If taking photos on your Windows Phone is your thing, then you’ll need a good processing app that is capable of offering a variety of tweaks and adjustments. Of course, on a desktop computer such software can set you back, sometimes up to $100 – not the sort of price you would want to spend on mobile phone apps.
Thankfully, that sort of price is something you don’t have to worry about. Windows Phone users no longer have to rely on desktop applications for resizing, cropping and applying filters to your smartphone snaps thanks to a swathe of new apps that are available in the Windows Phone Store by device manufacturers and third party developers.
Among these is Fhotoroom, an easy-to-use app that is intended for fast and effective results. Available free from the Windows Store, this app is – in the absence of Instagram for Windows Phone 8 – arguably the best image post processing app for the platform.
Despite its unwieldy spelling, Fhotoroom is nevertheless full of useful features. As well as being a photo processor, however, it also offers its own camera app, one that offers quite a few bonus tools.
Present in Fhotoroom are the filters you might expect, offering everything from the evocative “Tsar” filter that produces a Soviet-era Russian result to the crops, resizes, the ability to alter the various colour balances and even select areas to be blurred out. All this, and then the option to save to your phone or SkyDrive, or join Fhotoroom to upload to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr via their service (although the setup for this certainly needs some work).
In camera mode, meanwhile, Fhotoroom provides a viewfinder grid, a timer and tools for taking different types of photograph, such as action shots, night images, scenery and portraits. You can also switch to your front-facing camera if necessary for your purposes and still gain the same great results.
As you should have gathered, Fhotoroom has a lot of tools and features, with over 50 filters and 27 frames, not to mention 18 editing tools!
This fact alone may lead you to think that it might be a complicated experience, but this isn’t the case at all. Thanks to some great user interface design, the Fhotoroom developers have succeeded in providing all of the features across the foot of the Windows Phone display in that same hinterland that Internet Explorer uses in Windows Phone and Windows 8 to display the address bar and back button.
Even better, they’ve managed to retain the Metro/Modern/whatever-Microsoft-call-it style in the app without sacrificing any usability or functionality.
Adding Filters & Frames
Although Fhotoroom has a very good camera interface/overlay, you probably won’t use this except in rare situations when you need a timer or the ability to snap action shots (only the Windows Phone camera software can be launched from the camera hardware button). Rather, Fhotoroom will probably be most commonly launched from the Photos hub or straight after snapping a photo with the Windows Phone camera.
With your image selected, you will able to launch Fhotoroom from the apps… menu option in Photos. Once open, you will be presented with a choice of menu options. To crop, add a simple filter and frame and upload to your SkyDrive, begin by selecting Basic Edit to find the Crop option, using your finger to drag the placeholders.
As with every other tool or filter that will change the image, you will need to confirm your crop by tapping the apply button. If you’re unhappy, cancel and if you want to try again, tap reset.
You can now add a filter. Tap Styles, then choose the appropriate new look for your photo. There are 28 upper-level filters, some of which have additional presets when tapped, so you should spend time exploring what is on offer. Again, when you’re happy, tap apply. You might also use the Save button to keep a copy of the “Fhotoroomed” image – the original won’t be changed.
Although the filters are impressive, the Frames on offer are rather pedestrian compared with some other apps. When you have made your selection, apply and Save!
There are several other image processing apps for Windows Phone that you might consider. Thanks to the continued lack of Instagram, many pretenders have come along to try and fill the void.
Nokia users can take advantage of the ultra-fast (but limited) Creative Studio, while Metrogram and Pictastic are both good options; however, neither has the complete polish that Fhotoroom offers. If Instagram does ever come to Windows Phone, they might have a bit of a fight on their hands converting users…
If there is a problem with Fhotoroom then it is with the clunky sharing system; the permission acquisition from Facebook or Twitter is painfully slow, for some reason. Despite this, however, Fhotoroom is the type of app that you should be installing on your first day of Windows Phone ownership, and holds pride of place in our full list of Windows Phone apps for a very good reason – it’s superb.