5 Awesome Android Apps for Shutterbugs

Okay, Android Fans, it's your turn.

We recently talked about the iPhone and the iPad, but not every Steve's Fan prays at the Apple Altar (you know, that other, lesser known Steve). I've heard your pleas and cries, "Don't forget the Android, don't forget the Android." Well friends, after looking up exactly what an Android was (just kidding), I've found you 5 Awesome Android Apps you shouldn't leave home without. As a reminder, all of these apps are available in the Android Market Place and can also be accessed right from the article by clicking on the hyperlink in the name of each app. And now, in no particular order, your apps:

Camera 360 is available in two versions -- a free app with over 6,400 5-star reviews (out of 10,400), and a $3.99 full featured version, which has over 2,300 5-star reviews (out of 4,200). What's interesting about Camera 360 is that it's not actually photo-editing software. It's a set of styles and effects that the user chooses BEFORE he or she snaps a shot. There are six categories to chose from in the main menu: Effect, Scenery, Funny, Tilt-Shift, Shift-Color, and Normal. While Effect Mode is self explanatory, Scenery Mode puts your photo into very scene templates (like a giant billboard in a city). Funny Mode is a set of surreal, bizarre, and artistic effects (like turning your photo into a painting). Tilt-Shift Mode is all the rage these days (it makes everything look like a toy or model diorama). Color Shift retains the color of your subject while turning the rest to black & white. And Normal Mode, despite its name, includes more effects as well as anti-vibrate control, speedy flash control, delaying exposure, and GPS. As to the difference between the Free and Paid versions of Camera 360, expect to get more controls and effects in the Ultimate version.

PLEASE NOTE: with this and all apps, Steve's Readers should always carefully read the fine print before downloading an app onto their phones. While people are generally satisfied with Camera 360, some customers remain unhappy with this app's Permissions settings, which allow it to read from your phone's various log files. The Android Market place is quite open in simply saying what some apps access. Despite our suggestions, please only download and/or purchase products with which you are comfortable. Okay, business is done, back to the Apps!

FxCamera has nearly 50,000 5-star ratings (out of 82,000 votes). It is an ad-supported free app which allows you to take all sorts of crazy, effects-laden photos. Highlights include ToyCam, Polandroid, Fisheye, SymmetriCam, High-Contrast, Warhol, and Normal (which users have been noting, manages to take better photos than the stock camera app). The one complaint I've seen is that the photos remain lower in resolution even when some Android phones have cameras with up to 8-megapixels.

Photaf 3D Panorama comes in both a Free and $4.89 Pro version. The Free version has over 1,600 5-star raitings (out of 3,850) and the Paid version has over 298 (out of 544). What these apps do is use your camera and phone's orientation sensor to guide you through the creation of panoramic views up to 360-degrees around. Then, and this is the neat part, you can view your pictures on the phone using the touch screen or, thanks to all that compass information, by turning the phone itself. Check out the free version before buying, but the Pro version adds a few features including HD Mode, and allows you to take panoramas in portrait mode.

While there are tons of apps out there to stylize shots while you're shooting, sometimes you have older, regular pics that need cropping, rotating, color adjusts, or an effect you didn't think to add before capturing what is now a lost moment in time. As it was with the iPhone, Adobe Photoshop Express is FREE and here to help you with some on-the-go quick edits. Also, with a Photoshop.com account, you can easily access and share all your photos and videos (taken on the phone, or not). It's not super-powerful, but it's handy in most situations (and did I mention it was free?).

Pudding Camera is a fun (and FREE) app which changing the looks of your Android device photos into those that could have been taken by many different film cameras with various film stocks. With over 4,100 5-star ratings (out of 9,500), Pudding Camera has a self photo mode, +/- exposure settings, supports three different files sizes (up to 1024px), and easily allows users to share shots via email, Facebook, Twitter, me2day, or Pudding (a web photo album served by Paran).