“The best camera you have is the one with you” is a saying which can easily be applied to your phone. With an endless array of Android apps that enhance the photographer’s experience, there are a few standout apps which are a must-have for taking photos using your phone.
From taking the actual shot, to editing it, and sharing it online, the five apps listed below have you covered. And the best part? They’re all available as free downloads from the Android Market.
Ever been to a tech festival?
TNW Conference won best European Event 2016 for our festival vibe. See what's in store for 2017.
Don’t miss the shot with QikCam
How many times have you gone for a shot with your phone, but by the time you fire up the camera app, you’ve missed the chance? QikCam is an awesome widget which you can press to instantly take a photo. While you can’t set up the photo since there’s no preview screen, it’s a handy little app to have for those really fast moments which you don’t want to pass you by. A second QikCam widget is available for launching straight into shooting a video.
Download QikCam from the Android Market
Don’t give yourself away with SilentCam
The shutter sound on my Google Nexus S is embarrassingly loud. A great way to use your camera without letting everyone within a 5 mile radius that you just took a photo is with SilentCam. The app can be used in place of your default camera, and simply lets you take a photo minus the annoying shutter sound.
Download SilentCam from the Android Market
Create a collage of photos with Photo Grid
Photo Grid gives you a quick and easy way to create impressive collages out of photos that you’ve taken with your phone. What’s really cool about Photo Grid is that once it automatically creates the collage for you, you can tweak it as much as you want – from swapping photos around, adjusting which part of the photo shows up in the frame and more. You can create a collage using anywhere between 2 and 9 photos, with a variety of layouts.
Download PhotoGrid from the Android Market
Keep your photos organised with QuickPic
QuickPic serves as a solid alternative to the native gallery app which comes with your Android phone. I’m personally not a fan of the native app’s layout. QuickPic with its list of albums, and extensive settings makes for a much more organised and user-friendly experience. You can sort your albums by name, path or date, and within each album, images can be sorted by name or date. Each image can be shared using Bluetooth, SMS, email, or through various apps.
Download QuickPic from the Android Market.
Apply effects and share with friends with PicPlz
PicPlz, which needs no introduction, is one of the most popular alternatives to the currently iOS-only Instagram. The app comes with a variety of filters including vintage, monochrome and cross processing. You can apply effects to photos you take through the app, or to those that already exist in your gallery. The final product can then be posted to PicPlz, as well as to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and more, directly from the app. PicPlz also has an element of the social network about it. If you connect to your Twitter account, PicPlz automatically finds and follows your Twitter friends, who you can then keep up with through the photo app as well.
Download PicPlz from the Android Market
Camera360 is another hugely popular alternative to Instagram, which all photo buffs have probably already downloaded. The variety and quality of filters in Camera360 probably have a little something to do with how fast this app took off, reaching 6 million users in just one year.
What are your favourite free Android photography apps? Let us know in the comments.
Read next: From bane to boon, the rise of Bluetooth