It seemed only natural to follow up today’s post on photo-related changes coming in
Windows Phone 7.5—aka Mango—with one about some of the fantastic photo apps
available right now in Marketplace.
From Facebook to Flickr, smartphones are quickly becoming the primary way
people capture and share pictures. So it’s probably no surprise that an
explosion of photo apps has followed—apps which make it possible to bypass your
PC and do most fixing and fussing directly on your Windows Phone.
Here are some of my own favorite tools in Marketplace for phone-based
touch-ups. (For fun, I also polled some of the designers and engineers who work
on the Pictures Hub to get their take.) Since Mango hands app makers a bunch of
juicy new programming options—including for the first time direct access to the camera—I’m expecting even more
creative photography apps to arrive in the months ahead.
Thumba Photo Editor
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another app tricked out with more image
editing tools—and all for just 99 cents. Packed with more than 70 tools and
tweaks, Thumba Photo Editor lets you resize, crop, rotate, flip, remove red eye,
and sharpen your photos. You can edit embedded GPS info and add protective
watermarks. There’s also impressive selection of filters and special effects.
Several shutterbugs here swear by it. “It’s like having a mini-Photoshop on the
phone,” one says. A worthy competitor is Pictures Lab ($1.99), another
full-featured photo editing app with an enthusiastic fan base.
Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of gimmicky photo-morphing apps. But
PhotoFunia is in a class by itself. This entertaining app boasts more than 225
effects. Sure there are the standard ones that let you turn your face shot into
a charcoal sketch or watercolor. But there’s also unexpected options to put your
face on a billboard, a stamp, or the wall of the Louvre. The end result is often
shockingly believable, like it was professionally doctored. PhotoFunia is also
just plain fun. As one fan here said: “Who doesn’t want to see their face as the
billboard on Times Square?” Free.
PhotoSafe serves as a password-protected virtual vault for any photos on your
phone that you want to keep hidden from prying eyes. It’s also a handy way to
prevent Angry Birds-addicted kids from accidentally deleting important shots
while messing with your phone. The app is straightforward: Pick a password, then
just copy over images from the Pictures Hub into protected folders (or snap
photos directly with the camera). Images sequestered in PhotoSafe won’t be
transferred automatically to your PC when you sync with the Zune software,
either. $1.99 + free trial
Fantasia Painter Free
If finger painting is your thing, Fantasia Painter Free provides 12 brushes
and bunch of cool effects to add Van Gogh-like flourishes to your shots. My kids
love this app. But it should also appeal to artists and anybody with kid-like
When I’m walking around Seattle, I often have the urge to capture the
sweeping Space Needle-pointed skyline. But creating panoramas is notoriously
tricky, and my previous attempts looked like they were assembled by Dr.
Frankenstein. Then I discovered Ztitch. What’s cool about Ztitch isn’t just that
it brings drag-and-drop simplicity to the pano-making process. But it goes a
step further, creating full 360º panoramas that provide the uncanny
you-are-there illusion. Free