With all the electronics that have become a ‘necessary’ part of our everyday lives, it has become essential for consumers to consolidate their gadgets as much as possible. Perhaps the most useful consolidated gadget available is the modern smartphone. In addition to functioning as a PDA, music player, and e-book reader, the modern smartphone doubles as a decent digital camera.
Though the images they produce may not be as high-quality as a digital camera in the same price-range, smartphones do have one striking advantage: apps. Specifically, smartphones users have access to a library of photo-taking and editing apps, which allow users to snap a picture, edit it directly on the phone, then email it or upload it to a social network.
Several photo apps are available via the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace, including:
Instagram is an iPhone app that allows you to take a picture, then apply one of eleven different filters, each of which alters your photograph’s color, style, and tone. One filter, for example, makes your photographs look moody and noir, while others make them look super-saturated. Once you’ve taken a picture, Instagram allows you to upload it directly to your Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr account.
Hipstamatic is a particularly in-depth iPhone photo app. Unlike most apps, which apply a filter or effects to a picture after it is taken, Hipstamatic is different: you can choose a camera style, such as a 1970′s pocket cam, by scrolling through a series of “lenses.” Once a lens is applied to your camera, you can snap a picture like normal, and it will appear to have been taken with the type of camera you chose.
Pudding is like the Android-version of Hipstamatic, with one exception: you can choose a film type in addition to a camera type. For example, you can take a panoramic image on 37mm film.
Lightbox aims to make photo-taking a community event by connecting your images with your friends’ images.. You can make minor tweaks to a picture you take, then label it and add it to a “pool” of your other images, which your friends can browse. Likewise, you can browse your friends’ images, adding a visual element to their otherwise rote text-only Facebook and Twitter updates.