App Round-Up: 5 of the Coolest Ways to Be Social with Your Photos

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ID-10039055Aside from relaxing with some tunes, an Ebook or movie, I mostly use my smart devices offline to snap photos of interesting things or of people around me. And in fact, I’d bet that it’s the same for most people out there, am I right?

Considering that one of the biggest selling points for manufacturers is the clarity and functionality of the built-in cameras in their mobile devices, there’s no wondering why smartphones have in some ways replaced digital cameras. It’s so easy, popular and it’s so convenient, app developers are focusing more energy than ever these days on discovering and implementing new ways to alter, manipulate and personalize handheld photos.

What do you do with your photos? Not the private ones, but the ones that you use to tell stories with — the ones that you want your friends or even strangers on the web to see? I’ve been so impressed with what’s out there these days, so I’ve decided to round a few of the apps I’ve been using up and place a quick spotlight on each.

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You can’t answer all of your incoming calls, all of the time. Certain situations tend to override a need to pick up — despite how irksome it can be for the caller (come on, you’ve been there.) For those moments when an auto-response text message just doesn’t cut it (like for example, when my mom calls) and pressing the ‘ignore’ button seems just too cruel, there is CallSnap.Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 4.44.54 PM

Next time you’re in a monotonous business meeting, discretely ‘snap’ a photo of the project manager while he or she is mid-sentence, caption it with something clever like “Zzzz.. I’m Cruisin’ for a Snoozin'” and send to the person who’s calling, effortlessly. You’re buddy, loved one, significant other or pet sitter will quickly receive the message, have a little laugh in the process and most importantly, feel as though they’re not being ignored. Plus, bonus points for being so sneaky and dangerous. Go get ’em, tiger.

Get it (for a limited time) free: Google Play, CallSnap.

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Using the company’s line here; giving a new meaning to “living in the moment,” SnapChat is the self-destruction photo messaging app that has been sweeping mobile nation. It’s latest update, version 5.0.0 just came out for iPhone, seeing some functionality updates and design improvements. This app is the most unique form of communicating through pictures that we’ve seen since Pictionary.Snapchat-473x351

If you’ve got something to say and it’s urgently private, raunchy or extremely personal, SnapChat is a perfect vehicle for sending it out. After snapping a photo, you’ll decide for exactly how many seconds recipients can view it for. Once opened, a countdown begins and at zero — poof — gone your message goes, into SnapChat picture heaven. In a snap, your once-friendly photographic message disappears into thin air, it explodes into obscurity just like in the Inspector Gadget cartoon series.

Get it free: Google Play and Apple App Store, SnapChat.

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Word Swag

Ever wanted to know what the cover of your first novel would look like? Or your first film poster? With Word Swag, you can do that and design some other cool stuff while you’re at it. In the simplest terms, this application allows you to add text to your photos but in essence, it’s much more impressive that just that.Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 4.22.38 PM

Caption your photos like they’re part of a comic strip, create a nice message for a friend on their birthday, include a poem on a picture of a waterfall — possibilities are truly endless. If you’re at a loss for words, there are even hundreds of phrases and templates to work from. This way, you can make the pictures that you take even more personal and unique!

Get it for under two bucks: Apple App Store, WordSwag.

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Pic Stitch

When one photo just isn’t enough, there is Pic Stitch. Create awesome digital collages with frames, doodles, stickers and photo effects before sharing them to your social media accounts. First you select which photos to include in your collage. Then you edit each one separately, insert them where they need to go and edit them individually or change parts of the overall collection of photos. After messing around with Pic Stitch, my favorite layout is still the classic four pane ‘window frame’ collage.picstitch

Get it free: Google Play Store and Apple App Store, Pic Stitch.

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Ever wondered what it would look like to see yourself running through Manhattan Godzilla style? Or how about seeing a photo of your cat passed out on top of the Atlantic Ocean? Maybe that’s just me. But any who, Popmage is a pretty sweet tool that allows you to basically combine your favorite parts of two images and combine them into one bad-ass pic.Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 4.50.56 PM

Select an item in one photo that looks good to you, the app will ditch the photo around your selection while placing what you desire to keep on top of another photo of your choice. It’s pretty impressive how the software is able to outline my cat from the original picture with Photoshop-like accuracy. From there, I’ve placed him in some interesting scenarios; on the beach, public transportation, a skate park, etc.

I hope you’ll do the same. Don’t stifle your imagination — go big. Put your baby niece behind the wheel of a stretch limousine.

Get it free: Google Play Store, Popmage.

I know there are countless photo applications for multiple platforms. These five are just a spoonful from the ocean of photography-centric apps. I’m always on the prowl for new and interesting ones, but of course to cover them all we’d both be here all day.

So what am I missing / what photo apps do you prefer?

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  • Radu Stefan

    Nice list of apps, plenty of options to choose from. If I may I would also recommend giving PhotoMarks a try.
    It’s an iPhone app that allows you add customizable text and logo marks to your photos, really useful for content protection and branding.