Monday, 27 February 2012

Clean up your image with Aviary, Easy Photo Editor and Camera MX

Need a new image editor

Flashing CyanogenMod to get rid of Motoblur was a great move, except for a few things. I had to sign up with Swype to get their beta test app, because the built-in Swype version wouldn't restore in a working state to my custom ROM. And the built-in picture editing tools were gone, including Kodak Perfect Touch.

Cell phone cameras still can't replace the real thing, and you often need to process the pictures shot with your phone to make them look good. Kodak Perfect Touch corrects brightness, contrast, and colors with a single click, and usually with great results. But when I flashed a new ROM I had to look for an alternative, because the photo editing tools from my Motorola stock ROM don't work in CyanogenMod (if anyone knows a way to make them work in non-stock ROMs, please let me know).

Apps that downsize

The Android Market has many free image editors, but most of them have so many limitations that they're useless.

For example, Easy Photo Editor (by CBS Co., Ltd.), Aviary Photo Editor, TouchUp Lite, and Photo Editor by dev.macgyver won't save edited pictures at their original resolution. Instead, they shrink them into oblivion. Magic Hour only lets you keep all your pixels if you upgrade to the paid version.

Apps that keep your resolution

Magix Camera MX and Easy Photo Editor (by Paradise Android) (edit: and Aviary too) keep your pictures at their original resolution for free. These apps have one click image touchup, and you can tweak brightness, contrast, colors, and saturation by hand. They both come with red eye removal and effects like sepia.

Easy Photo Editor is based on Aviary, but it doesn't have the resolution limit of its parent app. Easy Photo Editor lets you draw on your photos and add text overlays. Unfortunately it has the annoying habit of storing your edited images in its own folder with a .nomedia file, so they won't appear in your gallery unless you move them to another folder.
Edit: the app is updated, the .nomedia file is gone. It would be nice if a future update would let us choose our own save folder. For example, saving the edited image to the original folder would make it a lot easier to find. An option to save the original file name with a custom suffix would be a welcome addition too.
Another edit: Aviary now keeps your image resolution up to 8 12 megapixels.

Camera MX has white balance correction and some effects that Easy Photo Editor doesn't have. like lomo and sketch. Camera MX also has a built-in camera app, but you're better off with the stock camera or Camera360 Ultimate.

Easy Photo Editor and Magix Camera MX both fail to preserve exif data. This means you'll lose information like the date and time you took the picture, so they'll show up out of order in your gallery. If anyone knows an Android photo editor that keeps the exif data, or an app that lets me copy exif data from one image to another, please post a comment or hit the contact link at the bottom of this page.
Yet another edit: Aviary and Easy Photo Editor now save all exif data!

Easy Photo Editor by Paradise Android
Magix Camera MX

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