Snap Happy

Some of you might remember when in September 2012, Facebook bought out a little company called Instagram for around $1 billion. But, rather than buy this hot startup company to kill and/or assimilate their product, Facebook are committed to building and growing Instagram independently.

Never ones to rest on their laurels, Google immediately set their sights on acquiring their own social networking/filtering photo application, which is where the wonderful Snapseed from Nik Software comes in.

Originally starting life on iOS, much like Instagram did, Snapseed has come a long way in a short time. Offering photo adjustments similar to Instagram, it also comes armed with a slew, a bevy even, of digital jiggery pokery that goes far beyond its competitor. Snapseed offers one of the most powerful image editors available for phones and tablets alike, and all for free.

It’s simple and clear to use yet it packs a lot of punch and in-depth detail. After you open or shoot a photo, you can swipe through to choose edits, adjustments, and effects. Simple swiping gestures let you adjust contrast, brightness, and colour; or you can have the program choose those automatically or choose control points in the image. It also offers photo-fixing basics such as cropping, and straightening.

Snapseed is not for those who want to snap ‘n’ share in a few seconds. It’s for the more discerning photo editor, offering high end features which do not compromise. True, Instagram certainly offers fun ways to tinker with photos and offers a social photo community, but Snapseed is more capable and powerful at enhancing your images.

You should be aware Google are using this app as another way to pump up its under-populated social network and to that end, there’s a big Google+ button below your photo on the main screen. Fortunately, you can share to places you’re more likely to have contacts at from the Share menu. Or, you can do some tinkering with G+ and www.friendsplus.me (more here) to cross post from G+ to Twitter and beyond. It’s one way to fan the flames on G+, I suppose!

You can get Snapseed on the Google Play store here.

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