Mobile cameras are getting better and better. They have larger sensors, have very interesting focal lengths, larger apertures and use, in some cases, higher quality lenses. Added to this, there are times when manufacturers use quite aggressive processes, but the good news is that more and more mobiles have RAW modes. Therefore, installing a good photo editor if you like photography is basic.
There are a lot of paid and free photo editors that have great quality, but in the free cases we have ads that are annoying and, in some cases like Photoshop Express or Lightroom, they are a hybrid between a free and premium app. that you have your best options behind the paywall. The good news is that Google still has the best free photo editor: Snapseed.
Snapseed is basic, but with a powerful tool to reveal RAW
The history of Snapseed is curious. Nik Software released the iPad app in 2011, with a subsequent release on iPhone and the 2011 iPad App of the Year “Award” in Apple Commendations. A desktop version for Windows was released shortly after, but Google got in on the action buying the company and therefore Snapseed.
In fact, Nik Software had other products, all related to photo editing, and Google scrapped them, proving that what they were really interested in was Snapseed. But why?
Well, really the explanation is simple as soon as you take a look at the application. We are going to open a JPG and we are going to see what this app offers.
The first thing we see when we open a photo is a filter carousel at the bottom. I am not a lover of this type of filtersbut I recognize that ‘Morning’ gives a lot of artistic play to certain photographs.
You have the option of saving predefined settings to use them later, as if it were another filter, as well as a ‘Last Changes’ option to apply the settings and parameters you used last time that you used the app. But hey, whether or not you use one of these filters, you must hit the ‘check’ button to go to the next screen, which is where the magic is.
At the bottom you will see three options: “Layouts” (the filters), “Tools” and “Export”. If you select the tools, a lot of options are displayed from the most basic (such as “Enhance Photo” or “Details”) even some more advanced, such as the possibility of giving brightness, contrast or saturation by “drawing” with your finger, the stain remover to remove objects, dust or dirt by cloning the texture, different grain filters and artistic colors. There is even an option that allows you to improve the perspective of a building, for example.
Anyway, you have a lot of settings that you can apply manually, little by little, but also automatically. I don’t really like how the automatic editor works, but I think this is the result of the fact that the app hasn’t been updated for three years and computer editing has evolved a lot in that period.
You have the option of watching tutorials from the app itself to master certain techniques.
And something interesting is that you can also edit RAW in the same way. Simply, a step is added: when you open a RAW file, the app shows you different development options and, when you already have the photo, the range of options detailed above opens.
Be careful, over time we may not need external applications to edit photos on the phone. Google has Google Photos, widely known both for its basic editing tools and for the ‘Magic Eraser’.
Vivo on your X80 Pro also has a nice editor that integrates Google One and thus Googe’s magic eraser. Xiaomi with the Xiaomi 13 has also done great with its editing suite and Samsung’s is also very interesting, with options to “remaster” photographs that may have low resolution.
We will see what is the future of the editing tools of each manufacturerbut it is clear that photography is a field that is becoming increasingly important in the presentation of mobile phones and that goes hand in hand with editing apps.
If you are interested in trying Snapseed, you can download it through this link.
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