[L]et's take a look at what android can do in the image editing department. Remember to read part 1 and part 2.
The power of software
The apps are everything, once you get past necessities like USB and SD card readers. It is sad to say that there is no ultimate image editing program for android. So for now, Android will only do enough image editing for you to see how the image will look like when finalized on the computer, there is no nitty gritty dodging and burning. But I am sure that in the future, Adobe will pull out something like Lightroom mobile, the market will create the demand. So far I have not found any batch editing apps.
A note about Photoshop
When Adobe announced Photoshop for iOS and Android, people were exited, of course it would be a toned down version but hey, it had layers and other Photoshop tools? It looked like the ultimate photo app, heck it was one of my deciding factor to buy a high end tablet. Here's what they don't tell you: the image import and export is limited to around 1000 pixels. It's like paying for a 1:1 replica of a Lamborghini or something. Looks nice, plays nice but it's a toy. Remove that dumb limit and let us do our work (I'm kind of getting pissed right now! ). Why do app publishers think that everything on a tablet must be a “lite” version? Darn it some tablets cost as much as a laptop, some people use them for serious work, so give us some serious tools! I want Photoshop and Lightroom, don't need all the features but give me something serious.
Best RAW / Photo viewer and editor
The best photo viewer is undoubtedly “Photo mate”. It supports lots of RAW files (even Epson RD1 and X3f files! Not full rez though), you can make slide shows and even do basic RAW editing with the program. The interface is barebones but it is one of the instance where function trumps form I guess. Below is an Epson RD1 RAW file:
Good enough to view without zooming in. It's great to see what shots you have gotten, and do basic overall editing like contrast, exposure, crop, WB, saturation and clarity.
I would not edit my photographs like this but above you can see what you can do with the app. I use photomate because of the ability to view lots of raw files, but it still needs a lot of work. I mainly use another program for editing: “Photo editor”.
Wow the name only will make it hard to find on Google, here's the download link. Check my review here. In a nutshell I have two main reason why I use photo editor: Full resolution editing and saving (that's the “serious” part) and Curves (that's the “photo editing” part). Curves only has 5 points but it is more than capable to edit great stuff. It has many effects that I do not care too much about, you can add a simple frame around the image, rotate, resize, etc. Does not support RAW but it's great, best of all it's free. But I would buy the ad free version to support the good work of the developer.
Adobe debut is a presentation program, basically it is to present your portfolio. It is great because you can make many “sets” of photos, so you can have a Black and White set and a color set of photographs. It is great if you are presenting proof to clients because you can annotate things over the photos and then hide them for later reference. I use it to show off different portfolios depending on who I am talking to.
Wrapping it up
I have heard of somebody having 100 photo apps on their phones, I humbly salute them with my invisible hat. That will not work for me, simplicity is key, I bunk all the apps I never use and keep my tablet clean. I only use the three apps above for photo editing, viewing, categorizing and showing. They all work well and do well enough on their own before I dump the images onto my main computer. For now none of these make Lightroom irrelevant but when companies realizes the market they have in their hands, the tides will shift. I am going to take a break from these posts but next time I will explore photography related programs for android.