THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS | A PRO PHOTO & VIDEO BLOG

Mobile Photo Roundup: Snapseed Comes to Android, Free on iOS

Posted in Photography by Nathan Lee Bush on December 7, 2012
snapseed

Snapseed offers more flexibility and control than rival Instagram, but do mobile users want it?

Snapseed, the powerful photo editing software for both desktop and more recently the iPhone has been released as a free app for Android devices (4.0 and up) and made free on its iOS equivalent (formally $5).

Imaging storage and sharing is seen as a cornerstone among top tech companies as they jostle to bolster their positions in the hotly contested social web space. Facebook made headlines in April with a billion dollar stock and cash bid for white hot Instagram, a deal which closed in September. Not to be outdone, Google acquired Snapseed developer Nik Software in September. And today, true to form, Google nixed short term profit to bolster its long term ecosystem growth. Expect to see specialized integration with services Google Plus (successful perhaps only among photographers), Picasa and, of course, Android.

Where Instagram siezed the market with its emphasis on instant slap-on lomo filters with minimal fuss, but also minimal wiggle room, Snapseed offers robust editing features, allowing the user to build a photo from the ground up using a large variety parameters. It remains to be seen whether on-the-go shooters, spoiled by Instagram’s tap-edit-and-share, will be compelled by the superior image flexibility offered by Snapseed. Casual shooters will likely balk, but a nascent movement could be afoot among serious photographers to take back control of the image. The massive built-in community of Instagram, at once a photo editing application and social network, is another hurdle.

Of course, with smartphone’s now accounting for over half of all mobile phones, it’s a big space, with plenty of room for a variety of niches. Indeed, the coolest new kid on the block is VSCO CAM, which offers more subtle and elegant and, for lack of a better word, “hip” filters than the more garish flavors found in Instagram.

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