Android Photo Fun


You don’t have to go far to have a little fun with your Android phone photos. There are plenty of free apps for editing pics on the fly, with features like cropping, colorizing, graphic overlays, and word bubbles. Amazingly, this was novel stuff just a few short years ago. In the fall of 2006 I contracted briefly with a start-up company that had developed an application for adding funny sayings to your cell phone photos. You would take a picture, text it with a particular code, and watch it return a short while later with a designated caption. Sounds downright archaic in 2010.

Here are a few basic (and free) photo editing apps for Android.

AnDrawing is a drawing app that does double duty as photo mark-up software. On my Droid Eris, AnDrawing is one of the options when I click to export or share a photo. There’s an option to crop your pic, and then you can scribble on it, add text, and paste on funny symbols and cartoon characters. Good for passing the time in boring lectures, meetings, and conference calls. Note- there’s a paid version of AnDrawing too that does away with the largely innocuous ad scroll in the free app.

PicSay is more versatile than AnDrawing when it comes to photos. Not only can you make your pictures “say” things with titles and word balloons, you can also do a lot of things you’d expect in a basic computer-based editor. Under the effects category, PicSay includes options for: Distort, Spotlight, Marker, Pixelize, Exposure, Contrast, Temperature, Tint, Saturation, Brightness, Colorize, Hue, Dizziness, Sepia Toning, and Invert. (PicSay Pro has even more.) The effects mean you can correct  or adapt a photo if you’ve taken one that’s truly worth sharing. Lighten it up, give it more color, or highlight a particular element. PicSay is good for cell photo phones you actually want to save.

Canvas is much more like a real mobile version of Photoshop (with lots of painting options) than other Android editing apps. It includes layers (!), an eraser tool, and even lasso selection. You can reveal a photo underneath a photo, or create your own collage. It is, in fact, quite ambitious for a smartphone app. Perhaps too ambitious. I had difficulty toggling between my canvas and the editing tools, and the app seemed determined to hide my saved images in inaccessible folders. (Hence the stock screenshot here) Canvas does have potential for larger screen Android devices, however. Good for those new Android tablets, whenever they come out.