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“Excuse me sir, can you please take our photo?” “NO!!!!”

Alright, so maybe you’ve never heard that as an answer to that question, but you may have feared it. It doesn’t always feel right asking total strangers in the street to take your photo with a friend — not to mention the very real possibility they might sprint off with your precious device.

If you’re a dSLR or point-and-shoot person, I can’t help you. If, however, you’re using your smartphone as your camera, you’re never going to have to ask for these favors again.

Introducing: Groopic

Imagine this: you’re having a great time with a friend in a new city. You arrive at a beautiful landmark, and you want a souvenir photo of both of you standing in front of it. Pretty common scenario, right? What you do in this case is either ask a stranger to take your photograph, try to take a selfie which usually comes out awkward, or give up on appearing in the picture together.

Groopic, a brilliant app for iOS and Android, solves that. And once you try it, you’d be wondering how come no one thought of this simple trick before.

What does Groopic do? Essentially, it combines two photos into one, thus making sure everyone, including the photographers themselves, appear in the final picture. There’s nothing really innovative about the technique — all you have to do is align the second photo with the first before taking it, and Groopic will combine the two. The process is similar to aligning the two sides of a panorama.



The theory sounds great, but does it really work?

Free vs. Pro

Before diving into using the app, it’s important to understand the limitations of the free version so there are no undue disappointments. The free version of Groopic lets you take as many group photos as you want. It lets you apply filters to those photos and browse both combined and original photos, but there’s one important thing it won’t let you do: save them.


If you want to save these photos outside the app and share them, you’re going to need to upgrade to Pro. This costs $0.99, and is done through an in-app purchase.

In addition, the list of Android devices Groopic currently supports is a bit limited. It does include most of the common high-end devices such as the Nexus 4 and 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, all three versions of the Galaxy Note, the HTC One and One X, and other select devices by Motorola and Sony. If you’re having problems, check the full list of supported devices, and contact the developers if yours is not supported.

Groopic In Action

To start using Groopic, you need to take your first picture. This means there’s one photographer, and the rest are having their picture taken. In order to get a good result, you need to leave some space for the photographer so they can appear in the second picture.


Once that’s done, you switch. However, in order to get the best results, it’s important to align the two photos as carefully as possible. So first, the photographer shouldn’t move from the spot until the second photographer comes to trade place with them, and once that’s done (doing your best to keep the phone in the same spot), the app helps you align the two photos by showing an overlay of the first photo on the second.


Now you need to tell Groopic who the photographers are. If there are only two people, simply tap the first person and then the second. If there are more, show the app the photographers by tapping on them in the photos they appear in.


Now sit back and watch as Groopic creates your group photo. Here are two I did myself with my colleague and husband, Erez (yes, they’re not the best. But they get the point across!):


As you can see, the first one had a problem: Erez’s hand got cut off. This happened because his arm was stretched out in the first photograph, and entered the frame of the second one. Other than that, though, the picture is really impressive. So we tried a second one.

groopic 12

Can you tell we weren’t actually sitting together in this photo? I can’t, and I know we weren’t for a fact. You can also see the two originals on top as proof.

Once you have your group photo, Groopic lets you apply one of several filters, if you wish. The selection is not huge, but it’s nice enough, and if it’s not enough for you, you can always export the picture into a different app (if you paid for Pro).

groopic filters

If you paid for Pro, you can now share or download your final result using Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, text-messaging apps, and more. If you didn’t, you can enjoy the photo inside Groopic, but that’s about it.

Never Ask For Favors Again

There’s no doubt that dSLRs still produce better pictures, and if you’re going on a trip and own one, by no means leave it at home. However, you can still take great photos with your smartphone Top Tips: How To Take Great Photos With Your Smartphone Top Tips: How To Take Great Photos With Your Smartphone Smartphone and mobile photography are becoming increasingly popular. And no wonder. Every year, mobile and smartphone cameras get better and better, until many people don’t feel the need to carry real cameras around anymore. While... Read More . and not only that, your smartphone’s camera has some pretty surprising uses 10 Ways Your Smartphone Camera Can Make Life Easier 10 Ways Your Smartphone Camera Can Make Life Easier "Does your phone have a camera on it?" said no one since 2005. Nobody even asks how many megapixels your phone's camera has anymore. With the ubiquity of smartphones today, and the resolution of the... Read More , and can also perform some neat tricks You Didn't Know You Could Do These 5 Awesome Smartphone Camera Tricks You Didn't Know You Could Do These 5 Awesome Smartphone Camera Tricks With the help of a few cool apps, your camera can also turn your phone into a film scanner, a font or color identifier, the ultimate search tool, and more. Read More a dSLR can’t.

One trick you now know about is this ability to take group pictures without resorting to strangers, favors or selfies. So next time you go on a trip with friends, don’t leave your phone at home. It could be responsible for the best souvenirs you have from that trip!

Download: Groopic for Android / Groopic for iOS

Image credit: Loren Kerns

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  1. Hamza Khan
    March 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Photoshop touch for phone is better investment, having a lot of features, one of them is merging photos together.

  2. Maarten D
    February 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Yeah, tried the app too!
    I like the concept, but not the price.

    • Yaara L
      February 28, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      You think $1 is too much to pay for the app? How much would you be willing to pay?

    • Maarten D
      February 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Simple, I don't pay :). No my motto is to not pay for apps actually... I think you've payed enough for the device, so I don't really buy apps. I only have bought one app in 3 years of having several smartphones.

  3. Dave
    February 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    It appears that there is a separate charge of $.99 to unlock each photo. Or am I doing something wrong?

    • Yaara L
      February 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      That's not how it's supposed to work. One-time payment unlocks saving forever. That's the way it worked for me too. Which device are you using? Could it be one of the devices they're not officially supporting? I think it might be a bug.

    • Dave
      March 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Yaara, you are correct. Although I was required to enter my Apple password multiple times, when I checked my account I found that I was charged only once to "unlock". (I have iPhone 5S.) There may have been some glitch in the program, but after 3 days it works perfectly. And I think $.99 is a bargain price for a very useful app!

  4. Mick T
    February 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Hmm, you know, with the Oscars coming up, if someone could get a first picture early in the morning on the Red Carpet, they could take the second picture when their favorite "Star" happens to be there. Create the collage and voila! I'm now best friends with Hugh Jackman or Meryl Streep.

  5. Victor B
    February 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Partners: no hugging allowed :(

  6. Dave
    February 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I think I'll use the app to send photos of me with my "long-lost identical twin brother". Or, I could pose for a shot "with" a person who wouldn't let me come within 20 feet!

  7. me
    February 27, 2014 at 11:48 am

    erm so this is only for taking formal photo? where is the fun in the actually having a group picture taken in that (if you take picture separately)
    group picture is about the spontaneity and fun

    • Yaara L
      February 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      What you're saying may be true for photos with only 2 people, but when you have more, it's not that much different that what you usually do.

      As spontaneous as a group picture is, someone always has to take it. With this app, the person who takes it can appear in it too. :)

  8. Alex
    February 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

    From the name of the app I thought Groopic ("Group Pic") paired you up with people around you who also wanted to have their photo taken. So you take their photo and they take your photo.

  9. Groopic
    February 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

    By collage we mean the picture containing Groopic with two original photos on top (the second last picture in your article).

    • Yaara L
      February 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Ah, OK. Well, I'm not sure how useful those are, really. :)

  10. groopic
    February 27, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Great article! the free version of the app does allows sharing and exporting collages without having to buy an in-app.

    • Yaara L
      February 27, 2014 at 10:41 am

      When you say collages do you mean something different from the group pictures? Because I'm sure I couldn't save or export those without buying the full version.

  11. Tsk Tsk
    February 27, 2014 at 7:01 am

    You need new socks ?_??

    • Yaara L
      February 27, 2014 at 10:40 am

      What's wrong with my socks?? They have cats on them. Or sheep. Can't remember.