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Handy Photo for Android review

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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  

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crickson says:

So it's good then?

11th Nov 2013, 18:48

clarehopping says:

Hi @Crickson. Yes, I do like it, but it's just a shame you can't take photos from within the app itself - rather you have to use either your default camera app or a different one you have already installed. I think all photography apps should have their own camera UI.

It has some very good extra options such as the layer tool that I haven't seen on many other apps.

I would give it probably 7 out of 10!

13th Nov 2013, 13:58