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9 best photo apps for Android

9 best photo apps for Android
© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

Aww, remember the good ol' days? It used to be that taking a photograph was so simple.

You just picked up your camera, looked into the viewfinder, then "click." That's it. Oh, except for a few minor things.

Like, driving to the store to buy 10 or so rolls of film. You'd get 24 pictures per roll! Sure, it might cost a couple of hundred dollars. But it was worth it!

After all, nothing beats film's warm images. But, unfortunately, the reality of old-fashioned cameras is that the hurdles kept coming. You'd lug a heavy camera around plus all those rolls of film. Of course, you didn't take as many snaps as you'd like because you'd have to pay for them. Then, you might discover days later that your photographs were blurry. Worse, your roll might have been lost, stolen or erased going through airport security.

Ugh. Now, you might remember that taking pictures wasn't that much fun. These days, of course, you might take 200 pictures or more in a single day. It's free and then you share them on Instagram or Facebook. Your family and friends can share your moment with you, too.

If you're using an Android phone, taking crystal-clear, high-res photos is as easy as slipping your phone out of your pocket and tapping it. But if you want some added features, you might like these 9 apps that we've tried or that readers like you have recommended.

1. Instagram

Facebook's photo-based social media app, Instagram, is the crown jewel of Android photo apps. If you're not one of the 500 million people using Instagram, you're missing out.

The beauty of Instagram is how easy it is to use. Take a photo, or video, and share it on your Stories. Those are Instagram's posts where you update your followers on what's going on in your life. It's kind of like a daily photo journal for the world to see. You can also share your photos on other social networks, like Facebook.

The best part about Instagram, though, is its photo features. You can easily adjust the color and brightness of your photos, and you can add filters, too. Do you want to post a photo of your face, but with a kitten's ears on your head? Just "tap" and it's there.

2. PicsArt Photo Studio and Collage

This is a social media app like Instagram with loads of fun features. You can tweak the image of photos, crop them and share them with friends. Plus, you can add stamps like little hearts or musical notes to your photos.

PicsArt has other photo apps, too, like Animator and Color Paint.

 3. PhotoDirector

PhotoDirector is one of the most-loved photo editors for Android, and here's why. It's a highly polished photo tool that professional photographers use to adjust images, colors and a lot more.

Yet, it's simple to use. If you're a photo app novice, give PhotoDirector a shot. It might just become your next favorite, free photo-editing app.

Note: Some free photo apps have ads.

4. Prisma

If you want to play around with photo filters and improving the look of your snaps, you may need artificial intelligence. That's right, AI.

Prisma uses AI to help you improve the look of your photos. You just take a photo and Prisma suggests filters. These are filters inspired by famous painters. Say you take a picture of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful, right? Yet it can look even better, brighter and bolder in the hands of an artist. Suddenly a familiar image turns into a work of art that you can easily share on your social media networks.

5. Lightroom

You've heard about Adobe Photoshop. The photo-editing software has been popular with professional photographers for more than a quarter century. If you're not a pro, Photoshop may be more than you need.

Which is where Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile comes in. Although it's also used by professional photographers, its menu-based photo-editing tools make it easy for everyone to use.

Take a photo, select a feature like cropping from the menu, and select it. Or, if you're a little more experienced using photo-editing tools, you can use Lightroom's advanced features.

6. Snapseed

Google's photo-editing app is one of the best ones out there. With Snapseed, you can easily adjust your photos.

There are filters, features to adjust colors and the sharpness of the image. Plus, you can impress your kids or grandchildren with features you don't find on just any photo app. For instance, you can zoom in and see up-close texture, like the surface of a building.

7. Google Photos

Google Photos app is a easy-to-use, free photo app that prevents you from eating up storage on your Android smartphone. Take a photo and the Google app automatically loads it to the cloud. That means you can access your photos from any device.

You can also use photo-editing tools, filters, and other features.

8. Amazon Photos

Like Google Photos, Amazon Photos is an incredible app. Take photos and it saves them to the cloud. Better, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you (and five other people) can store an unlimited number of photos to Amazon Photos.

It's easy to scroll through hundreds or thousands of images on Amazon Photos. The images are automatically sorted from newest to oldest. Plus, every day, Amazon Photos shows you a photo from one year ago today. I know what I was doing this day in 2016. Do you?

9. Open Camera

Although photo-editing and social media apps are useful and fun, you still need to start with a great (or halfway decent) picture. Open Camera is a camera app that'll help you create one.

You can use features to automatically stabilize your image, for instance. Or you can set up a timer and features like having the camera remotely take a photo when you whistle.

So, what are your favorite Android photo apps?

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