Damn you, Indecision!

Android Photo App Experiments: Magic Hour

Ever since I got my Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab, I’ve been experimenting with lots of photo apps. Yes, I’ve been taking photos with my Tab. Yes, it’s a little awkward. 🙂 At any rate, I’m pleasantly surprised at the selection available in the Market. There are still tons more apps for iOS in comparison, but I have to say that Android has more photo apps that I’d use on a regular basis than webOS at this point. Hopefully this changes soon, webOS devs! 🙂

One of the photo filter apps I played around with the last couple days is called Magic Hour. I believe there is a version of this app on iOS, but I have no experience with it. I got the free version to try it out, but I’m sure I’m going to buy the full version (spoiler alert 🙂 ). As far as I can tell, the main limitations on the free version are:

– You can only take a photo to be edited, you can’t load one from your local photo albums. AFAIK, the full version allows editing photos stored on your device.

– There seems to be a limit on how many filters you can download from the free filter gallery. People can upload filters they’ve created to an online gallery for others to use.

– The max resolution for saved photos is 600px by 600 px (the photos you take with the app are square). Max resolution in the full version is 1024px square, which is pretty low to me, but since my Tab only takes 3MP photos, this isn’t a big deal for me right now.

The really cool thing I like about this app is that the filters can be tweaked. So if you don’t like the frame, or the texture, or something else, you can use the filter as a starting point and adjust it to suit your mood. This reminds me a lot of the iOS app called PhotoToaster (review to be posted soon). It has a bunch of global presets that you can use as a starting point, but can adjust almost every aspect of the filter’s look, and create custom filters of your own. It’s a really cool feature for people who really like to tweak their photos.

Getting back to Magic Hour, it also has some basic settings that you can change — curves, saturation, brightness, contrast, texture, and frame. You can either pick a filter, then tap on the button titled “recreate”, which drops you into editing mode to change the settings mentioned above, or just start editing the settings from scratch. It’s a really simple set up, but sometimes less really is more.

This is a fun little app. Trying the free version will give you a good idea of the app’s features so you can decide whether or not you should spring for the full version. I know I will. Magic Hour is available in the Android Market for $1.99 USD.

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