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7 of the Best Third-Party Camera Apps for Android

Phone taking photo of the beach Naruedol Rattanakornkul/

Phone cameras are incredibly impressive nowadays, but there’s always more that could be done to expand their utility—especially on the software side of things. And while the stock camera app on your phone is fine, there are many third-party options out there that can offer much more in the way of tools and features.

Why Use a Third-Party Camera App?

Here are just a few features third-party camera apps can offer that make them worth using:

  • Manual Controls: Most stock camera apps will take care of the ISO, exposure, and focus settings for you. And while they’re pretty great at it usually, sometimes you want full control of these settings when taking photos.
  • In-Depth Settings: Some stock camera apps can be fairly limited when it comes to settings, but third-party apps can offer much more extensive options. Whether you want to change the file location and format of your images, image quality, or even adjust parts of the UI, a powerful camera app will allow you to tweak all of these to your liking.
  • Live Filters: Applying filters to photos is nothing new, but what if you could see how the photo would turn out with a certain filter before actually taking it? That’s where live filters can come in handy, as they allow you to make sure that everything looks just right before you take the photo.

Photo-editing apps are also worth a quick mention, as there are a few that offer basic camera modes (such as Adobe Lightroom). We’re focusing on apps that offer more robust camera features in this list, but regardless, a good photo-editing app is an important tool for any mobile photographer to have.

One more note specifically for Pixel users: Only certain third-party apps make use of your phone’s “Visual Core”—the chip inside the Pixel line of phones that makes pictures look so good. That’s not to say photos will look bad without this functionality, but rather that they won’t look nearly as fantastic as you’re used to.

In-Depth Options: Open Camera

Open CameraMark Harman

If you’re looking for a camera app that you can fine-tune to your liking, then Open Camera is the app for you. Not only does it feature full manual controls for exposure and focus, but a wealth of settings ripe for the tweaking. You can toggle certain UI elements (like face tracking); remap the volume buttons to take photos, adjust zoom, and more when the app is open; and easily adjust the file location and format of your photos.

And on top of all of that, Open Camera is open-source, which means it’s completely free and anyone with the technical knowledge can adjust the source code to add more features. HedgeCam 2 is probably the most popular alteration of Open Camera, and it features a slightly different UI and a few new features such as ISO control.


Full Control: ProCam X

ProCam XImagi Mobile

ProCam X prides itself on allowing users to manually adjust every aspect of their photos. Focus, ISO, and exposure settings are all easily accessible on the main camera screen, so you don’t need to dig through menus when taking pictures. You can also easily adjust the file format and image quality settings of photos with the dropdown menus.

ProCam X costs a one-time payment of $4.99. There is also a “Lite” version of the app which is completely free, but it limits your photo resolution to 8 MP, video resolution to 1080p, and video duration to five minutes.


Black and White: Hypocam


Black and white photography is much deeper than it appears, and Hypocam aims to give you all the tools you’ll need to take some fantastic monochromatic images. You can adjust shadows, highlights, and use multiple filters to achieve a specific look, or use a preset to simplify the process. There are a few presets included with the app for free, but if you want more you’ll have to buy the various filter packs available in the app’s store. There are also texture packs available for purchase which can give your photos a unique look.

You can even view photos from other black and white photographers within the app if you’re looking for some inspiration (or just want to look at some cool pictures).

Hypocam is completely free to use, though the filter and texture packs range in price from $0.99 to $2.49.


Vintage Photos: 1998 Cam

1998 CamThe FFFF Studio

If you love the look of vintage photos, then you’ll have a blast experimenting with 1998 Cam. This is a pretty simple app, but it allows you to choose from a wide variety of live filters when taking photos. There are over 100 filters to mess around with here, covering a wide range of vintage styles.

But a lot of those filters will be locked when you download the app, along with the video recording functionality. If you want to unlock everything, you’ll need 1998 Cam Pro in the app for a one-time payment of $2.99.


Live Effects: Pixtica

PixticaPerraco Labs

On the surface, Pixtica seems like a pretty standard camera app. You can adjust the resolution and file format of photos, record videos, and even create GIFs. However, where Pixtica becomes more unique is with its live filters. You can make images and videos look hand-drawn or painted, along with other complete visual overhauls. There are over 70 filters to check out, so you have a lot of options to work with here.

Pixtica is free to use, but you’ll only have a few filters to choose from. If you want all the filters, you’ll need Pixtica Premium, which costs $2.99 a year or a one-time payment of $7.99.


Fun Lenses: Cymera

CymeraSK Communications

Cymera offers plenty of live filters that you can use while taking photos, however, the more unique feature it offers is the various “lenses” you can use. These allow you to take multiple pictures in succession to be auto-formatted into a collage, use effects like a fisheye lens, or something more elaborate like the “Sprocket” lens, which adds a vintage film effect to your photos. Cymera also features a “Beauty Cam” that can soften out blemishes and a photo editor with some color-grading and cropping tools.

Cymera is completely free to use.


Editing Plus Camera: VSCO


To round off this list, we want to bring up VSCO which, despite having a pretty basic camera mode, is great for those looking to deeply edit their photos. In VSCO’s editor, you can manually adjust colors, highlights, contrast, and much more, or just download a “Recipe” made by another user as a preset. You can also use one of the prepackaged filters that cover a wide range of styles and effects.

VSCO is free to download, but if you want access to even more tools (like video editing) and over 200 filters, you’ll want VSCO’s membership, which costs $19.99 a year.


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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

How to Add Music to Instagram Stories

Want to make an Instagram Story more interesting and engaging? Give it a background score. A relatable or even funny music backdrop can do wonders for your Instagram Story. Here’s how to add music to your Instagram Stories.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Khamosh Pathak

DaVinci Resolve 16.2 can take on Premiere Pro CC

cd55b900-9b69-11ea-b9fe-4e644e8381f2Since Blackmagic Design’s Resolve 16 came out last year, a lot of video editors may have been tempted to ditch Adobe Premiere Pro CC. To start with, Resolve 16 is free, and even the $300 Studio version costs less over time than Premiere Pro’s obligat…

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11 of the Best Photo Editors for Android

Mobile Photo Editors r.classen/

Over the past few years, phone cameras have managed to jump from serviceable shooters to flat-out great. They may not be able to match the quality of something like a DSLR camera, but for most people, they’re more than enough. And, while plenty of stuff already goes on behind the scenes of your phone’s camera to increase image quality, even the best photos can use some touching up—and that is where photo editors come in.

What to Look for in a Photo Editor

Before we dive into the list, here are some general categories you can judge photo-editing apps on.

  • Tools: Toolsets vary from app to app, but you want to ensure that the app you download at least covers the basics: cropping, color grading, and filters. Some more advanced apps can offer tools like merging images, special effects, and auto-enhancements, but that depends on how deep you want to go with your edits.
  • Focus: With how deep the world of photo editing is, some apps choose to only focus on one aspect of it, while others try to be all-rounders. You can find great apps in both of those categories, but what’s important is making sure that the app’s focus matches up with your use case.
  • Easy Sharing: Chances are, if you’re editing a photo on your phone, you’re doing it to post on social media sites or to share with friends. Most apps make this as simple as tapping the “Share” button, and we made sure that all the apps we selected offer that simplicity.
  • Additional Features: Some apps take things a step beyond photo editing and provide additional features to make the app more versatile. This can range from social elements (like publicly sharing your images with other users of the app) to features like camera support (being able to take photos from the app itself) and video editing. None of those are necessary for a photo editing app to have, but are nice additions regardless and will be noted as such.

With all that said, let’s look at some apps.

The Professional Choices: Adobe Photoshop Apps and Adobe Lightroom

Just like in the desktop photo-editing market, Adobe is a huge player in the field of mobile photo editing with four great apps.


Photoshop is one of the most powerful photo editors on desktop, and when you’re trying to translate such a complicated program to mobile it can be difficult to do so without making it feel bloated. So, Adobe actually has three different Photoshop apps, each covering a different section of the photo editing process: Photoshop Express, Photoshop Fix, and Photoshop Mix.

Photoshop Express is a general-use editor, including filters, simple effects, and collage editing. If you want to get deeper into fixing your photos, then Photoshop Fix gives you access to a ton of tools for retouching and editing your photos. Fix is where you can do things like smoothing out faces, adjusting lighting, and warping parts of the image. And finally, there’s Photoshop Mix, which is pretty simple—it allows you to cut out and mix parts of various photos.

You can use all three of the apps together to create some fantastic images. Perfect the look of your image in Fix, then crop and cut it in Mix, before finally using Express to add it to a collage or add some final touches.

All three Photoshop apps are free. But they can also be used with a Creative Cloud subscription (starting at $9.99 a month for Lightroom and Photoshop access) as well to transfer projects back and forth between desktop and mobile—perfect for professionals who need to do some editing on the go.


Lightroom is focused on making the photo editing process as simple as possible, so photographers can spend more time actually taking photos than looking at an app on their phone. You can use simple sliders to adjust everything from the contrast to color grading, or use various presets that match your tastes. Lightroom is surprisingly powerful despite its simple design, and can even be used in conjunction with the Photoshop apps listed above for some more in-depth editing.

Lightroom is free to download, but if you want some more features like cloud storage, selective adjustments, and a healing brush, you’ll need to pay $4.99 a month or $59.99 a year for Lightroom Premium.


Free and Simplistic: Snapseed


Snapseed is the simplest route to in-depth photo-editing effects. It’s made by Google, so the UI has the same “simple but powerful” feel that a lot of Google’s apps do. Snapseed boasts a large and varied toolset of effects and they’re all extremely tweakable, so you can make your image look exactly how you want.

And the best part? Snapseed is completely free—no reason not to try it out.


General Purpose: Pixlr

PIXLR123RF Limited

Pixlr is a great in-depth editor. It features more complex tools like merging images and double exposure, but it still keeps things simple enough to not be overwhelming. There are even plenty of templates and presets for novices to use to show them the capabilities of the app as well.

Pixlr is free to download, but if you want to remove ads and add more tools like stickers, overlays, and an additional 150 fonts, you’ll need you to pay for the premium subscription, which is $1.99 a month or $11.99 a year.


Varied Tools: PicsArt


Picsart is a photo editor filled to the brim with effects and tools. There are over 3,000 tools in the app that range from complex effects to simple cropping options. You can add text and stickers, use templates, and even do some light video editing. It also includes “Daily Challenges” that task you with a specific photo-editing objective if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Picart is free to download, but if you want to get rid of ads and gain access to some more advanced features, you’ll need to buy the “Gold” subscription, which is $3.99 a month.


Simple but Stylish: Polarr


If you prefer to make simple but impactful edits, Polarr is the app for you. It may not boast thousands of effects like Picsart, but the features it does give you are powerful and can lead to great-looking images. You can also apply filters, overlays, and use auto-enhancements, so that way the app does some of the work for you.

Polarr is free to download, but you won’t have access to some advanced features (like overlays). For the full Polarr experience, you’ll need Polarr Pro, which is $3.99 a month or $19.99 annually.


Social Editing: Fotor

FotorEverimaging Ltd.

Fotor is another great editor with plenty of features, including various effects, in-depth tools to edit things like color and lighting, and the option to create collages. But beyond that, and what makes Fotor special is its social component.

Fotor focuses on sharing photos with other users of the app, and even holds contests for users to participate in—you can even win prizes. Not everyone is into that, but if you are, it can provide some nice variety and motivation for your photo editing. You can even sell your photos on the app (but Fotor does take a hefty 50% of all profits).

Fotor is completely free.


Camera Plus Editor: VSCO


VSCO can act both as your photo editor and your camera app. Even with this split focus, it still manages to pack in an impressive photo-editing suite. You can apply filters, adjust color grading, and add frames and borders to your images. It’s not as deep as some of the more powerful apps we’ve listed above, but it’s still enough to enhance images without needing to switch to a different app after taking your photos. It also includes some video-editing features as well.

VSCO is free to download, but you can also pay for its membership ($19.99 a year) to gain access to 200+ presets for photo editing, some advanced video editing features, and weekly photo challenges.


Best for Editing Portraits: Airbrush

AirbrushMeitu (China) Limited

Airbrush focuses on making sure that your selfies and portrait photos look as good as possible. You can smooth out faces, brighten eyes and teeth, remove blemishes, add in special effects, and adjust depth. With such powerful tools, your photos will look better than ever with Airbrush.

Airbrush is free to download, but if you want to get rid of ads and gain access to some more premium features (like adding backgrounds and more facial retouching tools), it’ll cost you $19.99 a year.


Best for Black and White Photography: Hypocam


Black and white photography is trickier than it appears. It’s important to get the tone, texture, and angle of a photo just right or else it’ll look like a cheap filter. This is what Hypocam focuses on, giving black and white photographers a specialized toolset—nothing more, nothing less. There are even large collections of sample photos from renowned photographers to give you a boost of inspiration.

Hypocam is free to download, but there are various filter and texture packages available as in-app purchases.


The One You Already Have: Google Photos

Google PhotosGoogle

Google Photos may not boast the same in-depth tools or advanced effects of the apps we’ve already talked about, but it should by no means be disregarded. It includes the most basic tools, like lighting and color-level adjustments, along with the ability to draw on images, crop images, and add filters. While the photo-editing features in the app are simple, they’re still good enough to do some quick edits to your photos. And, considering Google Photos comes preinstalled on most Android phones (and is free regardless), that’s about as much as you can ask for.


Built-in Editing: Instagram


While it may seem strange to rely on Instagram’s included photo editing, its built-in editor does have some nice features and effects that are difficult (or impossible) to find in other apps. It also covers all your basic needs of color grading, cropping, and filters. You don’t even have to post the photos to save them to your phone (although, it does require a bit of a workaround).

And, as you probably already know, Instagram is free.


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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

Freeplane: A Useful Cross-Platform Mind-Mapping Software

organize-projects-and-thoughts-with-free Mind-mapping is a useful way to organize your thoughts and process flow with visual diagrams. When done properly, it can make massive projects easily manageable and allow you to better allocate tasks between the members of your team, while always keeping tags on everything. Freeplane is one of the best free open-source mind-mapping software. It is also cross-platform compatible, so you can use it in Windows, macOS or Linux. Let’s see how you can use Freeplane to create mind maps. Installation To get started, download Freeplane from its official page at SourceForge. Extract it and find the installer… Read more13546469.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos