottom right of the editing screen, then 'share' and 'Google Hangouts', then choose your desired recipient.

How to add a great-looking burn feel to your images with Pixlr-o-matic
After uploading or capturing a picture, tap the light-bulb (overlays) menu in the editing screen, then find and select 'Burn'. The Burn overlay creates a gradient of warm colours on the left of a picture through to cold colours on the right and makes any image look intense.

Getting the Basics Right: Pixlr-o-Matic


How to adjust the Contrast and Brightness with Pixlr-o-matic
Pixlr doesn't come with this feature, although the effects vary in contrast and brightness, providing some flexibility.

How to adjust the flash with Pixlr-o-matic
This feature is not available with Pixlr-o-matic.

How to adjust the picture quality with Pixlr-o-matic
When saving or sharing your finished image, Pixlr allows you to save as small, medium or large.

How to zoom using Pixlr-o-matic
This feature is not available with Pixlr-o-matic.

Download Pixlr-o-matic from Google Play
21st Nov 2013, 20:41   comments (0)

Vignette for Android review

(viewed 1505 times)
We review Vignette for Android – a photography app replacing the stock Android or manufacturer-branded user interface.

What is Vignette?



Vignette is just one of the apps available on Google Play that allows you to move away from your Android phone’s standard camera user interface.

It’s simple and a great option if you often switch between Android devices because the experience will remain the same, whoever your device is manufactured by.

The app takes a couple of seconds to load as it takes in information about your devices camera.

Once you’re in, the whole screen is your viewfinder, with no controls taking over your view.

To access the settings, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen and you’ll find quite a wide selection of different settings that easily beat the preinstalled camera app, whichever phone you’re using.

Giving almost a manual camera experience, you can change the shooting mode (there are nine modes to choose from including underwater mode if you have a waterproof casing, time lapse and film strip) and a whole load of extra settings to boot including the option to add a timer delay, add a composition grid, take multiple shots in quick succession, superimposing pictures.

You can see how to make the most of some of these shooting modes below, in the highlights section.

Moving on to filters, Vignette probably has the most options of any camera application we’ve used – ever.

With 76 effects to choose from, you may well find yourself spoilt for choice. If you’re not happy with any of the pre-installed effects, you can edit any of the settings within the preinstalled options including adding a hue, changing the colours, adding soft focus, light leaks, over-expose, under-expose and tilt-shift to completely change the vista in front of you.

Added to that, you can easily change the exposure using a slider on the top of the screen and eve change the brightness metering (either using central weighting, average of the frame or spot metering).

The frame options are almost as extensive, with 50 on offer. Frames allow you to change the dimensions to exactly fit any type of format, such as a Facebook cover photo or a Google+ profile picture.

Although Vignette is an awesome app if you like to try out different effects, it may be a little overwhelming for some users with so many options, you’ll probably want to try everything at least once.

Another problem we found with the app is it seems to have trouble focussing with many of the effects looking out of focus.

Vignette Highlights



How to take a time lapse photo using Vignette

The time lapse option allows you to take a series of pictures with a time delay.

Before you get excited about making an epic movie with the shots, you’ll have to make sure you have plenty of space on your phone because the biggest delay between shots is four minutes. For example, if you want to cover a whole day, that’s a lot of pictures you’ll be taking.

To set up for a time lapse shot, pull up from the bottom of the screen and tap on the ‘one shot’ option, taking you to the shooting mode. Select Time lapse and choose the interval. Next, set up your phone – possibly on a tripod to stop any movement affecting the series of shots, take the first shot and a count down timer will show on the screen, taking a picture every time it hits 0.

The shots are all taken individually rather than crafted together into one shot, but you can easily make this into a .gif using Photoshop or a photo stitching program on your computer.

How to produce a film strip on Vignette

The strip feature on Vignette not only lets you take photos in sequence, like a film strip, but it also stitches them together in sequence too.

To get started, select the ‘one shot’ icon in the bottom menu. Now, select strip.

Head back to the viewfinder and take your first photo. You’ll now be told to take your second, third and fourth pictures.

The photos will now process and be displayed as a film strip. Of course, you can either add effects afterwards or before you take the first shot.

The only annoyance? You can’t have different effects in the different frames.

Also, you can’t see the effects in live preview – you can only see the effects after you’ve taken the photo.

How to produce a superimposed picture on Vignette

To access the superimposed option, head to the ‘one shot’ menu and select the Double option.

Now, you’ll be prompted to take your first picture and then your second picture. The app will then merge the two together.

When using this option, it’s really important to consider two scapes that will fit together well. For example, a textured surface and a face work really well together or a generic landscape and the detail of a flower can give a great effect.

Try not to use two busy images over each other because it will just look a big mess.

Getting the basics right: Vignette



How to adjust the Contrast and Brightness with Vignette

The contrast and brightness controls in Vignette aren’t particularly straightforward. You can adjust brightness using the exposure menu at the top of the screen, but you cannot adjust contrast from within the app – you’ll have to use another app for that.

How to switch to the front camera with Vignette to take a selfie

To switch to the front-facing camera on your Android phone in Vignette, pull down from the top of the screen and select camera. Here, you can change to Front camera.

How to adjust the flash with Vignette

To add the flash or change it to auto mode, pull down from the top of the screen and select Flash. Now can choose from Off, On, Auto and Torch that keeps the flash on the whole time rather than just when you take a snap.

How to adjust the picture quality with Vignette

To improve the camera quality up to the maximum your phone allows, pull up from the bottom and choose third icon from the left and choose the Resolution option to increase the resolution and Quality to change the quality (and file size) of the photo.

How to zoom with Vignette

The zoom tool is along the top menu in Vignette. Select Zoom and use the slider to zoom in and out of the picture.

Posted by clarehopping
15th Nov 2013, 19:08   comments (0)

MomentCam for Android review

(viewed 3712 times)
We review MomentCam for Android – the latest viral camera craze.

What is MomentCam?



Often, imaging apps go viral and MomentCam is the latest photography app to gain a lot of attention in the social world.

Last month it was Bitstrips taking Facebook by storm and now it’s MomentCam.

The Chinese-developed app essentially allows you to make a caricature of yourself or friends just by taking a shot of a face.

Selfies


Open up MomentCam and you’ll see the camera app appear, automatically set to have the front-facing camera activated for taking a selfie. You can change it to use the rear camera by tapping the icon in the top right corner.

Now, ensure you’ve got the subject’s face front on and straight, otherwise you’ll be told to re-take it and fire the shutter.

Boy or Girl?
Once MomentCam has identified the face in the picture, it’ll ask whether the subject is a boy or girl and then merge the face into the picture.

Although not the clearest facial detail, the app does use very clever technology to detect the face from within the picture.

Once the flattened face is super-imposed on a caricature’s body, you can start editing features to make it an even better representation of your subject.

To adjust the features of the face, tap on Face. Here, you can change the shape of the face, the hairstyle, add glasses and eyebrows to make it a better likeness to yourself or a friend.

Caricature Packs


Next up, you can change the design of the caricature. Options when you first open the app are Hot, Funny, Sexy and Single. You can download more packs from the store and will get one additional pack free everyday.

The third menu item along the bottom gives you the ability to change the whole style of the caricature, adding effects such as black and white, classic, ballpoint, blackboard, sticker and old painting.

You can then draw over the originally selected design to add in extra details. It’s certainly for the brave though, because trying to draw using your finger on a small screen is not easy. Unless you have the Samsung Galaxy Note, you may struggle to make them look convincing.

In-App Integration with We Chat


Like many photography apps available on Android, there’s a social networking element to MomentCam too. You can share your creations with Twitter, Facebook, plus a range of other social networking sites including Weibo, which is not available outside of China.

If you already use WeChat, you’ll find you’ll get two extra sets of styles to use when you install the app and are encouraged to share your creations on the free messaging platform – that’s certainly a reason to use WeChat even if you didn’t use it before.

Summary?


Although a fantastic app with a simple interface – there’s no wonder why it’s become such a hit – there is quite a lot of development needed to make the creation of caricatures a smooth.

Many of the instructions are in very broken English making it a little hard to understand to native English speakers.

The default designs probably need to be adjusted a little for a Western audience and we just wish there was a wider range of sites you can share with such as Instagram and Flickr, plus it would be nice to be able to send the finished article via email natively in the app.

We were stunned by the facial likeness to ours though – very odd indeed!
15th Nov 2013, 06:48   comments (1)

Cymera for Android review

(viewed 4760 times)
We review Cymera – an app for taking and editing photos with minimum of fuss.

What is Cymera?



Cymera is both a camera and editing applications for Android.

Because Cymera has a built in camera, it means the tilt shift effect can be added to your photos when you take them rather than in post-processing.

It is a shame there aren’t more options when taking a photo, bar anti-shake, which is Cymera’s stabilisation tool, touch shots, allowing you to take a picture just by tapping the screen and timer, allowing you to add a delay to the shutter.

The camera UI is pretty easy to use and although doesn’t substitute the options available on manufacturer-installed cameras, it’s still nice to have the camera tool within the app.

Once you’ve taken the picture, it’s saved to your gallery and opened in the editing screen.

The edit menu allows you to make a collage with a number of photos, rotate, crop and straighten the image.

The crop option allows you to crop your photo into a number of preinstalled shapes, although you can of course just resize by dragging the corners. To straighten your picture, you can slide your finger from side to side along the bottom bar and a grid will appear, allowing you to line the horizon up with the grid.

The Correct menu means you can manually adjust the levels as a whole, contrast, brightness, saturation and sharpness just by dragging your finger up and down on the bar at the bottom of the photograph.

In the Effects menu, you’ll find the place to add filters, change the light (such as adding light leaks, vignette effects, prism effects and a couple of textures) and add overlays such as snow, rainbow and flares.

You can also add a border from here and there’s a pretty extensive collection to choose from.

If it’s filters you’re after, most are pretty extensive too with Cymera. Separated into Basic which are just tweaks of lighting and colouring and Art, which is where you’ll find effects like charcoal, Pop Art and watercolour-like effects. There may not be as many effects as with Instagram, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because you’ll find it easier to choose.

The final setting in Effects allows you to manually add a tilt shift effect. You can use either a circular focus or linear and can move the focal point and size with your fingers.

The Beauty settings in Cymera is suited for portraits, allowing you to change the size of a subject’s eyes, add a smile, warp your subject’s face to make them look slimmer, add makeup, whiten their teeth or soften their skin tone. You can also mosaic their face out if you so wish.

However, despite trying with around six different portraits, we couldn’t get the app to identify a face.

Decorate is the final option along the top menu on Cymera and allows you to add stickers, draw on top of the photo or add text.

The final option from within Cymera is to auto adjust your images according to what the subject is. Tap the Auto icon in the bottom right corner and choose between the four modes to get some pretty cool effects. {Portrait will lighten everything up, making skin look flawless, landscape darkens the shadows and adds in extra detail – almost an HDR effect, while Food darkens further and text strips out details , making the lines stronger.

Cymera is an unassuming app you may find hidden in the Play Store, but it really is worth downloading to add some va-va-voom to your photos.


Cymera Highlights



How to take a photo with tilt shift in Cymera
You can add tilt shift into photos either when you’re taking the shot or when editing the shot. To add blurring into pictures when you’re taking a photo, select the waterdrop icon from the top menu and either select spot focus, identified with a dot, or linear focus with the line icon. Use your fingers to increase or decrease the area and move it around the screen.

To add in tilt shift to pictures from your gallery, select the picture, choose Effect and Blur. Now, choose either spot focus or linear to add the effect. Use your fingers as above to select the blur area and move the bur around.

How to produce an HDR image with Cymera
The easiest way to produce an impressive HDR effect image in Cymera is using the Food or Landscape preset in the Auto adjust settings. You can access his mode from the bottom right corner.

How to make it snow in pictures using Cymera
With Cymera’s effects,you can make it appear as though it’s snowing in any picture. Just import the picture, head to Effects, Light, Theme and choose the Snow effect. It looks great!


Getting the basics right: Cymera



How to adjust the Contrast and Brightness with Cymera
The contrast and brightness can be adjusted.

How to switch to the front camera with Cymera to take a selfie
When in camera mode, tap on the second icon in on the top menu (or second up from the bottom on the left side if in landscape mode) to switch to the front-facing camera. Smile and take that selfie!

How to adjust the flash with Cymera
The flash is automatically set to Auto in Cymera. To change this, tap the top left corner icon (or the bottom left if in landscape) and either turn the flash so it’s permanently on or off.

How to adjust the picture quality with Cymera
To increase the picture resolution from Cymera, head to the Camera section and tap the cog in the top right corner. Now, head to Camera and the first option you’ll see is Image size. Here, you can choose from large, average and profile size.

How to zoom using Cymera
The zoom in and zoom out controls in Cymera are along the bottom of the camera interface if you’re in profile mode, or the right side if in landscape. To zoom in, drag the camera icon up and down or left to right depending which orientation you’re using the camera to zoom in and out.

Posted by clarehopping
13th Nov 2013, 20:18   | tags:,,comments (0)

Handy Photo for Android review

(viewed 1283 times)
We review Handy Photo for Android – an app that adds textures in addition to effects to the mix.

What is Handy Photo?



Handy Photo allows you to add a whole load of effects to your photos and fully edit them, plus you can add some stunning textures.

The app uses any of the photo-taking apps you already have on your Android phone to take the photo, so there aren’t any fancy interfaces here.

You can import photos you’ve already taken from any number of places including your phone’s gallery, Google Drive, DropBox if installed, and any other storage app you may have already on your phone.

After you’ve taken the photo or imported it, you can start editing.

To view all the effects, tap on the hand icon in the top right hand corner.

Magic crop allows you to manually select the area you wish to crop, switch the photo to portrait or landscape orientation or rotate the picture.

The next editing option is tweaking the tone and colour where you can either use the auto adjust function or manually change the brightness, contrast, warmth, colour saturation, shadows, highlights and sharpness. To change each, you can simply swipe up and down the screen to increase and decrease and check out the changes in real time. Once you’re done, just tap the tick to apply the changes.

The retouch menu is where you come to realise that Handy Photo is a whole lot more than just a simple editing app. As you’d expect on a full computer-based editing tool, you can add details with a paint brush, select a section to edit using the lasso tool and remove details with the eraser.

The clone setting allows you to select an area of your photo and clone it onto another part of your picture. It’s especially useful if there’s an imperfection in portraits or uneven skin tone.

The move me feature allows you to select an area of the picture with the lasso tool and move to a new layer or move that part of an image to a new picture.

You can also edit the selected area, rotating it, making it transparent, changing the colour saturation, and edge smoothness. You can also duplicate the layer or merge it back into the original picture.

Next in the wheel are the filters. The interface is the same wheel-based control as seen throughout the Handy Photo app, allowing you to click on each to see what the photo will look like.

There aren’t quite as many filters within Handy Photo as specialised effects applications, but there are enough to transform your picture.

Textures is our favourite setting within Handy Photo because it really does transform a picture and not in a tacky way. Those available include cloth, which makes your picture look like it’s on a canvas, clouds to produce a dreamy-like atmosphere and water, giving the impression you’re looking at the scape through a rainy window. Some are more effective than others, but it’s certainly worth giving some of them a go.

The final addition to your picture can be a frame. There’s a selection available including film, Polaroid, paper, photo album and of course a simple white frame to make your picture ping off the screen.

The interface of Handy Photo is pretty consistent, allowing you to scroll through options by using the navigation wheel and revert to the original photo just by tapping on the undo bottom in the top left of the screen.

The app does get a little complicated with some of the more advanced modes such as clone and move me, but you’ll soon adjust when you’ve had some practice.

It’s refreshing to see such an extensive editing app on Google Play, even if it doesn’t have a huge selection of filters or frame types.

One aspect that definitely could be improved is the ability to take a photo from within the app, but hopefully this will be added in the next update.

Handy Photo Highlights



How to add new layers in Handy Photo

To add a new layer in Handy Photo, select the Move me function in the top right corner and then use the lasso tool to select the area you’d like to turn into a new layer.

The area will be highlighted in red. Now, select the Move to new layer icon, which is the third icon down on the right of the screen. You can now resize, rotate, duplicate or move the layer to a different picture.

You can also add a whole range of effects to this layer, change the opacity, colour saturation and increase the smoothness of the layer.

How to create a canvas effect in Handy Photo

Some of the texture effects within Handy Photo really do give a whole new dimension to your photo and the cloth texture is one of the best available.

When you’ve selected cloth from the texture wheel, you can then add even more effects to the photo. Just tap on the texture icon that pops up in the left corner.

Not only can you increase or decrease the intensity of the effect, you can also add gradients, change the style of cloth (there are seven to choose from), change the lightness of the texture, add a colour hue and add a vignette effect.

How to add tilt shift in Handy Photo

Tilt shift is one of the filter options in Handy Photo and it’s fully customisable, allowing you to change the blur intensity, size of the blur and positioning.

When you’ve selected tilt shift, tap on the effects icon in the bottom left corner.

Change the size of the gradient, the type of the gradient (central, striped, single or none) and the intensity of the gradient.

Getting the basics right: Handy Photo



How to adjust the Contrast and Brightness with Handy Photo

You’ll find the ability to increase the brightness and contrast in the tone & color menu in Handy Photo.

Just tap on the brightness or contrast icons on the wheel in the bottom left corner and stroke the screen to increase or decrease the levels.

How to switch to the front camera with Handy Photo to take a selfie

Because Handy Photo uses either the preinstalled camera app on your phone or a third-party app, you’ll have to use the controls within the app rather than in Handy Photo to switch to the front-facing camera and take a selfie.

How to adjust the flash with Handy Photo

This feature is not available.

How to adjust the picture quality with Handy Photo

This feature is not available.

How to zoom using Handy Photo

You can zoom into photos by spreading your fingers outwards on the screen. To zoom out again, pinch your fingers together on the screen.

Posted by clarehopping
11th Nov 2013, 18:24   comments (2)

FxCamera for Android review

(viewed 1686 times)
We review FxCamera for Android, a free filters app with a community to boot.

What is FxCamera?



FxCamera is a free app for Android with a simple interface and a range of filters that can be implemented on all your gallery photos.

When you launch the app, you’re instantly taken to the FXCamera stream, showcasing other users’ pictures.

To get into the meat of the app, tap on the large camera icon in the bottom right side of the screen.

Here, you can take a photo, import a picture from your gallery or find one to import from the internet and doing this will launch the filters options.

Filters appear along the bottom of the screen and you can easily apply any one of them just by tapping on the icon.

You can also crop photos from here once you’ve applied the effect, add white frame, brighten up the photos or add a white vignette effect to the outer corners.

In the bottom right corner, you’ll find a magic hat icon that will open up additional filters and distortion/displacement effects.

You can also add some symmetry to your photo to make it more of an arty piece rather than a photo.

Some of our favourite effects are covered in the highlights section below.

When you’ve finished adding effects to your photo, you can post it onto the FxCamera community, by tapping the fast forward icon in the top right corner.

You can then add searchable tags and a caption to get people talking about your snap.

The interface of FxCamera is pretty straightforward, but it’s a shame you can’t preview the effects in real time and the viewfinder isn’t full-screen, with a grey band at the top and bottom of the screen.

It’s handy you can tap on the screen to focus before taking the shot and change the aspect ration – either 1:1 or 4:3,but there are other apps that offer the same functionality and in many cases, much more.

FxCamera is just one of the many effects apps available for Android and although there is an extensive selection of effects and distortion, it doesn’t offer a whole lot more than other apps, unless you’re an active member in the FxCamera community.

A lot of people will find that having to sign up to an account is annoying, even though you can use your Twitter or Facebook account to do so.

We can’t see ourselves using FxCamera instead of the default camera application on Android, unless you want to add an effect. It just doesn’t offer the flexibility and manual controls we love.

FxCamera Highlights



How to create a water drop effect in FxCamera

The water drop effect is something we haven’t seen on a whole lot of photography applications on Android so we thought we’d mention it as a highlight. It works particularly well for water-based shots.

To add the effect to your photo, tap on the magic hat icon in the bottom right corner of the screen and select water drop from the distortion menu.

We would find it a slightly better application if you could move the droplet around the screen, but unfortunately it’s just placed right in the middle.

How to create a soft focus effect in FxCamera

A lot of camera effect apps allow you to add soft focus, but the setting on FxCamera is better than many on rival apps.

To add the soft focus filter, open up the photo or import one and scroll to the soft focus option (it’s the last one in the list). Tap to apply and you’ll be presented with a dreamy-looking photo.

Again, it’s annoying that you can’t adjust the intensity of the soft focus as you can on more advanced apps, but it does feel as though you’ve used a soft-focus lens to take the picture rather than just overlaying an effect.

How to add coloured highlights effect in FxCamera

There’s a selection of colour highlight effects you can add to your photos and the success of each will depend on the general colour of the original photo.

For example, if there’s a lot of red n your photo, select red colour from the magic hat menu. The app will then identify the red parts and remove the colour from the rest of the photo.

There are only three options here – red, sky (blue) and tree (green and yellow), but we were impressed by the accuracy of these settings.

Getting the basics right: FxCamera



How to adjust the Contrast and Brightness with FxCamera

You are unable to make many changes in FxCamera, making it only useful for adding effects to your pictures. The only option for increasing the brightness of a photo is by tapping the sun icon after you’ve taken the picture or imported it.

How to switch to the front camera with FxCamera to take a selfie

You can switch to the front camera using FxCamera by tapping the top right icon in the take picture screen.

How to adjust the flash with FxCamera

The flash can be controlled within FxCamera by tapping the flash icon in the take picture screen. You’ll find the icon along the top menu – it’s the second icon in.

By default, the flash is off, but you can switch it to auto or always on too.

How to adjust the picture quality with FxCamera

There isn’t the option to increase or decrease the picture quality in FxCamera.

How to zoom using FxCamera

You are unable to zoom in and out using FxCamera, which is a real shame.

Posted by clarehopping
10th Nov 2013, 02:42   | tags:,,comments (0)