Twenty Apps Every Android Photographer Should Have

Android Figure from GoogleOver the last five years, there is no doubt that Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices have dominated in the photo industry. Not only did they constantly receive the best applications first, but often times developers would only develop for IOS, leaving Android users out to dry. On top of this, there was a general mindset that if you wanted a smart device as a photographer, Apple was THE way to go. Times however are changing…

While Apple continues to produce phenomenal devices, they are no longer the only kids on the block. Google’s Android software has made huge strides in the last three years and have caught up and arguably surpassed IOS devices in many ways. While I continue to use an Apple Desktop and Macbook Air, I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone and an Asus Transformer Prime Android tablet. Both devices run the latest Android OS, ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich). They are sleek, powerful and have a nearly fully customization operating system that is Androids first step in providing a universal, polished and well oiled user experience with all Android devices.

With Android maintaining a large lead over Apple with market share around the globe, more and more photographers are looking to Android as an alternative to an iPhone or iPad. I have put together a list of 20 must have applications for any photographer that uses Android devices. Some applications are photo specific while others are more general, but regardless they are all part of my every day experience. The apps are listed in no particular order of importance.

UPDATE: Vol 2 of Twenty Apps Every Android Photographer Should Have can be found HERE

 Recommended Apps for Photographers

DSLR Controller (BETA) - Apps on Android Market Full control of your Canon EOS DSLR from your phone or tablet through USB !DSLR Controller is the first and only app that allows you to fully control your Canon EOS DSLR from your Android device with only a USB cable. No computer or laptop required, no root required, only a compatible mobile device, a compatible camera, and the right USB cable.
Adobe® Photoshop® Touch - Apps on Android Market Transform images with core Photoshop features in an app designed for tablets.Combine images, apply professional effects, share results with friends and family through sites like Facebook, and more – all from the convenience of your tablet.Use Photoshop features designed for the tablet such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create mind-blowing images. Sync projects with Adobe Creative Cloud* and open layered files from Adobe Photoshop Touch in Photoshop.
Pano - Apps on Android Market Pano is an award-winning app that lets you take beautiful, seamless panoramic photos straight from your phone, no other software necessary. Pano has gotten rave reviews from hundreds of thousands of users around the world.If you do not have ICS, which has this feature built in, then this is your next best bet
QuickPic - Apps on Android Market The best free photo gallery and picture browser & viewer in Android. Allows you to view and create high quality slideshows, include and exclude folders for easier scanning, protect images and video with passwords, play animated gifs and standard videos, rote, shrink, crop and set images as wall paper and much more…
Application that allows you to take as well as edit images.- 84 effects & 59 frames
– Retro/vintage styles
– LOMO/Diana/Holga toy camera styles
– Polaroid/instant camera styles
– Cross-process, tilt-shift, photobooth, double exposure and more.
Application that allows you to take as well as edit images.- Combine effects using non-destructive editing
– Process at full camera resolution (up to 8mp if avail)
– 20 Color FX: vintage, lomo, cinematic, funky, pencil…
– 13 Frames: thin, rounded, lens, polaroid, filmreel…
– 12 Distort FX: fisheye (like fxcamera), mosaic, twirl…
– Create stunning collages: e.g. 2×2 passport style combination shots
Take images with vivid colors and rich detail. High quality full resolution HDR!- Full resolution
– Real HDR: exposure bracketing and tone mapping
– HDR images fused and tone mapped on device within seconds
– Hand shake compensation, no need to be rock-solid while shooting
– You can control tone-mapping parameters: contrast, micro-contrast, color vividness, exposure
– Save original exposure bracketed images
 Picplz is Androids current answer to Instagram. While the community is not as large as Instagram’s, it does offer a great experience.With it you can take a photo, apply image effects and then share the image with your friends.Another alternative is StreamZoo
PicasaTool helps you to manage your Picasa web albums with simple yet powerful user interface designed specifically for Android powered smartphone. Google+ uses Picasa as its backbone for photos. This tool helps you manage your images on G+ as well.

Offline web album, Picasa web album management, Photo editor(effects, redeye, contrast, draw…), Photo uploader, Multiple Google accounts login and more…

Have some of your photography work stored on SmugMug? Then this application is for you. It allows you easily download your images from SmugMug to your phone or tablet, show off your photography work straight from the app, easily upload images to your SM account and more…
TPE is a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, be it day or night, for almost anywhere on earth. Ideal for landscape, nature, travel and outdoor photographers, TPE’s map-based approach means you can search for any place name on the planet or position the map pin exactly where you want it. Advanced features include: automatic time zone and elevation detection, correction for atmospheric refraction and height above the horizon. You can even determine when the sun or moon will be visible from behind nearby hills and mountains.
Predictor, tracker and seeker of Sun & Moon positions for any location and time!Sun Surveyor predicts Sun & Moon positions (azimuth, altitude, time) with its modules: 3D Compass, Map View, Camera View (Augmented Reality) and Details (Ephemeris). Sun Surveyor is useful for film and photo location scouting, solar panel positioning, gardening, real estate, Earth Science geekery, and more! Plan for every sunrise and sunset!
Now you can have a virtual star chart in your pocket! Look through the eyes of your Android device* to see a virtual window into the whole visible universe.All you have to do is point your Android device* at the sky and Star Chart will tell you exactly what you are looking at. This is helpful with astro and night photography.A great FREE option is Google’s own Google Sky Map
DOF Calculator - Apps on Android Market Depth of Field Calculator for Photographers. Calculates Hyperfocal Distance, Near Focus Limit, Far Focus limit, and Depth of Field(DOF).Supports most SLRs, DSLRs and Compact Cameras from Canon, Nikon, FujiFilm, Kodak, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma, Sony, Four Third System, 35mm Film, Medium Formats, and Large Formats.
Allows you to access your Google Analytics stats from any Android mobile device.Great for checking in on your website while on the road.
A great app that lets you view all necessary information about your wifi connect or those around you. Very handy when you are in a public area and are looking for a strong open wifi connection to use.
AirDroid is a fast, free app that lets you wirelessly manage & control your Android device from a web browser Over-The-Air.This app allows you to transfer, organize and manage nearly everything that has to do with your Android device. As long as your desktop and Android device is connected to the same network, you can easily connect through any web browser.
One of the best task managers on Android.It allows you to easily capture, organize, share and sync your to-do lists. Syncs with Google Calendar.
Compare flights, hotels and rental cars, track flights, get cheap travel deals.Compare flight, hotel and car rental deals, Track your flight status, View and manage your trip itinerary, Look up baggage fees, Access airline numbers and airport info.Other great travel app options: Flight Track, WorldMate, Flight Aware.
The first fully featured desktop browser from a mobile device. This is still in beta, but is very impressive so far.Features: Open and switch between unlimited tabs in an easy-to-view stack, Sign in to Chrome to sync your bookmarks and view tabs you have open on your computer, Send pages from desktop Chrome to your smartphone or tablet with one click and read them on the go, even if you’re offline, Browse privately in Incognito mode. Chome Beta is ICS ONLY currently.


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  • dizeman

    Actually, all of these apps are available for the Iphone 4 and 4s and when it comes to performance, Iphone 4 wins, I wish it wasn’t true, but it arguably is. I am not an Apple fan and even less a Steve Jobs fan, but after having owned virtually all of the smart phones, when I bought the Iphone 4, I realized… there is a difference and the difference is better. With one exception, why they would not have an easily removable battery makes no sense to me, but welcome to Steve Jobs’ world. I have all of those apps on my Iphone 4, jusssss sayin’. AND OTHERS!

    • ColbyBrown

      @dizeman – I disagree, especially with the new phones running ICS, which is a much more polished UI then previous Android OS. The problem with IOS is it is hugely limiting in nature. No USB host support, no expandable storage, no removable batteries, jailbreaking is not even close to rooting and unlocking on Android. I could go on and on. iPhones are great phones…no doubt…but they only work as Apple intended you to use them. I prefer flexibility, customization and the freedom to make my device my own. The App’s argument of the past is exactly like you said, non existent for the most part since both OS’s have the apps now. Certainly to each their own, but iphone is no longer king of the smart phone market, at the very least both options are great, which is good for customers.

  • Carl Friend

    I thought Adobe had a size limit on files you could work on

  • Robert Williard

    Thanks for taking the time to put this list out. You do a great job looking out for us Android users.

  • Carl Friend

    Soon Snapseed will do away with needing some of those apps

  • Nick McClelland

    Cheers Colby, have some of these but great to discover others.

  • Aaron Viljoen

    This is awesome Colby! The DSLR Controller app, should save me $250 on the Canon remote switch… :)

  • Louis ‘Depam’ DePaemelaere

    Colby…you are a god and inspiration for all of us die hard Android users. Thanks for doing this.

  • Nakeva

    Excellent list Colby! I use most of these and a few I haven’t tried. In the social photo sharing area I like Streamzoo and Lightbox. Lightbox is Android only but also offers web upload; Streamzoo is Android, iPhone and web. I haven’t found a reason to control my DSLR from my droid but now I have to give that a spin!

  • ZeroCool83

    @drcopodj interessante! :)

    • drcopodj

      @ZeroCool83 c’è ancora neve da quelle parti? io torno stasera… speriamo bene!

      • ZeroCool83

        @drcopodj La situazione è quasi normale, stanno rimuovendo la neve dalle strade… Però per domani ne è prevista altra…!

        • drcopodj

          @ZeroCool83 basta che non è stasera… :D poi si vedrà eheh

        • ZeroCool83

          @drcopodj dovrebbe iniziare stanotte… Misà che non ci vediamo nemmeno questo weekend… :(

        • drcopodj

          @ZeroCool83 ma vieni a dormire qua no? :D :D :D ti fai ospitare da @thefreedj lol xD

        • ZeroCool83

          @drcopodj Il fatto è che non posso lasciare solo Ustino… E poi la mia è l’unica macchina con le catene…

        • drcopodj

          @ZeroCool83 ho capito…

  • jroyster

    You should check out BeFunky . I think it is the best photo editing app especially on Tablets..

    • Nakeva

      @jroyster BeFunky Pro is a great effects app. The best editing+effects app I have found is PicSay Pro. It took me a while to try the paid version since the free version didn’t really show me the potential. After buying it, its one of my favorite apps to do almost similar things I would do on a desktop. LittlePhoto with or without the plugin is also great for effects and editing (it allows stacking of effects).

  • JebsApps

    As one of the developers, our GoldenPic app has quickly become popular among photographers. GoldenPic doesn’t just give you the sunrise and sunset, it also provides you the blue and golden hours, moon phase, moonrise and moonset times, weather, GPS coordinates, etc. GoldenPic even lets you save your GPS coordinates to recall at a later day/time and integrates with Google Maps (great for planning a photo shoot)! If that’s not enough, it lets you change the date, provides 5 different ways to change your location and you can email the data to yourself or a client… all from within the app! Why buy 5 different apps to get all this information? Let GoldenPic be your One-Stop-App for all your needs!

    Check it out at

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  • johanhorak

    Check out the new app for pc, mac, andriod and iphone, ipad. You may never use dropbox again.

  • Senior Pictures

    I am also going to install all these apps in my android phone. Because i have always use my android phone for capturing images.

  • PaulTobeck

    I just recently got an iPad, mainly because of the superior app selection and functionality for photographers, but also because of my severe disappointment with Android tablets, and with Google themselves.
    I am an Android guy at heart, and I love my HTC Rezound but I was severely disappointed with the Nexus 7. Not only was the build quality shabby (screen lifting and a greenish hue), but the biggest issue was app compatibility. Here’s Google’s flagship Nexus tablet, with top of the line hardware and so many popular apps are incompatible?? When the rumors started flying about the 32GB Nexus 7 and perhaps a larger Nexus tablet coming, I returned my 16GB Nexus with one day left on the return policy, and, while I was leaning iPad at the time, I wanted to see what Google would show us. I was sad to learn that the Nexus 10 was not only higher priced than I expected ($350 or less was what I was expecting), but it was also being made by Samsung and was shipping with a SAMOLED screen. Not sure how anyone who does photography can even look at a photo on that screen! Overly contrasty over saturated and over hyped crap.
    The biggest disappointment of all? After waiting for Nik Softwares’ Snapseed app to come to Android for over a year, Google ups and buys Nik Software AND YOU STILL CAN’T GET SNAPSEED ON AN ANDROID DEVICE! Grrrr…
    So, until Google gets their act together and cultivates tablet quality photography apps combined with quality, affordable devices, then I guess I’ll remain a “mixed marriage” photo geek.

    • ColbyBrown

      @PaulTobeck – Well to be brutally honest with you Paul, I could say the same thing about IOS and ipads. While they have a nice screen, there is no app that would make it worth while for me to ever go back to the ipad. No micro SD slots. No USB host support. A near complete lack of customization. Sure they have snapspeed, but that is coming, I promise you…as someone that is sponsored by Nik Software. Either way, there is certainly no one right answer for the industry, but I think you are overlooking many of the shortfalls of IOS as well. I have the Nexus 7 and love it for what I use it for…which is travel communication when working around the globe, teathering to my Canon camera using DSLR Controller and watching movies. For $200, its great. As for the Nexus 10, I am stoked on that too. I have used past Android tablets as professional portfolio displays, including the Transformer Prime and Transformer Infinity and I can say the Nexus 10 will do just fine.
      I would be lying if I didn’t say that I take offense to “not sure how anyone who does photography can even look at a photo on the screen”, since I user all Android devices for two incredibly successful photography companies as well in my position as Director of Photography for the largest online publication website in the world, Matador Network. Long story short, you have every right to express your opinion, regardless if it is based on fact or not, but lets try to do it in a way that doesn’t demean the choices others make to make your own personal purchasing choices feel more vindicated :)

      • PaulTobeck

        @ColbyBrown  @PaulTobeck Thanks for the reply Colby. I know iOS has it’s drawbacks, and you’ll probably never see me use an iPhone. I love my widgets too much! 
        I didn’t mean to offend you you with my statement about screens, but I was referring specifically to Samsungs’ Super Amoled, not all Android devices. All my friends are Samsung users users, and I’ve seen first hand practically every device since the original Galaxy S. I just don’t like the over saturated colors and contrast on those devices, and, having not seen one in person, I can only assume that the Nexus 10 is using similar screen technology. In comparison, the Super LCD on my Rezound is crisp and accurate, and very close to what I see on my calibrated PC monitor. And, yes, it is my opinion and a preference.
        The screen on my Nexus 7 was pretty good for photo work, but it did have a slight greenish hue that was really noticeable in the shadows. Would a client notice it if I was using the device to show images? Probably not, but I knew it was there and it bothered me. That combined with the screen lift issue forced me to return the product.
        Also, some of the advantages you state for Android devices are going away, namely removable storage/batteries. Both of those factors are why I jumped into the Android ecosystem over iOS in the first place, and why I purchased my HTC Rezound when everyone else was jumping on the Galaxy Nexus. But as you can see with all the newer flagship devices launching now, manufacturers are following Googles lead and taking away those features, which saddens me. It removes choice and flexibility from the consumer and makes Android a lot less functional. I’m afraid that the features we hold near and dear will be soon be only available on lower end devices and completely phased out in a few years.
        I love HTC phones and have been waiting for a new, larger screened device to get announced for Verizon (I’m addicted to 4G, it’s like geek-crack). Now we have the 5″ HTC Droid DNA with a ridiculously pixel-dense super nice screen and…no sd slot or removable battery! Oh well, I still have 10 months til upgrade time, maybe something more suitable will drop (fingers crossed).
        OK, back to the tablets…after using several Android tablets in the past year, I just wasn’t satisfied with the apps for photography. On your list above, Camera Zoom F/X was probably my favorite, but I had issues with it force closing more often than I liked. I never took the plunge on Photoshop Touch primarily because it wasn’t compatible with my previous tablets, and when I finally got my Nexus I found out that it doesn’t save full res edits.As far as Snapseed goes, I had been in contact with Nik ever since the Android rumor surfaced roughly a year ago. I emailed them monthly as to it’s status and always got the same “it’s coming” reply. It doesn’t take a year to port an app, so the only conclusion I could come to was they had an “exclusive” with iOS that they weren’t willing to admit. I was really excited when Google purchased Nik and hoped we would soon see Snapseed on Android, but everything I’m hearing is that, for the immediate future, it will only be rolled into Picassa as the default editor. I sincerely hope that isn’t the case, but there’s no other reasonable explanation why this isn’t available right now.
        I really never considered an iPad because of it’s price, I always thought that any tablet shouldn’t cost you more than a capable laptop. It wasn’t until they replaced the iPad 3 (which I know ticked off a lot of fanboys) and offered them up refurbished for $379 that I took the plunge. I was already willing to drop $350 for the nexus 10, and probably would have if it was made by anyone other than Samsung for the reason I stated above.
        After having my iPad for three weeks now, I can honestly say I am impressed with the apps I’ve tried and the way it handles photos. Apps like Photogene, Filterstorm and Photosmith (syncing with Lightroom is awesome) are great and there really aren’t comparable apps in the Play Store.
        Limited storage is an issue, but I’m looking at getting a wifi hard drive to fix that. As I said, Android users will have to do the same very shortly if the trends continue.
        As I said previously, I’m still rooting for Google to catch up. I don’t really like swimming in two ecosystems. Google is a great innovator, but they need to take greater control of their developers and start producing quality, not quantity. Apple recognized early on the potential with photographers, as well as other professional fields, and cultivated it. I really hope Google does the same.
        Keep up the good work, I’ll check back here regularly for your thoughts on Android as a photographer, because very few actually write about it. I’d also like to see a breakdown of your Android workflow in the field and if you get a chance to do it, a review of the Nexus 10 from a photographers perspective. BTW, no charge for the article ideas, their on me…:)

  • shahalam1

    Some really useful iPad applications that might replace the things you do daily with your laptop or netbook.With higher forecast numbers than expected, tablets will prove to be an even more essential connected device choice. Defining aspects of tablets stand to change as they become more popular, as will their accessibility to hopeful owners. some really useful iPad applications that might replace the things you do daily with your laptop or netbook. <a href=””>Mac starter kit</a>

  • shahalam1

    I use DSLR, it’s a great app for photography, if you would emphasis some of it’s strength , I could appreciate you! Thanks for the listing.

  • Duncan Dunnit

    Would be so cool to have an app offer to act as a compass that can be used indoors with my nexus 7 and canon 5d miii.