Apps

40 of the best Android apps of 2016

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Imaging Adobe Comp CC

Comp lets you design wireframes and lay out ideas for Web, mobile and print design projects. It might sound cumbersome to do on a mobile device, but Adobe’s thought of that: You can try preset artboard sizes to get started quickly, use gestures to add placeholder text and graphics, and align elements easily with grids.

The purpose of the app is to help you begin fleshing out your ideas while you’re on the go, and push them over to Adobe’s more powerful desktop apps to finish them up – and Comp is certainly up to the task.

➤ Adobe Comp CC

Instagram

Everyone’s favorite photo sharing app got a lot better in 2016, thanks to its aping of Snapchat and adding ephemeral posts called Stories into the mix. In addition to sharing images, video clips and Boomerang loops, you can also broadcast live video through Stories.

There’s also now an option to save images from other users to a separate section, without having to like them – handy if you’re collecting a bunch of pictures for reference. Plus, you can now zoom in to get a better view of posts and even save edited pictures as drafts and upload them later.

➤ Instagram

Google Photos

Google Photos has quickly become the best free backup service you’ll find on mobile devices. In addition to offering unlimited space for fairly high-quality images, it received several useful updates in 2016 that made it a whole lot better than many of its rivals.

You’ll now find fine-grained editing tools, automatically generated themed movies and shareable GIFs, better filters, smarter handling of your burst photos, and improved search that can find people in albums. If you shoot pictures on your phone often, this is a must-have.

➤ Google Photos

Adobe Photoshop Fix

Adobe’s powerful portrait retouching app for mobile is available for Android at last. It bundles several tools for cleaning up blemishes, smoothing skin and surfaces, enhancing contrast, tweaking lighting in specific areas and adjusting the lines and shapes of faces, and they work pretty well indeed.

Fix is also useful for landscapes and urban scenes, although getting the effects to turn out just right might take a bit of work. Still, if you’re publishing your pictures on the move, this is an excellent weapon to have in your arsenal.

➤ Adobe Photoshop Fix

PhotoScan

This clever little app from Google helps you scan old photographs perfectly using just your phone’s camera.

Once you follow the on-screen guide to snap images from multiple positions, PhotoScan will automatically remove glare and adjust orientation so you have a high-quality digital version of your precious memory.

Combine that with Google Photos’ free unlimited storage and you have the ultimate archiving solution at your fingertips.

➤ PhotoScan

Prisma

Prisma made waves when it first launched earlier this year, allowing users to add beautiful art-style filters based on popular painters’ styles to their photos using AI. You can choose from a range of classic and contemporary styles, techniques and patterns to add some flair to your pictures, and the results are always interesting.

Video support is expected to roll out soon; if you can’t wait, be sure to give Aristo a spin.

➤ Prisma

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Sketch brings together 11 brushes, pencils, markers and more for art buffs to work on their own masterpieces wherever they are.

It also lets you work with multiple layers within a file and work with preset shapes, and can import stock illustrations and photos straight from Adobe’s catalog to incorporate into your creations.

As with Comp, it’s better for getting started on an idea than polishing it on your desktop – but it’s a handy tool if you need to get visual compositions onto a screen pronto.

➤ Adobe Photoshop Sketch

OKDOTHIS

If you’re looking to improve to your phone photography, this is certainly worth a try. OKDOTHIS presents you with a daily challenge (such as ‘Invert’ or ‘Book covers’) and lets you share your work with its growing community.

➤ OKDOTHIS

Adobe Lightroom

If you want granular control over the results of your phone photography, look no further than Lightroom.

It’s an excellent post-processing tool that lets you tweak plenty of parameters to tune your shots and get them to look just as you want, while also offering useful workflow shortcuts to help you achieve consistent results across sets of photos with ease.

Although it’s been around a while, Lightroom got a notable update in July that enables RAW file support for better control over images from your device as well as other amateur and pro cameras, as well as a new manual capture mode that allows you to adjust shutter speed, ISO, white balance and focus when you shoot.

➤ Adobe Lightroom

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