Add Cool Effects To Your Photos With Little Photo [Android 1.6+]

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I’m a blogger on a quest! I’m out to find the perfect camera app for Android. I’ve recently reviewed Camera360 and Lightbox Photos. Camera360 was very nice, but the free version pushed the paid version a little hard, and Lightbox Photos was great for sharing, but did not emphasize effects very strongly. There are a few other powerful cameras on the market (including Vignette, which I will be reviewing soon), but today I’m going to focus on Little Photo. There are a few things that set this neat camera/effects app apart.

For starters, the free version is fantastic. It doesn’t plug the paid version, and it has unobtrusive banners (not the irritating full-screen kind like you get with Words with Friends). If you do decide to spring for the paid version, it currently costs just a buck ($0.99 to be exact, down from $1.99) – definitely one of the cheapest camera apps on the market. Another key difference is that this is more of an effect app than a camera app. The image capture part is simple, but the interface for applying effects is powerful and intuitive, and you can easily use it with photos captured using other applications.

For starters, I’d like to show off one end product:

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I really like the grainy effect and the whole “low-fi” feel. As I said, this is just one possible outcome. Now let’s see how to get there. This image was captured using Little Photo’s own capture interface, which is very bare-bones:

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Yes, that is a black screenshot. Due to the way the application works, I was unable to capture the image shown in the live preview – you can only see the interface above. Not much to look at, really; you just tap the screen and it takes the picture. It’s not even smart enough to realize my phone doesn’t have a flash and hide the Flash button. But once you take the picture (or load a picture you’ve taken with some other app), that’s when the fun part begins:

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Once you tap the screen, you get a semitransparent menu that lets you navigate through lots of effects. I love this interface because it provides an instant preview of every effect you select, right when you select it (something Vignette is sorely missing). For example, this one is called Vintage Paper:

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Like many other effects, it has a number of sub-effects. I selected the sub-effect called Page, and then I wanted to see what the whole image looks like without the menu getting in the way. To do this, I simply tapped the left side of the image:

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You don’t have to limit yourself to just one effect. I like this paper effect, so I will apply it and then layer other effects on top of it. Like any other self-respecting camera app these days, this one has a number of Lomo effects:

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Finally, Little Photo has a Tools menu, which includes “interactive effects” (my name, not theirs). These are effects that require you to mark or draw on certain areas of the image, and are then applied selectively.

For example, here’s what it looks like when you apply the Bokeh effect:

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The round spot is my finger, touching the screen to “clean” the subject.  The end result looks something like this:

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I don’t usually edit my images to death like this, but this does show some of what Little Photo can do. The app feels snappy and responsive, and the interface makes it lots of fun to play with.

So is this the perfect camera app for Android? No, mainly because the “camera” part is a bit of an afterthought. But if you’re looking for a quick, fun way to apply effects to your images using Android, Little Photo gives the big guys a run for their money.  Have a play around with it and let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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